Found on the side of the road, the restaurant is an absolute sight to behold. Essentially a walauwa converted into a restaurant, Mahagedara sticks to its name in many ways. Not particularly in terms of food though, as it's not just Sri Lankan fare as one would expect.
If there's one thing we absolutely loved about Mahagedara, it's probably the ambience.
An old house refurbished into its former glory, the owners of the restaurant had done a stellar job for its ambience. A beautifully white building with wooden windows and plenty of antiques, we loved it.
They've got space at the back, so if it isn't too sunny and there's no chance of rain, we suggest sitting outside. There's a lot of wind and it feels like a picnic. Kudos Mahagedara.
Surprisingly, Mahagedara actually doesn't do that much Lankan food at all. With a book-style menu, they do everything from grilled meats, to fried rice to French fries and very little Lankan fare.
The Mongolian Beef Fried Rice (Rs. 750) sounded very promising, thus why we got it. But, we weren't overly thrilled with what we wound up with.
Essentially just a portion of rather oily rice with a few cut up veggies and minute pieces of beef here and there, it was disappointing. Especially considering how most Mongolian food has heaps of veggies and meat involved to make it much better. Oily and rather bland, it wasn't the best.
The Spicy Chicken Mahagedara Style (Rs. 700) was a lot better than the Fried Rice we got. A generous portion of batter-fried chicken tossed in spices, veggies and sauce, it was quite nice. It doesn't necessarily go all that well with the rice we ordered considering how dry both the dishes were, but it tasted all right and would have been great as a bite.
And from the Western side of things, we decided to get the Fish and Chips (Rs. 900). Slices of fish batter-fried to a crisp, it was more like crumb-fried fish, and not exactly the proper Fish & Chips. It would go nicely as a bite, rather than a main.
Accompanying the fish was a small serving of fries and coleslaw. Store-bought, but fried to just the right amount, the fries were tossed in chilli powder and we happened to like that particular Lankan twist to it.
The Coleslaw, on the other hand, had far too much mayo in it. With the taste of the veggies positively fading into oblivion, we would have liked it if they had toned it down a notch.
The Lime and Soda (Rs. 200) turned out to be a not so fizzy take on the drink that was saltier than expected. With the taste of lime pulling through well, we couldn't complain. I, personally wasn't all that big of a fan of it because of how salty it was.
The Orange Juice (Rs. 175) was a bit better than the lime. Sweet and refreshing, but with too much sugar involved, it was okay but nothing to write home about.
The staff at Mahagedara seemed all right. They were quite welcoming when we arrived but they did take around 30 minutes to get our food in. It's not ideal because there was maybe 2 people aside from us at the restaurant.
In conclusion, all we can say is that while the ambience at Mahagedara is a solid 10/10, but the food could definitely use some work. However, judging by the other people at the restaurant and the food we got, we're gonna say it's a pretty good place to catch up with some friends over a drink.