Shiwu could either mean food, work or the number 15. It depends on how you pronounce it, really. But, given how the SHIWU we know is a restaurant, we're gonna go with option 1 and more or less call it a day.
That being said, the restaurant SHIWU we're familiar with opened up a while back in Marino Mall and we happened to do a small bit titled Now Serving a week back. Nonetheless, it's time for a proper review thus why we made a trip to Colombo 3 to get our Chinese on.
A beastly symphony of cancelled pick me rides, torrential amounts of rain and hordes of frustrated people standing under umbrellas in the rain, the day we visited SHIWU was a mess, and is probably one of the main reasons why we were so taken with their ambience.
Air conditioning that isn't there to freeze you to death, comfortable seating and the general warm glow in the atmosphere combined with the complimentary green tea they serve as soon as you're seated made us positively fall in love with the ambience here.
The space was large and even if there were a solid two rows of tables and chairs, the restaurant didn't feel packed even a little bit. With bits of orchestral music playing in the background and a view of Colombo to make anyone swoon, the ambience at SHIWU was pretty damn good.
SHIWU is primarily a Chinese restaurant, which essentially means that apart from some of the beverages, everything here is Chinese food. They span to around 5 varieties of rice, a couple of vegetarian dishes, and a range of meats including seafood, chicken and such.
The broth here had a heap of soy sauce, a dash of ginger and not much else, and there was a tinge of Marmite-like flavour to it. Aside from that, there were a couple of cubes of tomato and bok choy swimming around the 2 drowned wantons.
Steamy fluffy white rice dunked in an assortment of spices and oil, the Crab Fried Rice (Rs. 950) came as a serving big enough for 2 people to go all out on without any sort of addition to make it interesting. Sure, crab meat came to be rather scarce in this instance. But, with bits of egg, chilli paste, corn, scallions and range of other ingredients we couldn't really place our finger on, we liked it.
We happened to get a Stir-Fried Broccoli (Rs. 800) to accompany our rice on the journey to our table and we're pretty glad we decided to get it. Swimming in a small pool of gravy, the stir-fried broccoli albeit tasting quite fresh came to us like chop suey. Salty and having that distinct chop suey taste, it is an ideal companion for your fried rice, we guarantee it.
We couldn't decide what kind of chicken to get and wound up with the Stir-Fried Chicken (Rs. 950) on the recommendation of the server. The fact that we had already ordered a stir-fried dish completely slipping our minds to the depths of oblivion.
Nonetheless, the stir-fried chicken was actually a lot nicer than the broccoli (not because it was broccoli) because it tasted less like chop suey and was a lot spicier thanks to the addition of spring onions to the dish.
They also have an entire section off their menu that's dedicated to just booze and cocktails and such. We couldn't try it this time, but, we've got some stuff about them on our Now Serving if you're interested.
With doting servers who look into every one of your needs and make small talk when necessary, we had close to nothing to remotely complain about their service. Plus, the food was brought to us within 5 to 10 minutes of us placing our order.
SHIWU Chinese Restaurant is all right. While it didn't have any extraordinary features, we thought they were a pretty cool place to grab some Chinese. The prices are pretty affordable for a high-end restaurant, which is another plus point.