The newest branch of Elite Indian Restaurant lies smackdab in the middle of Kollupitiya. They have a revamped look going on now, and in terms of food, they seem to work their way towards presenting a quality Indian Experience to their diners.
With a very extensive menu, we had to take a little more time than usual in order to decide what we wanted to have for dinner. After much debate, we decided to skip the burgers, subs, kottu or the fried rice options and go along with the following.
The Cashew Pulao (Rs. 260) that we had was described to us by the waiter as rice infused with cashew that is usually served for kids and patients. Despite this sombre note that was associated with the Cashew Pulao, we decided to try it out, and it turned out to be one of the best options on the menu. The rice had a very light feel to it and was perfectly fluffy and not oily in the least, yet it did not feel dry. The rice consisted of a flavour that we couldn't really put our fingers on, and there was plenty of cashews to go around, along with fresh, crispy veggies.
The Beef Shawarma (Rs. 370) contained plenty of well prepared, tender chunks of beef although the other aspects of the filling, we didn't really love. The slices of onion were sort of too big, and the sauce that had been used gave off a slight after taste. The fries that came with it was quite good; it didn't have that oily, airy feel, but actually felt like chunks of starchy potato, yum. The shawarma is also surprisingly quite filling. The roti that is used is similar to a normal chapati, and complements the filling quite well.
The Chicken Murthaba at Rs. 420, is an absolute steal. Basically a thick paratha with a delicious chicken filling in between the two layers of roti, we'd happily recommend this murthaba.
The Pudina Paratha (Rs. 90) and the Butter Naan (Rs. 100) were both perfectly prepared. The butter naan, not too thick, had that buttered-up taste to it, and the aroma that wafted from it kindled our hunger and tempted us to devour it in one go. The little grinds of mint leaves were infused into the paratha and adorned the surface as well, and gave it that minty edge.
We chose the Butter Chicken Masala to go with the Butter Naan and Paratha, and unfortunately, this wasn't the best of their dishes. The chicken had more bone than flesh, but the thick, spicy gravy that came with it perfectly complemented the paratha. The gravy also went quite well with the Cashew Pulao.
The Fresh Mango Lassi (Rs. 220) was as thick as expected, and while it perfectly encapsulated the mango flavour, it also succeeded in giving off the curd taste that one would expect from a lassi. The Faluda (Rs. 160) was rich in flavour with a generous amount of faluda essence and a refreshing scoop of vanilla ice-cream along with tiny cubes of jelly that succeded in giving it that extra kick.
As mentioned before, the ambience looks like any other Indian restaurant, but it is very well maintained and the place is spotless. It also gives a very cosy vibe and has a separate place upstairs for large groups (30+ people).
The food might take around 20 minutes to arrive, and the staff too are quite friendly and make us feel welcome.
In comparison to our previous experiences of this chain, we're pleasantly surprised by our latest one at their new branch. It seems like they've turned over a new leaf and heading into the right direction. If a taste of India is what you crave for, this is a good option.