Noticed that elegant restaurant replacing the old Alexandra & Ward Fashion Cafe inside the ODEL Promenade? Known as the Wan Ge Di Ya (concatenate the words together and you get wangediya), it serves culinary highlights from eight Asian countries, under one roof. Sounds pretty cool, right?
So let's go in and have a look!
Their menu is carefully curated with a range of signature dishes from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore. Each dish is neatly categorised under the country name, so you will know from where they come from.
A popular delicacy from the streets of Hong Kong - the Cantonese Chicken & Salted Fish Fried Rice (Rs. 850) was delicious. Cooked in a hot wok, it was a hearty portion of long grain basmati rice, with lots and lots of chicken bits, seafood and egg. We could taste them in every spoonful. The seasoning was on point, and the rice wasn't too oily, plus it was served warm on a lid of a clay pot. So the warmth lasts long.
While adding some colour to the plate, the sprinkle of spring onions and lettuce added a fresh feel to it. Soaked in a thick Duck sauce, the Chinese Roast Duck (Rs. 1400) was served with some bok choy on the side. However, we didn't get the helping of steamed rice as they promised on the menu.
The duck sauce was the highlight of this dish. With perfectly balanced sweet and sour flavours, it left a fruity note on our palate. The meat was podduck bland though. Slow roast and little-too-much chewy in texture, it presented a gamey taste - but we wish if they could have added a bit of seasoning to it.
Wan Ge Di Ya does a delightful Beef Randang (Rs. 1200), a plate from Malaysian culinary fare. Served in a warm clay pot, it had around five nuggets of well-cooked beef, smothered with a creamy, luscious gravy.
Thanks to having absorbed all the flavours of the pureed onions, chillies, garlic, and other spices added to it - the beef pieces were a spice-packed, gastronomic treat.
Our dessert - the Sago Gula Melaka (Rs. 400) was again from Malaysia. Drenched in fragrant coconut milk and sweetened with gula melaka, the sago pearls were nicely boiled, and had a handful of cashew nuts and karthakolomban bits swimming about. We liked how they had gone easy on the gula melaka, allowing the sweet and acidic flavours of karthakolomban to come through perfectly. This is a hot dessert, also a filling portion, so you might want to share it with someone.
We tried three drinks - Malaysian Syrup Bandung (Rs. 300), Japanese Mugicha (Rs. 200) and Thai Iced Tea (Rs. 200).
If you are still debating on whether you should visit this place, just have a look at this picture of its interior.
Kinda gives it away there, right?
Owning up a kaleidoscopic ceiling filled with sophisticated Asian lanterns, the interior at Wan Ge Di Ya is unique, glamorous and memorable. Adorned with lights, these lanterns sure seem to get the attention. Paired with the tasteful music that fills the room, the place has this whole festive vibe going on. You can take a hundred pictures of this ceiling and not get tired of that.
One corner of the restaurant is dedicated to different action stations, where you can watch how everything is being made. It's a semi-indoor restaurant, so no airconditioning can be expected. However, you don't have to worry about the blistering Colombo heat while you dine here - they've set up a bunch of massive fans to cool down the place, and also a misting system. So, if you're sitting at a table closer to the terrace, you might get rained on time to time.
In terms of service, it was excellent - efficient, friendly and absolutely helpful.
Offering the chance to enjoy delicacies from eight different countries at one sitting, we quite loved our experience at the Wan Ge Di Ya. The interior is super impressive, prices are pocket-friendly, and the food sure seems to satisfy.