Tang Dynasty is a new Chinese restaurant that’s sprung up on Dickman’s Road (now Dr Lester James Pieiris Mawatha) – it’s one of the most authentic ones we’ve been to, the interior is amazing and the food is top notch.
Since our first visit in August, Tang Dynasty has made a few changes and some new additions to the menu. While the menu at the time was extensive, they’ve added some pretty interesting looking dishes. Some of which are shown below.
Besides that they’ve also introduced some local waiters now, since one of the main complaints that local customers had was the difficulty in communication. It’s nice to see that the management is paying attention to these details.
The menu was pretty extensive – they’ve got an array of preparations of meats, vegetables, rice and noodles. They are available in only Normal and Large, the former for 2 if you get rice, but the meat and vegetable dishes are enough for 3, and Large for a bit more than 4 we presume.
We got Normal servings of stir-fried seafood rice (Rs. 688), prawn kebabs (Rs. 1312), spicy roast beef (Rs. 668), sauteed kankun (Rs. 498) and pan-fried jiaozi or dumplings (Rs. 688). We were a table of 2, but 3 could have easily enjoyed these portions. The table setting was elegant, with small white ceramic bowls for rice and mini-cups for water. You can tell them if you want cutlery or chopsticks.
The seafood rice was well done, only a bit oily, and included bits of vegetable, corn and prawns. It felt quite fresh and healthy as opposed to the super oily dishes of a lot of the Sri Lankan versions of Chinese restaurants.
The prawn kebabs were just plain amazing although they didn’t look it. They’re big and at 1312, each of the six kebabs are for 200 bucks. The dish is a bit pricey but considering how delicious they were, we didn’t really mind – they were very crunchy and salty and we were satisfied splitting it 3 each.
The sauteed kankun was a huge dish, the biggest one there, at only Rs. 498 – easily enough for 3-4 people. The vegetables were crunchy and fresh and tasted just right, between sour and salty – a good side with your rice. I don’t even usually like vegetables and that’s saying something!
The spicy roast beef was another huge portion, enough for about 3. It wasn’t so spicy, but it was well done and tasty – although for some reason, it was served slightly cold.
We actually asked for steamed dumplings but got pan-fried ones instead – though we didn’t complain. They were big and delicious, an excellent starter dish split between 2 or 3. They were generously filled with vegetable and little bits of meat, soft, and cooked well in a faint cream. If you’re not into pork then do make sure you mention that, because that’s usually the default dumplings setting at authentic Chinese restaurants.
We were expecting massive damage where the bill was concerned, just judging by the large portions and the super classy atmosphere of the restaurant. With all the dishes we got though, it was only Rs. 4000 for two. You could easily make it Rs. 1400 per head if you order wisely.
Service & Ambience
The interior at Tang Dynasty is really classy and simple and the paintings, the wallpaper and little details like the Chinese stringed instrument in the lobby all come together to create an authentic vibe. The ground floor is a common dining space, whereas there are large well furnished dining rooms on the 1st floor and VIP rooms on the 2nd floor, for a private dinner with family or friends – you can use them if you simply call for a reservation.
The main staff here are entirely Chinese and are helpful if you’re not an expert on Chinese food and are not sure what to get, although a few things might get lost in your attempt to chat because we don’t share the same first language. The waiters were attentive, filling up our little glasses the moment they were empty. This place is a welcome change from the bulk of typical Sri Lankan-Chinese hybrid restaurants in Colombo.
We were really happy at the end of our Tang Dynasty dinner. The interior is beautiful and the food very tasty and filling. It’s got the quality of food and ambience of a much more expensive restaurant, so we were pleasantly surprised at the prices (generally 700 bucks per Normal dish). Definitely a great place to have a delicious Chinese lunch or dinner at.