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2/5

Moon River

140, Thimbirigasyaya Road, Colombo 05,


Besides one dish, Moon River gave us nothing to be happy about. We honestly cannot recommend it with all the new alternatives in Colombo.



At some point you realize just how many Chinese restaurants Colombo has. In terms of sit down, air-conditioned restaurants Chinese must outnumber any other category - even local Sri Lankan, by a factor of at least four. I haven't done an exact survey but I'm estimating there must be near 100 Chinese or Chinese inspired establishments in the city. And after what seems like your millionth plate of hot butter cuttlefish you being to wonder - why don't we go for a bit more diversity? Can't we have a few more Thai joints, what about Cuban? Myanmar or Senegalese? Still for a large percentage of Colombar restauranters the tried and tested route through sweet and sour, and egg drop soup, it appears, is the one true path.

What's somewhat amazing however, is that for all this over abundance of hot butter and szechuan pepper you can still find your self excited and impressed by yet another Chinese restaurant- as we were at Moon River. We just enjoyed a superior Chinese meal at 88 and weren't massively excited about the prospect of a meal at Moon River- a large Thimbirgasyaya establishment popular with the mainland Chinese community. This is probably the largest of the city's mainland-Chinese run restaurants and at the 7-8 dinner time favored by our eastern-investors etc. is usually packed with Chinese expats. The menu, which features large pictures of assorted multi-regional Chinese delicacies, is exactly like one you'd get in China. There's a huge selection of authentic staples- hong shao rou, dumplings, di san xian, and more acquired Chinese tastes like chicken feet, jelly fish and 1000 year eggs but they've also made concessions to the local palette including the all-important hot-butter cuttle-fish and Indonesian-inspired curry dishes.

This authentic-Chinese with a dash of local/South East Asian strategy seems to to work - this place is always crowded with Chinese earlier in the evening and locals later on. The interior, while basically unremarkable, is a little more high-end than your average mainland eatery. Lots of bright lights, relatively clean table cloths, private rooms, waiters in those troubling shiny waistcoat things and, of course, the obligatory screen showing Chinese state television.

So blaring CCTV, Chinese owners,lots of mainland patrons- all very promising but, in the end, everything reduces to the food- and it was very good. The Szechuan Chilli chicken (Rs 900) was authentic and spicy with a large dose of those tongue numbing, Szechuan pepper corns (Ma La). The savory and mushroom laden shredded Yuxian pork was excellent (Rs 800), and the meltingly soft Shanghai bean-curd with those creamy, faintly blue cheesey 1000 year eggs(Rs 800), pretty delicious. There was also a very respectable take on hot butter cuttle fish- light, crispy batter, generous tender pieces of squid, The flavors were somehow fresher and more distinct that at most rival Chinese-joints- less grease laden than 88, not as much sickly gloop as Flower Drum. Authentic without being as bland as say Lucky Star - there was plenty of chili and spice. Its really a pretty good balance - authentically Chinese but suitable for spice loving local pallettes.

While the service was a little haphazard - the place was full to capacity, and they got the basics right- dishes were served fast, nothing was mixed up- and they, eventually, made an effort to clear a table for us. There aren't many places in Colombo that you have to wait or a table mid-week- but its worth spending 10 mins on Moon River's couch for a superior Chinese meal. Recommended.

TIP

They should have chicken feet on the menu, if you're adventurous.
All Reviews

Besides one dish, Moon River gave us nothing to be happy about. We honestly cannot recommend it with all the new alternatives in Colombo.

Besides one dish, Moon River gave us nothing to be happy about. We honestly cannot recommend it with all the new alternatives in Colombo.

සිංහල ඒක වෙලාවකට හිතෙනවා කොළඹ කොච්චර චීන අවන්හල් තියෙනවද කියලා. වායුසමීකරණය කරන ලද වාඩිවෙලා ආහාර ගන්න පුළුවන් අවන්හල් ගණන් කරලා බැලුවොත් චීන අවන්හල් තමයි අනිත් ඒවාට වඩා වැඩි වෙන්නේ. ශ්‍රී ලාංකික අවන්හල් වලටත් වඩා චීන අවන්හල් තියේවි. මම හරියාකාර සංගණනයක් කරලා නැහැ. ඒත් අඩුම තරමේ චීන අවන්හල් 100ක්වත් කොළඹ නගරයේ ඇති.හොට් බටර් කට්ල්ෆිෂ් පිඟන් මිලියනයක් කාලා බැලුවට පස්සෙවත් හිතෙන්නේ නැද්ද ඇයි ඔබ වෙනස් තැනකට නොයන්නේ කියලා? අපිට තායි අවන්හල් තව ටිකක් තිබුණොත් කොහොමද? කියුබන් අවන්හල් කොහොමද? මයන්මාර් නැත්නම් සෙනෙගාල් අවන්හල් කොහොමට ඇද්ද? ඒත් කොළඹ ජනගහනයෙන් විශාල කොටසකට චීන අහාර තමයි හුරුපුරුදු.

Address

140, Thimbirigasyaya Road, Colombo 05,

Directions

Head down Thimbirigasyaya Road, pass Sen Saal, its on your right before the turning to Fife road.

Contacts

Report Inaccuracy

Open 11.00 AM-3.00 PM & 6.00PM -11.00 pm

Cuisine

Chinese Sri Lankan Chinese

Price Range

Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000

Dish Types

Seafood

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
2
Quality Rating
3
Service Rating
2
Ambience Rating
2

Similar Places

User Reviews
S
1

5/5

0

shadow

Very tasty, relatively less oily.
There are some very good dishes here, you have to be a bit adventurous to try :)

I was surprised to find this rated so low because leaving aside other things, the food is pretty good hence the place is pretty crowded mostly by Chinese tourists.

S
1

1/5

0

Shaxrina

If you wanna kill your tastebuds or if they are already dead, this is the best place to have your food. Chicken doesn't taste like chicken and there's no flavor in any of the dishes we ordered. Don't bother spending your cash here.

S
1

5/5

0

shadow

Very tasty, relatively less oily.
There are some very good dishes here, you have to be a bit adventurous to try :)

I was surprised to find this rated so low because leaving aside other things, the food is pretty good hence the place is pretty crowded mostly by Chinese tourists.

S
1

1/5

0

Shaxrina

If you wanna kill your tastebuds or if they are already dead, this is the best place to have your food. Chicken doesn't taste like chicken and there's no flavor in any of the dishes we ordered. Don't bother spending your cash here.

Avatar for apricotjam
3

2/5

0

apricotjam

I've been here twice before, ages ago. On the most recent visit the food was very bland (fried rice, a veg dish and a supposed spicy chicken dish), one of the dishes had peanuts in it but this was not mentioned on the menu (given it's a commonly allergy-inducing food, that's crazy), the service was poor too as we were not served water till we had finished the meal and there was no welcome or warmth.

Somehow this place is consistently packed for dinner service though, but it seems to mostly cater to the tourist crowd.

N
1

3/5

0

Namz

Decent little place, btw the phone number is 259-6885, 2596882 is the fax.

See 22 Comments