Tsing Tao (Colombo Racecourse).

Tsing Tao is a fine dining Chinese restaurant located at the Colombo Racecourse. It’s expensive, but the food is worth it.

Chinese. We’ve been eating our way through Colombo for about a year now and we still haven’t managed to get through the city’s vast range of hot butter cuttlefish and chilli paste wielding establishments. But within the many sub genres of Chinese restaurants that exist (mainland, Sri Lankan, pan-asian), what we’ve really neglected is fine dining Chinese.

What is fine dining Chinese? In Sri Lanka this particular branch of cuisine mainly consists of five star hotel restaurants: Emporer’s Wok (The Hilton), Long Feng (Cinnamon Lakeside), Yue Chuan (The Kingsbury). Tsing Tao, not attached to a big hotel, is the newest of the group; it’s located at the Colombo Racecourse – a beautiful but somewhat bizarrely compiled complex of shops and eateries.

The words ‘overpriced’ and ‘expensive’ have come up a lot in TripAdvisor reviews and general comments about Tsing Tao. Admittedly, the place isn’t cheap – due to an imported chef and ingredients – but the food is really quite good and definitely worth a couple of visits. We’ve also figured out a basic trick to keep the price down, if you read on.

The Food

So, the food. The menu is vast (over 200 items I hear – didn’t actually count), and therefore choosing can be tricky. Little descriptions could have been helpful, but there’s a little like button icon next to recommended dishes to help you navigate. We ordered the Hong Kong chicken (Rs. 738, small), prawns with dry chilli (Rs. 1078, small), sizzling aubergine (Rs. 638, small), ma po tofu with minced pork (Rs. 738, small) and three steamed rices (Rs. 594). All the dishes were very good, but the sizzling aubergine was the champion of the meal. Piping hot discs of aubergine are slathered in a garlicky sauce and the flesh is soft and flavourful – almost meaty. It goes well with a simple steamed rice – fried rice may over complicate the flavours. The tofu with minced pork is also recommended – slick cubes of tofu are dredged with crumbed pork and thickly weaved through with a rich sauce. Again, goes very well with a simple rice.

The Troublesome Matter of Portions

Tsing Tao has been criticised for their smalls being, well, small. This is probably because Chinese food tends to be approached with an all-you-can-eat attitude – the more stuffed you are at the end of the meal, the better the experience. Tsing Tao doesn’t provide mountains of prawns and towering heaps of rice. The small portions are indeed, small, but not unfairly so. Our selection of four smalls fed three quite comfortably and we even had a bit left over. You may not feel immobile and lethargic post-meal – but this is a good thing.

The Place

There are two dining sections, a more conventional space below and a prettier (but harder to access due to some rather steep stairs) glass rectangle above that overlooks the grounds and Reid Avenue. The upper area is nicer because of the view, but on our visit it was uncomfortably hot and stuffy. Perhaps an A/C malfunction. The staff, however, are obliging and the service is good – if a little slow. Our meal took well over half an hour to reach the table and getting the bill also takes a good fifteen minutes.

The Price

Our meal for three, with one beer, came to Rs. 5,500. That’s about Rs. 1,800 per person. I really don’t think this is that bad. You’d be paying about the same at Flower Drum – for more quantity perhaps but significantly lower quality and not nearly as nice a setting. Add more drinks, however, and the price shoots up. A tall Lion costs Rs. 460 – which brings it just under the Gallery Cafe on YAMU’s Lion Index, ie. it’s the second most most expensive bottle of Lion you could buy. Which is essentially the issue – the food is more or less fairly priced, the drinks aren’t.

And So…

Avoid too many drinks, and get your buzz off the food. Because it’s really very good.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp




Indulge in Japanese Culinary Bliss at Minori Restaurant

By Sahasni Gamage Nestled within the luxurious Granbell Hotel, Minori Japanese Restaurant offers an unparalleled

Highlights Kamu

Experience flavorful Singaporean delights with a modern twist at Shiok!

By Sahasni Gamage We recently had the pleasure of dining at Shiok Singaporean Restaurant, which

Highlights Kamu

7 Fantastic Pizza Places to Try in Colombo

By Shamrina Carim Colombo, the vibrant capital city of Sri Lanka, is a haven for

Highlights Kamu

High Tea Guide for 2023

You and your friends decide to meet up after your last farewell, get together or

Highlights Kamu

Excel World Legacy Food Court launches Indi-Arabia Menu

By Hashini Pathirana https://www.tiktok.com/@yamusrilanka/video/7252917491427511560 Experience a culinary journey like no other at Excel World's launches


A Taste of Jaffna at Flavoured by Cinnamon Red

By Hiruni Herath Flavoured at Cinnamon Red is enclosed by stunning views of the Colombo

Highlights Kamu Uncategorized


Radisson Blu Resort Galle recently organized a delightful wine-tasting occasion

Radisson Blu Resort Galle recently hosted a delightful wine-tasting event on September 17th, showcasing an


Hilton Sri Lanka Collaborates with VOICE Area Federation to Enhance Community Resilience and Combat Hunger

For a brighter and secure Sri Lanka, fostering sustainability via community farms and kitchen programs.


Galle Face Hotel Presents ‘Yaalpana Santhai’ – A Gastronomic Journey into Jaffna Cuisine

Colombo, Sri Lanka – The Galle Face Hotel, an iconic landmark in Sri Lanka's hospitality


The Latest MSI Limited-Edition Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is Available Now

MSI, the world-leading laptop brand, proudly unveiled its latest limited-edition laptop, the Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG

Highlights Trending

Türkiye Food Festival Unveiled at Courtyard by Marriott Colombo

Colombo, September 4, 2023 - Courtyard by Marriott Colombo, an esteemed member of the Marriott


A Pho-Nomenal Vietnamese Feast at Cinnamon Grand Colombo

Vietnamese food has made its mark on the global culinary map with favourites such as


Yamu Guide.

Spotting Blue Whales in Mirissa with Chaminda Whale Watching

The whale watching tour in Mirissa Start time: 6:30am Duration: 3-5 hours depending on sightings

Highlights Yamu Guide

The Rise of Plant-Based Diets: Benefits and Challenges

By Shamrina Carim In recent years, plant-based diets have surged in popularity, drawing attention for

Highlights Yamu Guide

6 Things to Do at One Galle Face

Set against the panoramic backdrop of the Indian Ocean "Colombo’s first prestigious shopping mall is

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Things to do at Colombo City Center

By Shanali Fernando 1. Shop till you drop A stunning integrated lifestyle destination set in

Highlights Yamu Guide

Wedding Venue List 2023

By Shanali Fernando When envisioning your wedding day, you may find yourself torn between various

Highlights Trending Yamu Guide

8 Places to get an Eid Sawan this Hajj Festival

The Muslims celebrate Hajj globally on the 29th of June, 2023. No doubt, along with

Highlights Yamu Guide