We Ai Family.

Located on Union Place, next to Miniso, this is a relatively small Chinese restaurant, but it is as Chinese as it can be with a Chinese staff and a menu written in Chinese. The thing is, there is nothing about it on social media. They don't have Facebook, Instagram or anything so the only way to make sure if they're open is to call them. Also, you should definitely step in if you happen to pass it on the street. 

The Food

Their menu on the wall was written in Chinese which initially freaked me out because, well…

Thankfully, they gave us an English menu once we sat down. The menu was extensive with a lot of starters, rice dishes, noodles, wontons, dumplings etc. There were a few dessert options too.

The Seafood Noodles (Rs. 900) Vishvi got came in a gigantic bowl. You can't really see it here but it was the size of a watermelon, and it was delicious! The noodles were cooked right and the soup itself had a thick consistency and full of flavour. There were about half a dozen jumbo prawns mixed in with bits of cuttlefish. We kept eating but noodles kept popping up from the bottom. The two of us together could only finish 1/3 of it, and we eat. A lot!

I opted for a Spicy Chicken Rice (Rs. 890) which came in a cool bento plate with sticky rice, fried chicken, cabbage chop suey and a spicy tofu marinade. It's not as spicy as our local food but it was still really good. Everything worked so well together, especially the tofu and rice. The chicken was cooked well with just the right amount of seasoning. It doesn't look like much and quite frankly 800 bucks is a little steep, but it fills you up. It also tastes homemade so it won't make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. 

We also got an Egg Cake (Rs. 450) to try out because it sounded interesting. A little disappointing I must say because we got the waffle version instead of the traditional egg cake which they sometimes make for their New Year. Either way, it was still delicious. The cake was fluffy and smooth with a slightly crispy golden brown on top. It was mildly sweet and fun to eat.

The Drinks

Here's the thing. They don't have a drinks section on the menu (maybe they had on the wall, we don't know) but they have a separate juice bar right next door. So, basically you can ask them what's available and they will bring it to you. 

The Apple Juice (Rs. 400) we got was possibly the best I have had. Period. They have nailed the flavours and the consistency. It was refreshing, delicious and slid down the throat cooling everything down. They have used fresh fruits as opposed to cordial and syrup which we normally get so that natural sweetness was just right. Highly recommend. 

Service and Ambiance

Their service was really good. There were a couple of Sri Lankan waiters but the rest were Chinese. It's run by a family, so everyone from the chef to the cashier was a Chinese fellow. They were friendly and knew enough English to communicate. 

As soon as you walk in, it's like walking into a street food cafe in China. The minimalistic decor and the comfy wooden seatings gave off a cozy and homey vibe. Everyone looked pretty chill and we noticed that even the staff had their meals on these tables, which I thought was really nice. 

Conclusion

If you want to try authentic Chinese cuisine without drilling a hole in your pocket, definitely check out this place. The food is great.

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