One of Colombo's oldest Chinese restaurants, Kinjou now shares space with its Japanese counterpart Sakura.
They've both been around since 1991 and the restaurant has a very definite early nineties vibe to it. Its walawwa-esque exterior is touched up with oriental accents, and is both eccentric and comforting at the same time — rather like what you feel when you see Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid.
Given that they now have a Chinese and Japanese menu, we opted for two dishes from both. The food came in no particular order, with the sides and fried rice being among the last to reach the table, but we didn't really mind.
We got a platter of Sashimi Moriawase (literally means mixed sashimi platter) for Rs. 1,600, and some Oshi Sushi for Rs. 990.
The platter was simply and neatly presented, with about 3-4 slices each of tuna, salmon, modha, and squid. The meats were fresh and light, and even though I'm not a huge fan of Japanese cuisine (blasphemous, I know) I actually really enjoyed this!
While we can vouch for the freshness and cuts of the meats, I don't think that modha goes well for either sushi or sashimi: the fish itself is rather rubbery, and also has quite tough tendons which we had to either gulp down or just quietly dispose of in a tissue while attempting to finish it.
Unfortunately, our Oshi Sushi was topped with modha and wasn't all that great as a result: however, the portion was large and we had enough left over to take back to office. Meaning "box sushi", oshi sushi is prepared by compressing the vinegar infused sticky rice into a wooden mold to give it its shape. We found this particular preparation a bit too chunky for our liking (definitely too large to pop into your mouth) and like we said, the modha made it even more difficult to eat.
We got a seafood fried rice (Rs.390) and some Hot Butter Fish (Rs. 690) to go with it because the manager was really enthusiastic about it and got pretty excited in describing how good it was.
This enthusiasm was repeated via Dilina, who also got excited at how unexpectedly good hot butter fish (as opposed to hot butter cuttle fish) was. I have to admit that the excitement was justified, especially as the batter was light, crispy, and hot-hot, and the fish inside it was incredibly soft fillets that just melted as soon as you bit through the fried batter.
The fried rice was enough for two, and was regular fried rice with lots of little shrimps in it.
To finish up, we got some caramel pudding (this was a combination of a recommendation and mistake, as we somehow ended up hearing this as 'caramel ice-cream' made in house). Not really worth the Rs 180 we put down for it because it's basically what you get from a Motha caramel custard packet.
If you've been hooked onto American cartoons with Chinese references (like American Dragon), the interior would probably be nostalgic with all the bright red balloon lanterns interspersed with more intricate lanterns. The space looks enormous until you notice someone familiar walking right upto you and you realize that everything is an illusion... literally. The end of the restaurant is a mirror, making it appear twice as large as life.
Would totally recommend this for a fun family and friends outing, especially if you're a 90s baby into Sri Lankanized Chinese food.
One of Sri Lanka's oldest Chinese and Japanese restaurants, now under one roof.
Kinjou is one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Colombo. Their stuff is as Sri Lankanized as it gets, but it's just okay at best.
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