Chinese Dragon is one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Colombo, and it's a name synonymous with Sri Lankanized Chinese food. Their delivery is also pretty efficient. We dropped into their restaurant on Milagiriya Avenue for lunch.
Basically, you can either have noodles or rice. While nowadays there's Chinese restaurants that will serve you a variety of noodles, Chinese Dragon just serves up those Harischandra type noodles. You can get chicken, pork, beef, fish, cuttlefish or prawns. The food isn't authentic Chinese by any means.
We started off with Prawn Spring Rolls (Rs 400) and they were way too oily to be appetizing. It came with a gingery lemon juice dip that made it somewhat palatable. We didn't care much for this.
On the bright side, our Hot Butter Cuttlefish (Rs 700) was pretty legit. It wasn't too oily, and had been drained well so that it was actually quite dry and crisp. They mix it up with chili paste after it's fried, so it's quite spicy. It isn't as flavourful as what you get at The Station, but it's quite good and you get a fair portion for the price.
We didn't expect much from the noodles and what was served up didn't surprise us. The fried noodles with chicken (Rs 370) hardly had any chicken in it, and three people could have eaten this regular portion.
We decided to do as the Chinese do and ordered a whole garupa. A 400g fish cost us (Rs 1245) at Rs 310 per 100 grams. The garoupa was steamed with ginger and spring onion. We quite enjoyed it. The fish was cooked well but the flavour wasn't spectacular. There were some ginger notes but not enough to really make an impression.
For drinks, we got a watermelon juice (Rs 270) and a lime juice (Rs 90). Both were pretty watered down and overly sweet. When left alone, all the pulp in the watermelon juice just rose to the top and half the glass was just water. Sadness.
The whole time we were there, we were kept company by flies. Not just one irksome fly, lots of them. For an air-conditioned, closed space, this was surprising. Otherwise the place seems clean and has a straightforward look and feel. Service was pretty prompt.
Chinese Dragon has a long, long way to go if it wants to be considered a legit Chinese restaurant. There's just too much competition and quite a few options for authentic Chinese food in Colombo. Even when it comes to Sri Lankanized Chinese food, you can get a better deal elsewhere. So, what is their redeeming quality? Their delivery is pretty reliable and they've got long-standing nostalgia value. That's about it.
Chinese Dragon is one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Colombo, and it's a name synonymous with Sri Lankanized Chinese food.
It's been a while since our last review of Chinese Dragon, so we decided to try out their deliver for a change. Boy oh boy, were we ever disappointed.
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.
தமிழ் இலங்கையில் ஆரம்பிக்கப்பட்ட முதல் சீன உணவகமான (1942) சைனீஸ் ட்ரகன் கபே கொழும்பில் நீண்டகாலமாக தொடர்ந்து இயங்கும் உணவகங்களில் ஒன்றாகும். இது இன்றும் சீனாவில் இருந்து இங்கு குடியேறிய ஸ்தாபகரின் வாரிசுகளால் நடாத்தப்படுகின்றது.