What we had
A delicious family affair!
Kandoori is an Indian specialty restaurant that’s been around for the longest time. With roots in Beruwala, they opened a new outlet in Colombo some 4 years ago and have been excelling in the “family run business catering to a family oriented customer base” ever since. The place boasts it’s of group seating options, a clean environment and a super-efficient staff base. We had a chance to have a small chat with the owner and hetold us about how their chefs work with nothing but spices flown in all the way from India. Although their focus is on biryani and Indian cuisine, they also offer rice and curries, Chinese and lots of other delicious options.
We were super hungry and didn’t dilly-dally too much with appetizers and drinks, but we did dig in to quite a few of the mains.
Hot butter cuttlefish (Rs. 560)
If there’s one thing that Kandoori does right, it’s their Hot Butter Cuttlefish. This dish was packed full of flavor, crispy and had the signature sweet and sour flavors of a Sri Lankan staple. Tossed in with capsicum and spring onions, it’s one of the better cuttlefish dishes I’ve eaten and sure does pack a punch.
Chicken Biryani (Rs. 520)
The Chicken Biryani is a large portion of long grains of basmati in fragrant spices, served with a Malay pickle and a humongous piece of chicken. The pickle was authentic with lots of onions, capsicum and dates tossed in and the chicken was flavored well and quite succulent. For the price, the portion is hefty and can be shared between two if you’re not too hungry.
Kandoori Rice and Curry Mix – Fish (Rs. 590)
This is a mixed fish rice and curry that is their own creation. A mix rice apparently entails all your curries being mixed into the rice and being topped off with the meat. So we had fried potatoes, ladies fingers and onions all tossed into the rice, topped off with chili fish. In terms of flavor, the rice had lots of bits and pieces (like curry leaves and other spices) in it that made it a little difficult to eat but the fish was flavorful and fresh. It was batter fried and then wok tossed and was absolutely delicious. I’m unsure of the execution of this dish as a whole but I would definitely go back for the chili fish.
Seafood Chopsuey Rice (680)
A Sri Lankan-ised Chinese favorite, the seafood chopsuey rice was quite a large serving of food, made up of lots of beans, carrots and cabbage and they definitely didn’t hold back on the prawns and cuttlefish. Packed full of seafood, it has a very prawn-y, pretty ordinary Chinese flavor to it, but was very filling and more than enough for one very hungry person.
Chicken 65 (Rs. 450)
The chicken 65 is an interesting dish, batter fried and then tossed in an umami sauce, served with lots of green chilies and karapincha. There’s a great sweet and sour balance going on here and was my favorite dish of the afternoon.
Chili Chicken (Rs. 450)
As opposed to drier chilli chickens you would find in other shops, this chili chicken was tossed in a delicious gravy and is perfect to eat with naans and breads. It has quite a sour initial taste but once you dig in, you can’t stop. It’s perfect as a side dish too, to accompany your Chopsuey rice.
Chicken tikka masala (Rs. 710)
The Chicken Tikka Masala was topped off with lots of coriander and hearty flavors. If you feel the biryani lacks a little gravy, the Tikka will be ideal to add to it. The meat was soft and succulent and definitely worth raving about.
Paneer Makhani (Rs. 720)
Paneer is an Indian staple. It’s essentially cottage cheese with spices and oodles of gravy, perfect for that naan binge. The version at Kandoori had quite a few large chunks of spice that interrupt your experience with the delicious paneer but the flavors still don’t fail to amaze and is a definite go-to with a butter naan or some such carb.
The service at Kandoori is very friendly, attentive and fast and there are no lack of wait-staff to attend to your every need. In terms of ambience, there isn’t any music and the lighting is pretty artificial, but it would make for a great setting for a large and raucous family to experience a hearty but affordable meal.
Tip: the Chicken 65 and Hot Butter Cuttlefish are real winners
Have you been to Kandoori yet? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!