Rice and curry places are everywhere. And Ruhunu Foods is yet another place to get your daily staple fix when you're absolutely desperate, but, more on that in a bit.
Found on the side of the road in a very busy part of Wattala, it promises an authentic rice & curry experience, so we decided to give them a shot. Here's how that went.
This is essentially what the restaurant looked like. Mouldy walls, dusty showcases and some not so great chairs serving as the only forms of seating, Ruhunu Foods is worlds apart from the one in Colombo and it isn't for the weak-stomached.
We at YAMU tend to eat from roadside joints all the time. But, this was a whole new level of bad. Literally, almost every surface inside the restaurant was covered with a thick layer of grime, the chairs were rickety and even the drinks they had inside the fridge was covered in dust.
Having a messy restaurant is one thing. Something simple like dusting your tables is something that's an absolute necessity when running a resto, no matter how small. Thus, our somewhat uppity response to the ambience.
With people from all walks of life coming in for a meal, Ruhunu Foods seemed to be a popular joint in the area, and while we couldn't necessarily figure out why it was so after seeing the ambience, the food proved to be a better than anticipated.
We dropped in around lunchtime hoping to get our rice and curry on. I mean, it is called Ruhunu Foods. And that's exactly what we did; because that was the only item available for purchase at 2 pm on a weekday. They don't even have tea at that time, we checked.
The curries themselves were served quite cold. And if we're completely honest about it, it was utterly tasteless. The Eggplant curry tasted like it had been boiled with a dash of spice and the malluma followed suit. The only thing that helped us eat even half of the dish was the dhal curry. Albeit slightly cold, it managed to salvage a bit of creaminess into the whole thing. The carrot curry wasn't all that great either. The Chicken curry did help with the process because it added some flavour to it, but, even that was mostly bone.
All in all, there's no other way to describe this other than the word tasteless. We didn't think rice and curry would ever take on the word tasteless, but, in this case, it does.
The Chicken Fried Rice (Rs. 300) was a whole lot better than the Rice and Curry. Served straight off the pan, the rice came steaming. With bits and bobs of deep-fried chicken making an appearance here and there, the rice was tossed in plenty of green onions which really helped add that lovely acidic kick to it, which we really enjoyed. That being said, it is still just fried rice. It's practically impossible to mess up.
Even the service at Ruhunu Foods matched the ambience. The staff managed to serve up our food within 5 mins of us placing our order. But, it was little things like them giving us gravy stained plates to refusing to give us a proper bill that really pushed us to even remotely complain about the service here.
All in all, we wouldn't recommend it. The food is less than mediocre, the ambience needs a lot of work; with a broom and the staff wasn't all that nice, tbh. Unless you're looking for solid fried rice, we say stay away.