We heard good things about a Sri Lankan Chinese restaurant that's super close to office, and, so, we decided to go check it out. Apparently, back in 2009 or so, Cherry Flower was known for its Nasi Goreng. A slightly oily, spicy rendition for great value. We decided to try the same, and then some. Sadly, though, this is one of the worst hole-in-the-wall restaurants you can go to. Particularly given the prices, and despite the large quantities of the side dishes, the sheer neglect of quality makes for quite a disappointing meal. Avoid.
UPDATE: Aisha got food poisoning from this meal. Imaad survived with the help of Underberg.
Served on a bed of soft, chili powder spiced samba rice, you get a fried egg and what looks like it could either be a piece of fried fish, chicken or beef, and it's billed as a Nasi Goreng Set Menu (Rs 250). It comes with an equal portion of chop suey, chili paste and pineapple. Or, so we were told. They conveniently forgot about the chili paste and the pineapple. We kind of wish they had forgotten about the chop suey.
Chop suey generally involves corn starch to thicken its gravy, and this one had none of that. It was an insipid watery juice, with an array of wilted vegetables, mostly cabbage, mushrooms with absolutely no flavour, and one tiny follicle of hair (not pictured). Oh, and Aisha insists that the mushrooms were spoilt.
Curious as to how the side dishes would be, we tried the Szechuan Devilled Beef (Rs. 480). It wasn't anything like a Szechuan — no sour, no sweetness, no nothing. The flavour profile was whack. We couldn't quite identify what was going on with the flavour, except for lots of pepper and chili. The beef has no flavour of its own. The sauce is just onion and tomato. We're quite sure these are off-cuts from a butcher, as it's rather gristly and tough. We brought some back to the office. Bhagya tried it and said he could chew it for days. Key word being 'could', he didn't say he would. He described it as being a few molecules away from being rubber.
Then, an hour after we had made our order, the kan kun (Rs 250) finally appeared. It looked relatively fresh, and tasted okay. Just barely okay, though. It still had an off-putting soy sauce going on, but it wasn't as salty as the beef. We tried the two together, and they seemed to balance out. Aisha thought it was mostly the chewiness the beef and the crunch of the kan kun stalks tricking our taste-buds. It was still quite bad.
The combo is still way to soggy to be enjoyable.
There was only one juice available. The Lime Juice (Rs 120) was very sugary and barely tasted of lime. It wasn't chilled. The presentation was weird, with serviettes being tacked onto the glass.
You might want to go with the soft drinks instead.
They've got a purple interior, with deep purple plastic chairs and light purple walls. The tables have plastic sheets over them with gaudy prints. It's kind of kitsch but not in a particularly endearing way.
Service here isn't commendable, either. Our waiter forgot about our order of kan kun until we asked for it when the rest of the food arrived. By the time the kan kun was ready, we were done eating and ready to leave.
We noticed that the regulars were all sticking to the rice and curry. We wished we had tried that instead. Unfortunately, this place does not do a very appetizing take on Sri Lankan Chinese. This was quite a repulsive experience, and it's entirely because of the food. Avoid this place. It's not what it used to be.