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



Your go-to restaurant in Chilaw – Clement’s Chilaw review

By Warsha Dissanayake We visited Clements brand new outlet based in Chilaw towards the evening


Holy crepes at Crepe Runner – Bambalapitiya

By Maryam Rizwan No one does crepes as good as Crepe Runner does. Starting from


Don’t chai this at home – Karak review

By Warsha Dissanayake Looking for some downtime?Is it time to take a break off of


Nutella-filled goodness at Crepeholics

Crepeholics located in the middle of Mount Lavinia is packed with a variety of crepes


Kailasa Street Food Cafe

This place is long overdue and something Colombo needed so bad. Kailasa street food, serving


Clement’s Restaurant & Banquet

Walking into the restaurant, you are greeted by some warm smiles and pleasant greetings. Asanka,



70th anniversary Diplomatic Relations between Sri Lanka and Japan

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka


Suriya’s Jai Bhim wins five awards at Studioflicks Film Awards 2021

By MR The Tamil film industry has turned the global spotlights in 2021 for releasing


5 BlackBerry models we will miss

By Ruchika Seneviratne It truly is an end of an era as BlackBerry has announced

Slider Trending

Elephant House – Feel Good Range

We all grew up eating Elephant House ice cream, whether it was to wrap up



Cinnamon Bentota Beach added a vintage touch to its award-winning art and architecture during the ‘Classic Car Run’ recently.


Yamu Guide.

5 ways SLASH will help you make more out of 2022!

By Warsha Dissanayake Ever wanted to get the maximum use for the products you are

Yamu Guide

Ten of the Richest Men in the World

By Rahma Rifkhan Custom-designed suits, extravagant cars, luxurious mansions, global fame and a net-worth of

Slider Yamu Guide

9 NGOs and Youth Movements to join in 2022

By Hiruni Herath NGOs have somewhat of a bad reputation in Sri Lanka and Youth

Slider Yamu Guide

New shopping experience at the Keells on Lauries Road

Keells is reinventing your shopping experience in the best way possible. Because of the pandemic,

Yamu Guide

5 events to look forward to in 2022

By Tashia Ranasinghe Hello, 2022! Just as much as there is a bunch of holidays

Yamu Guide

8 Indoor Sports Outlets in Colombo

By Warsha Dissanayake Looking to let off some steam after a crazy day or week

Slider Yamu Guide


ලොව බිහිසුනුම දාම ඝාතිකාවන් (Woman serial killers) 10 දෙනෙක්

By Yesha Fernando කාන්තාවන් කිව්වම හැමවෙලාවෙම වගේ අපේ ඔලුවේ මැවෙන්නේ හරි සංවේදී, ආදරණීය පිරිසක්. ලෝකයේ


2022 සැමරුම හොඳටම කරපු රටවල් 10 ක්  

By Yesha Fernando මරණය, කුසගින්න, විරැකියාව, ආර්ථික අවපාතය, දේශපාලන අර්බුද යනාදී ගෝලීය දුෂ්කරතා රැසක් මැදින්


හොරු අතරට අලුතින් එක් වූ “ජංගි හොරා”

By Yesha Fernando මෙරට සියලු ආකාර හොරු අතරට එක්වූ අලුත්ම හොරා "ජංගි හොරා" යි. මෙකී

Featured Sinhala

Squid Game අපට කියා දෙන ජීවිත පාඩම් 6 ක්

ත්‍රාසය, ශෝකය, කුතුහලය වගේම මෙයට වඩා තවත් බොහෝ ජීවිත පාඩමුත් Squid Game කථාංග නවයට ඇතුළත්.


පිස්සුම නව අවුරුදු සිරිත් විරිත් 6 ක්

එහෙනම් කට්ටියම තමන්ගේම ක්‍රමේකට 2022 පිළිගන්න ලේස්ති වෙමු.

Sinhala Trending