It's been a while since we've been called Ceylon, but there are still a few places here and there that still stick by that name even decades after it was changed. Bringing on things both royal and Ceilao-like, Ceylon King is one of the newer restaurants that sprouted up in the Kotte region.
And while I've passed it multiple times on my way to work, it was today that we finally decided to call it a day and put on the effort of getting some lunch there.
Out of all the rice and curry spots that I have been to, Ceylon King had to be one the fanciest looking restos around. Taking up quite a bit of the road-view, the establishment is almost like a big red stop sign, so it's practically impossible to miss when you're passing it.
With a space specifically allocated for those who want to get their food to go, the back of the building is saved for those who choose to dine in. Plenty (enough to seat at least 30 people without batting an eyelash) of wooden seating, muted tones and air conditioning, we liked it.
They also have private rooms if you choose to dine without strangers making awkward eye contact with you.
The menu at Ceylon King isn't particularly diverse in some areas but covers a lot in others. We realize how confusing that sentence sounds, so bear with us while we try to explain.
Soups and maybe 5 varieties of starters is followed by the usual rice and noodles on this one. And along with these carbs come to the option of going with meat, and the extent of meat they have there is slightly alarming. From pork to chicken to crab to fish and even beef, they seem to cover a lot in the meat department for those interested.
The Pork Rice and Curry came at a pretty decent Rs. 350. The portion size is enough for 2 to share quite comfortably and the amount of pork they give with the rice is enough to have you raising your eyebrows. Served with the default dhal curry and a helping of their jack fruit curry, we were allowed to choose the rest.
A fluffy bed of white rice, slightly bland parippu and a super creamy jack fruit curry, the defaults in this packet didn't disappoint. The Beans had been tempered with oil and chilli till a strong spicy note erupted in your mouth till the watery beans took over and the Beetroot curry that -while being not overly creamy, managed to complement the rice quite well.
A special mention should be made for the pork they serve because even though the meat was served as quite a generous amount, it was served with a severe slathering of spices including a whole heap of pepper and didn't comprise of just pieces of fat. It's not always that you come across a pork curry that doesn't have a whole heap of fat, and for this, we are grateful.
Sunny yellow samba rice with a bit of creamy salad, tempered potato, tempered brinjal and a whole chicken quarter, the rice served at Ceylon King came as a generous portion that tasted quite good. The chicken had been smothered in spice and gravy that had disappeared into the meat and was all in all quite flavourful. Combined with the crunchy, creamy veggies, the spicy potato and the sweet brinjal, we really liked it.
The Hot and Spicy Chicken (Rs. 818 for a small portion) came as a serving enough for two. Speckled with capsicum and onions, the dish didn't necessarily live up to its name. While it did have the hot part on point, they had somehow missed the whole "spicy" part of the whole escapade. Saucier than most, but having lots of thinly batter-fried chicken with sogged up batter, we weren't the biggest fans of it, but found the dish to be all right nonetheless.
One of the best parts of our experience at Ceylon King had to be with the staff. Everyone at the restaurant was super friendly and was willing to help out with absolutely anything. After taking pictures of the first 2 dishes, the staff (knowing that we had ordered it as take-away) willingly put it in a dish and brought it to us even if we had told them that the pictures were just for something personal.
Managing to bring our food without taking a lot of our time, we say kudos to the staff here.
We liked it. Sure, the food is a bit more expensive than your usual spot, they are tasty and it comes in generous portions, so you can't really complain too much. All in all, we say go for it.