Colombo has more buth kades per square kilometer than you can throw a tuk at. But the farther you get into the ‘burbs, the harder it is to find a quality kade to satisfy those lunchtime pangs. Silver Spoon is one decent option in Ratmalana—the Colombo suburb that is confusingly neither Dehiwala nor Mount Lavinia—which serves up clean, healthy and wholesome veggies-and-rice, although their meats come up a little wanting.
Even though it’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall operation, you’re likely to see hungry office folks lining up for a packet on most weekdays around 12. Pro tip: Get here early, around 11 or 11.30 am, to beat the snaking queue.
For a veggie packet that costs Rs.100, Silver Spoon offers a standard-issue revolving spread that includes parippu, mallung, and veggies like beans, beetroot and polos, among other things. Generally, there is a daily selection of four dishes out of which you can choose three.
All the vegetables are prepared with moderate amounts of oil, chilli and salt and have a satisfying, homemade feel to them. An additional Rs. 20 will also get you a crisp, pan-fried egg seasoned with salt and pepper, a refreshing change of texture from the unimaginative, hard-boiled eggs you get at most other kades.
They also have an unappetising looking ‘chop suey’—roughly-cut chunks of stir-fried veggies—but I’m not sure why anyone would subject themselves to that.
When it comes to meats, they’ve got fish and chicken for Rs. 140. Unfortunately, neither comes highly recommended. The chicken leg I got with my meal was overcooked — pulling the meat off the bone with my hands was like trying to tear off chunks from a rubber slipper. I would have assumed it was a one-off, but a similar experience earlier with a chewy piece of fish leads me to conclude that the meat here is regularly overcooked. That’s a damn shame because the actual curry is quite flavourful.
Unless you count the single chair in a corner under a Buddhist altar, there is no ‘indoor dining’ here. This is strictly a take-away kade with just enough room for about six folks to stand and wait inside for their order.
If you’re tall you may want to duck your head while entering to avoid being decapitated by the low ceiling fan.
If you’re a vegetarian or an ‘eggetarian’ and looking for a rice-and-curry that delivers both in terms of wholesomeness and price, Silver Spoon is a safe bet. However, animal-eaters may be in for a tough time – literally.