Shandong The Chinese Kitchen.

Shandong is a new Chinese restaurant in Rajagiriya, spearheaded by a few Industry veterans. They’re one of the better choices when it comes to Sri Lankan Chinese delivery, though certain areas have plenty of room for improvement.

The Food

If
you haven’t heard of Shandong that’s likely because they’ve only been
open for a little over two months now. Looking at the menu,
you’d notice is that it’s quite similar to most Sri Lankan Chinese oldies with the exception of the specials section which has some authentic Chinese dishes. The prices aren’t the lowest in terms of Chinese restaurants but it’s still quite affordable. Portions are generally enough for three with the price per head ranging between Rs. 800 – Rs. 1200. 

A good wet rice is dish is hard to find in Colombo. Quite often it’s either too soggy or just bland due to lack of seasoning. Thankfully, Shandong’s tai special rice (Rs. 700) didn’t suffer from either of those two issues. The rice had the correct consistency and texture with a good amount of seasoning coming through. This is their most expensive rice dish on the menu and it comes with prawns, calamari, chicken, pork and whole bunch of veges mixed. Considering the fact that the portion was shared by four, we’d say it’s pretty good value for money.

Their hot butter cuttlefish (Rs. 800) was a bit of a mixed bag. The main issue here was that the batter was soggy, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here since we had it delivered and that transit time does have an inevitable effect on batter fried food. That aside, we actually liked the flavours of the HBC with the right amount of saltiness and a bit of chilli for heat. We also felt that the cuttlefish could have been a bit less chewy but that was a minor caveat.

The chilli chicken with nuts (Rs. 650) was disappointing. We got a
whole lot of gravy with just trace amounts of cashew nuts. The chicken,
which was cut into small cubes, was slightly overcooked and didn’t
really have too much flavour to it. The gravy, while ample, was quite
thin so it didn’t really bind to the meat. Just very ordinary overall.

The best dish of the bunch was the pork belly stew (Rs. 850). This is one of the more expensive dishes but we liked the flavours here, though we wouldn’t exactly call it a stew. It’s more or less a stir fried pork belly dish cooked along with dried chillies, leeks, sauteed onions and carrots. This one is just really all about the pork, of which you get a generous amount. Good balance of flavours with a slight tanginess and spice.

Delivery

We’re actually quite impressed that Shandong offers delivery so soon after its inception. Then again, having worked at the oldest Chinese restaurant chain in the country, the staff must be seasoned veterans. Even though they’re located in Rajagiriya, Shandong delivers all around Colombo as well as the suburbs, and their delivery rates are very reasonable.

You can place your order by calling them on 0117882882. The gentlemen who took our order was polite and knew the menu well enough to go into detail about the dishes. The delivery also came right on time, so no complaints on that front either.

Conclusion

Although it doesn’t look to change the status quo, Shandong is a welcome addition to Colombo’s Sri Lankanized Chinese scene. They definitely have their strengths but certain areas need looking into. They’re still very new, so hopefully they can iron out the kinks.

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