Sulthan Palace is where Rahumania used to be at the Town Hall square, and is still a superb spot to pick up some cheap, delicious Indian food. The biriyani is good, and the menu offers a nice wide range of Arabic, Indian and Chinese.
Our chicken biriyani came in a big portion, sufficient for one extremely hungry burly man or two ordinary YAMU scouts. Somebody who knows his biriyani obviously cooked this up, it's tasty, not too oily, with a hefty roast chicken and a pleasant cardamom-cinnamon fragrance. Nothing about the flavours really stood out from your average Indo-Lankan biriyani though - we've had a much tastier chicken biriyani at Kandoori.
Sulthan Palace wins for the delectably wide range of spice packed curries it offers - I'm a special fan of the starters, which are typically slathered in a flavourful paste. We got the Chicken 65, which is a wonderfully sweet-spicy, chilli dripping dish of chicken chunks marinated and deep fried in ginger garlic paste and pepper mustard. Enough said. If you enjoy your spice and a bit of sweetness to toy with your tastebuds, this is a good choice.
They've also got a whole bunch of non-Indian stuff on the menu, as seems to be the custom with the most popular and most affordable of Colombo's little biriyani restaurants. Besides the typical tandoori and naans, there's also sections in the menu for Chinese (Sri Lankanized of course), shawarmas, Palandy, club sandwiches, different preparations of cuttlefish (Chettinad, Kadai, Singapore Style etc), kottu, grilled meats, types of spaghettis and macaronis (!), and even some unique Keralite dishes.
Our plate of hot butter cuttlefish was pretty good, though not your typical HBC - softer, sweeter, and more Indianized.
Sulthan Palace hasn't changed much since its Rahumania days. It's what I'd call a thoroughly upgraded kade - you still see the remnants of its very beginnings downstairs, in the symmetrically placed rows of plastic tables and silver tumblers. But the chairs are now wooden with cushy seats, the service is more personal, and once you climb up the dramatic white staircase there's a cosier A/Ced upstairs for lunch on a hot day.
The place caters to everybody, whether blue collar workers taking a break or families on a day out. Service was great during our visit, the staff was well trained and our dishes arrived fast.
Sulthan Palace is a great place to pig out on tasty comfort food, without busting your wallet - only about Rs. 1000 for all the stuff we got. The service is efficient, they've got a wider range of choices than at most places, and there's always a great play of spices in the curries - I'd definitely drop by again.
Sulthan Palace formerly known as Rahumania is a great spot at the Town Hall hub to get a delicious, cheap range of biriyanis, meats and even Sri Lankanized Chinese.
Rahumaniya's is opened late (2am late), seems to offer a wider selection of Indian-inspired dishes, and now benefits from an extensively refurbished interior.