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3/5

Chinese Dragon Cafe

11 Milagiriya Avenue, Colombo 4


One of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Colombo, Chinese Dragon does an okay job.



The mother of them all. Sri Lanka’s first Chinese restaurant opened its doors in 1942 and stands as one of the oldest continuously functioning restaurants in Colombo.

In its now slightly dark and faintly grubby dining rooms some of the classics of Sri Lankan Chinese food including (they claim) hot butter cuttlefish and devilled prawns first appeared on customer’s plates. They’ve been feeding people for generations and the tale of the original immigrant owners, whose descendents still run the place, is pretty gripping.

While it started as an innovator (there really was no other Chinese restaurant in Colombo in 1942)  Chinese Dragon has survived by offering Sri Lankan-Chinese classics at value prices. When Flower Drum, Flower Lounge, Orient Hong Kong, Peach Valley and other Chinese challengers emerged onto the scene Chinese Dragon stayed competitive with a sharp pricing policy. But times change and after years catering to the bargain segment of Colombo’s Chinese food loving populace the last few years has seen an attempt to go up market. The old colonial premise is now air-conditioned and their new China Doll Pan-Asian food delivery service has attracted a host of higher end consumers.

The problem with these upgrades is that the original good value premise has been eroded. A simple meal for three - hot butter cuttlefish (Rs. 750), Prawns in Thai Chilli Sauce (Rs. 700), Kankun (Rs. 400), Fried Rice (Rs. 450), and a few lime sodas (Rs. 250 each) now comes to over Rs. 3000 (remember the old ++). This may not be extortionate by Colombo standards but it’s no longer cheap, and at that level of pricing Chinese Dragon’s faded interior just doesn’t cut it. The food is also struggling to keep pace with the times. While the China Doll service is excellent, the offerings at the original Milagiriya Street restaurant aren’t particularly memorable. Chinese Dragon may have invented hot butter cuttlefish but if its current version of the classic is anything to go by the dish was clearly perfected elsewhere.

There are still some hits on the menu, belly pork (Rs. 500) is good value as is the garlic fish. Some of the rice dishes aren’t bad either but generally the food needs either an over haul or a revaluation.

Immortal it maybe but without a bit of a revamp people will begin to lose faith in even the god- father of Chinese food.

Address

11 Milagiriya Avenue, Colombo 4

Directions

Milagiriya Avenue is just north of Dickman's Road on Galle Road, as it becomes uniflow. From Marine Drive, it's just near the Bamba flats, between Melbourne and Jaya roads.

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User Reviews
Avatar for Ashi
1

2/5

0

Ashi

not friendly staff and quality of food is not good.

R
7

1/5

0

Ravi

Terrible food and service. Portions are small and the Baked Crab is really 'Baked Cabbage' in a crab shell.
A definite no. no.
The age of the place is of no importance 'cos we are not interested in its antique value! The owners/management have changed and so have the staff!
(11 Milagiriya Avenue, Colombo 4)

A
1

1/5

0

Axcilate09

Ordered at 18.14 and even at 20.32 the order was not delivered. Absolutely pathetic service!

Avatar for Ashi
1

2/5

0

Ashi

not friendly staff and quality of food is not good.

R
7

1/5

0

Ravi

Terrible food and service. Portions are small and the Baked Crab is really 'Baked Cabbage' in a crab shell.
A definite no. no.
The age of the place is of no importance 'cos we are not interested in its antique value! The owners/management have changed and so have the staff!
(11 Milagiriya Avenue, Colombo 4)

A
1

1/5

0

Axcilate09

Ordered at 18.14 and even at 20.32 the order was not delivered. Absolutely pathetic service!

V
1

1/5

0

VT

Ordered food around 7.30 pm and delivered at 10. 00 pm. Don’t use Chinese Dragon delivery. It’s terrible

A
1

2/5

1

asanka28864

RATED 0.2/5
Worst Place to have Chinese food. This place was great earlier.
Today we ordered mixed Fried rice (usually it taste like pork, beef, prawns, chicken) from Chinese dragon cafe Wattala and we didn’t feel at all. Nothing like Chinese food taste and small QTY also.

H
1

1/5

1

hasileoz

Small Portion, High Price

See 37 Comments