The Great Bambalapitiya Biryani Hunt continued last week with a visit to Elite Restaurant, a well-established Indian place opposite the big HSBC on Bauddhaloka Mawatha that offers a wide range of savory veg and non-veg Indian dishes, as well as a range of Indian sweets. After an average biryani from The New Majestic Hotel
a couple of weeks back I was prepared for the worst, but this time the meal really didn't disappoint.
I had the chicken biryani (rice and fried chicken garnished with coconut chutney, fried vegetables and a boiled egg) which was pretty tasty and very filling. It set me back Rs. 280, making it as affordable as most of the other dishes at Elite (mains all cost between Rs. 250- Rs. 500 approx). In addition to this, the restaurant itself was clean, and the waiting staff were polite (if a little officious). So all good, right? Well not quite....
My friend ordered the chicken shawarma which took almost half an hour to arrive. For something that normally falls into the ‘fast food’ bracket this was a bit of a surprise. As we were on our lunch break from work, by the time his food was ready we had to get it to take away and eat on the run back to office. The shawarma also arrived without the chips that were advertised on the menu, though after we complained they eventually sent it back to the kitchen from where it returned 10 minutes later with a few french fries.
What I gather from friends who have been to Elite, as well as a number of existing online reviews, waiting a long time for a meal seems to be a recurring issue with the restaurant. So while the food is affordable and tasty and the staff are friendly enough, it doesn't pay to visit Elite for a if you’re in a hurry or are well and truly famished (unless of course you fancy the biryani which normally arrives pretty sharpish). If you are in central Colombo and have time to spare though, then the restaurant is worth a visit.
If you're in a hurry, either call ahead with your order or give the shawarma (and most other dishes, apart from the biryani) a miss.