Chopsticks is a quiet, secluded little restaurant somewhere along the main road in Nawala. This is a bit of a contradictory sentence, but you'll see.
A dull yet polished air hangs over the interior and while its appearance is somewhat unremarkable, the atmosphere is cosy.
The inside is extremely dark, as you can tell from the atrocious picture above (my apologies). There's a lot of weird spotlight action going on on the ceilings, a very minimal colour theme, basic furniture and - get this - tons of pictures of old-hollywood icons like Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor and other stars of yesteryear.
Nobody knows and frankly, it doesn't matter.
This is one of those places you go to with a bunch of friends to sit down and talk nonsense (and maybe get drunk, idk). At least that's how I see it.
These guys have a vast menu but their speciality is Sri Lankan - Chinese fusion food. Like fried rice and stir-fried pork and whatnot.
We recommend you stay far away from the 'International Cuisine' section on their menu.
*From top left: Devilled Mushrooms (Rs. 410), Sweet & Sour Chicken (Rs. 480) and Egg Fried Rice (Rs. 380).
We got a large steaming portion of fried rice that was just enough for the three of us. If you're not on an empty stomach, this can easily feed about five. The rice comes with bits of scrambled egg, shredded carrots and a sprinkling of leeks. There's nothing much to describe really, it's just a good plateful of fried rice.
The Sweet & Sour Chicken was a bit disappointing because it was just tiny pieces of chicken coated in heavy batter and deep fried. I didn't prefer this one on account of the heavy batter, but it's still good. You can probably get a better version at Ming Han (another one of my favourites).
We got the Devilled Mushrooms because our favourite Hot Butter Mushroom dish wasn't available. This wasn't as exciting. The dish is heavily spiced with a lot of pepper, but my pals enjoyed it despite my groans.
We also got a bottle of Lion Lager (Rs. 380) but it's Lion Lager so there's no need for further explanation.
This is something we were really impressed with. The waiters aren't at your beck and call because they're busy with all the other tables but from the minute they take your order they're fully attentive.
One of my friends is allergic to onions (go figure) so we explicitly requested for no onion in any of the dishes and they gladly complied. So make sure you tell them what you want and they'll oblige.
I like the place. It's pretty evident, no? There are no frills, no nonsense just straight-forward food and service. Keep in mind that this isn't exactly a fine-dining 5 star rated joint. It's one of those places you can hop on over to at night in your pajamas and have a whinge.
Chopsticks is a down to earth joint in Nawala serving a vast menu of cheerfully Sri Lankanised Chinese food. Fried rice, devilled chicken, black bean pork and so on - the Sino-Lankan side of the menu is huge, and most of what we devoured was incredibly satisfying - good stock-infused pearls of white rice strewn with colourful strands of carrot and leek, and spicy, tender hunks of chilli chicken topped with smatterings of cashew. This is a great example of that wonderful genre of food that Sri Lanka has come to own: Sri Lankan Chinese - a complete spin off on Chinese cuisine that has melded its influences with the affinities of the local palate to take on a distinct and delicious flavour of its own.
And Chopsticks does the genre justice - their food is simple, honest and good. Despite the sheer number of plates cruising the Sri Lankan-Chinese wave, it can still be surprisingly difficult to get your hands on a decent fried rice (Rs. 280) and chilli chicken (Rs. 400), but Chopsticks delivers.
However, there's a section on the menu called 'international favourites' that we'd advise steering well clear of. While the standard rice and chilli paste fare is excellent, the pork knuckle (Rs. 850) - as appealing as it sounds - is somewhat dubious. The accompanying fries are delicious (they taste like Pringles), but the teetering pile of sticky pork-chunks is, well, not great. As exciting as the cordon bleu or schnitzel may sound, just don't do it.
Chopsticks is also a bar. While the downstairs area is intended for sit-down dining, the upstairs is a dimly lit drinking spot - high stools, a TV tuned to Star World and the icy blast of A/C. It's like White Horse before it scrubbed up. A large placard outside promises karaoke, but there's no discernible sign of any kind of musical paraphernalia present.
If you happen to be in Nawala, or reside in the lowly 'burbs of Nugegoda or Dehiwala, Chopsticks is a fine place for a meal and drink. While the drinks aren't super cheap (big Lion - Rs. 250), the place has the delightful air of the mildly dodgy. And the food is great.