A sheet of dried out water with hints of turmeric adorned the little platform that you have to step on before entering Pradeep's Food Center. They focus on providing their customers with a hearty lunch and dinner, and in this regard, have a variety of options.
Since we went during the afternoon, weathering the traffic and the scorching sun beating mercilessly, they only had rice-based dishes. This led us to order a Chicken Fried Rice and a Fish Rice and Curry.
The Fish Rice and Curry (Rs. 150) consisted of the mallum, brinjal, manioc, dhal and of course, a chunk of fried fish along with a single papadam. The dhal was amongst our favourite curries, because not only did it have a semi-paste-ish texture, but it was also quite spicy, while at the same time, retaining most of the dhal flavour.
The chunk of fried fish had been marinated quite well, but it didn't really feel all that fresh and was slightly tough. This was perhaps the only downside to the meal, as the other curries did quite well. They weren't extraordinary, but also, not bad, precariously balancing on the fence. The rice was quite great: fluffy, not too dry, it was served in an ideal stated.
The Chicken Fried Rice (Rs. 350), just like the Rice and Curry portion was quite huge, if not huger. The fried rice itself was slightly dry and we would have preferred if it had more flavour, but the huge pieces of chicken we received compensated for this. Fried in batter, the chicken too did not have a very fresh feel to it, and although it was quite meaty, it could not be described as succulent. They had also slathered a sauce over the chicken which gave enabled them to disguise the dry feel.
The staff are quite friendly, but also confusing at times, as we had multiple waiters approaching us and asking if we had ordered. The food has only to be served, hence it did not take all that long.
The majority of their business seems to depend on delivery, and we had a whole bunch of riders and others coming in, getting the food to go. However, this does not mean that they've neglected their eating space. It might consist of just a few tables, but it's spotlessly clean.
It's an ideal place to get your daily lunch from if you're in the area, as do many in the vicinity, as it's quite cheap and also filling. It can get slightly warm if it's too crowded, and if you don't like getting exposed to all the hustle and bustle of the Colombo streets, we'd advise you to get the food to go (as many do, from what we observed).