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3/5

China Doll

8 Alfred House Avenue, Colombo 3


China Doll, once a fresh entry into the Chinese Restaurant tamasha is no longer the jaw dropping experience it once was.



My earliest memory of a doll is me screaming and throwing a tantrum at a friend’s fifth birthday party when with some sinister art the magician made a life sized doll spring to life and start talking.

Yeah, who in the right mind would show that stuff to kids? Hell no - Hell. Friggin’. No.

China Doll, once the freshest entry into the Chinese Restaurant tamasha does little to ease my fear of dolls. With not-so-great service, average, and sometimes pricey food, China Doll is the sort of doll you don't take home to your children, unless…well…you don't like them.

The Food

I remember with fondness when China Doll began. It was so good rumours were flying about - Were these splinter Chinese Dragon Staff?  What strange magic had they conjured into their business?Who keeps eating my Cuttlefish?

One thing that stood out about China Doll was their slightly more East Asian flavours, they had the subtle sigh rendered from Thai flavours, a bit of zest from slightly more authentic Chinese flavours. Now, everything tastes flat.

Act I

The Opening Act was a decent although strange event. Shrouded in mystery I ordered a serving of “Fire Cracker Prawns” assuming this was a spicy starter. I was wrong. It isn’t spicy, but it really isn’t bad either. Essentially a catch of prawns wrapped in the same covering of a spring roll, the “Fire Cracker” in the Fire Cracker Prawns comes from the crunch when you bite into the spring roll-like exterior. It isn’t really flavourful until you dip it into the accompanying sauce. The sauce has mayo somewhere in the mix with the strange heat from a bit of what I think is garlic and something else. Altogether an okay experience, but definitely not worth Rs. 639 of wallet damage dealt to your wallet.

Act II

In this act the kitchen sent out plates of Spicy Kway Theow, Chicken Fried Rice, Hot Buttered Cuttlefish and Singapore Chilli Pork. It did take a bit of time to arrive considering I took ages to eat my starter.

Scene I


The Kway Theow really misses the mark on being spicy. Much like its noodles, flavour-wise the Kway Theow is as flat and sloppy as when Othello imagines Desdemona’s been seeing Cassio (whoops - spoiler alert!). There’s a respectable portion of chicken in the mix but these diced pieces just don’t cut it. They’re not flavoursome in the least. At Rs. 389, it really isn’t a bad deal, however it isn’t a good one either.

Scene II

The Chicken Fried Rice (Rs. 449) was a relief. Bordering on the basic, it made for a decent main nevertheless. There was plenty of volume, and the essence of chicken and egg wafting over the plate. A sizeable portion, this could easily feed three hungry diners with a bit to take home.

Scene III

This is where things get interesting. Sides are usually the sinister villains of the experience. They add flair, mystery and make our protagonists, in this case, the mains undergo turmoil that adds to their character. China Doll however wraps up the most disappointing sides I've had in a while. The Hot Buttered Cuttlefish (Rs. 829) is a decent portion, though bordering on the floury and chewy. It’s okay - but for a little less you could get a larger, tastier plate at Waves or Sawadee (at the expense of ambience). Even the Singapore Chilli Pork was a disappointment. It could almost pass for a Thai dish. There was little heat and almost every piece I ate was nothing but chopped up, chewy strips of fat.

Ambience and Service

The staff could be a bit more pleasant. The staff member who took our order talks a bit like Johnny Bravo. It was a little hard getting through to him. Every sentence ends abruptly in what sounds like a “hoo” or a “ha” as he mutters something and heads who-knows-where. I remember service being much better when China Doll first opened. This was a disappointment.

I always thought that of all Chinese Restaurants in SL, China Doll had one of the better indoor experiences- strange leather chairs, some nice pop-art left for a modicum of visual pleasance. This changed when during intermission I headed to bathroom.

Criticism for China Doll - “One lavatory is out of order, it’s dark, the door won’t close, it’s near the entrance to the kitchen” - The Bogus News Times.

PS. There aren't any handles on the main restaurant doors (?).

Epilogue

Dat Commie Vibe.

China Doll, once the game changer in the Chinese restaurant business is now solidly middle of pack. It's a shame really. We'd love to see China Doll regain its lost glory.


TIP

Try going for a dry dish of prawns or cuttlefish, those still seem to be alright.
All Reviews

China Doll, once a fresh entry into the Chinese Restaurant tamasha is no longer the jaw dropping experience it once was.

China Doll has been known in the past for its awesome variety of well prepared noodles, wonton and fried rice, but lately their food just hasn't been up to the same mark.

The former delivery/take away only China Doll has opened up a large and lovely restaurant on Alfred House Avenue. The menu includes the delivery favourite noodles and chicken wings while also branching into big family servings of popular Chinese dishes: penang curries, hot butter cuttlefish, singapore chilli crab, the works

සිංහල චයිනා ඩෝල් ඉස්සර පිටත ගෙන යන්නට කෑම අලෙවි කිරීම හා නිවසට කෑම ගෙනැවිත් දීම කළ තැනක්. දැන් චයිනා ඩෝල් ඇල්ෆ්‍රඩ් හවුස් ඇවනියුහි ලොකු, ලස්සන අවන්හලක් විවෘත කරලා. එහි මෙනුවේ කලින් නිවසට ගෙනත් කෑම ගත් අයගේ ප්‍රියතම ආහාර වෙලා තිබුණ චිකන් විං සමග නූඩ්ල්ස් වගේ ම පවුලේ අයට සත්කාර කරන්න යෝග්‍ය ආසියානු භෝජන වන පෙනෑං කරි, උණු බටර් දැල්ලෝ, සිංගප්පූරු මිරිස් කකුළුවෝ ආදියත් තිබෙනවා.

Address

8 Alfred House Avenue, Colombo 3

Directions

Alfred House Avenue is a one-way street towards Galle Road, so one way to get there is through Alfred House Gardens off Galle Road - make two rights when you drive in. Or find the Dialog Arcade on the old Duplication Road, and turn right there.

Contacts

Facebook Website

Report Inaccuracy

This place has closed down

Cuisine

Chinese

Price Range

Between Rs. 200 - Rs. 500

Dish Types

Noodles

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
3
Quality Rating
3
Service Rating
2
Ambience Rating
2
User Reviews
K
1

5/5

0

KrishniIresha

Came for dinner last night ( 11/12/12) as always the service was just superb !! Tried a new dish, a thai dish… it was superb !!!! Good portion too !!

K
1

5/5

0

KrishniIresha

Love them !! Me and my friends had the weirdest craving in the evening for tom yum as my friend was sick and alllllll the places in Colombo refused to serve us and these guys opened for us and served us really well… Probably the best customer service place in town !! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GUYS !!

K
1

5/5

0

KrishniIresha

Came for dinner last night ( 11/12/12) as always the service was just superb !! Tried a new dish, a thai dish… it was superb !!!! Good portion too !!

K
1

5/5

0

KrishniIresha

Love them !! Me and my friends had the weirdest craving in the evening for tom yum as my friend was sick and alllllll the places in Colombo refused to serve us and these guys opened for us and served us really well… Probably the best customer service place in town !! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GUYS !!

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