Kandos, one of Sri Lanka's oldest chocolate brands, the nostalgia chocolate of the '80s, has its own shop on Thurstan Road. They've got everything from the cheap silver-wrapper chocolates to chocolate biscuit pudding and kahlua candy. Everything is cheap, and it's ideal for some speed gift shopping.
The sweets in this shop are generally in the Rs. 20 - 70 range. There's an interesting range, some chocolates shaped like animals, some with kahlua or rum in them, even some dessert snacks like tarts and eclairs, all using chocolate friendly ingredients like peanuts, cashews, lemon and marshmallow.
Everything has that distinct Kandos taste though, a teensy bit bitter and not nearly as creamy as the international brands we've grown to love (nor as good as chocolate you'd find at, say, Hansa), so if you're an adult your visit here may be purely for nostalgic value. Some of it is still quite good though - they have rum infused chocolate biscuit pudding which the others in office tried, it's very creamy and the rum is strong, and I personally enjoyed the soft marshmallow fudge chocolates and the tiny chocolate cookies. Their liquor-infused chocolates come highly recommended among our friends.
The eclairs were shape eke tasty, especially for the low price of 70 bucks. The brownie we got was rather bitter though, with a dark hit of coffee in it. There is a whole lot of stuff here, so some of it will be hit and miss, some awesome, you'll have to get an assortment and find out.
They've got a bunch of ready-made gift boxes as well if you're looking to do some very quick, obligatory gift shopping.
The Kandos shop is located on Thurstan Road, opposite the Royal College primary. This used to be the residence of Sri Lanka's own Tony Stark, the legendary Upali Wijewardene, who disappears under mysterious circumstances while flying in his private jet in 1983. He acquired the Kandos company, and brought it into the big time, along with other iconic candies such as Delta Toffee.
The shop itself is tiny, with glass display cases. You tell the guy your choices and he bags it up and you pay the cashier. If you're dropping by on a hot day you can get a chocolate drink in a little cup for Rs. 50, a little watery but Kandosy nevertheless and no kid can complain.
The Kandos Shop is an easy, simple solution if you're looking for cheap and tasty over-the-counter chocolatey bites. It's a popular stop and convenient especially if you have kids who are easily excited by chocolate or if you're just a die-hard Kandos fan yourself.
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