What we had
A restaurant serving multiple purposes in one location!
Say hello to the Port Mc Callum Lock Gate Café and Restaurant which aims to cater to all sorts of customers. It is conveniently located adjoining SLECC so the next time you are at an exhibition or are in the general area do drop by because they are bringing out all the stops! The entire area, in which their café and restaurant are situated separately, is very spacious and is complemented by the scenic wooden bridges to walk across which reminded me of a mini Racecourse.
Basically, the café (open from 8 am – 6 pm) is your usual Lankan pastry shop/bath kade and is built for a quick bite outdoors with a beautiful view of the Beira Lake, while the restaurant offers both a Chinese a la carte menu and a lunch buffet too! Their staff deserves a special mention because they were very accommodating, helpful and recommended the fast-moving dishes which we ended up trying out.
Firstly, the Red Box Chinese Kitchen, which appears to be their main attraction is the latest addition to Colombo’s Authentic Chinese restaurants offering an a la carte menu.
Seafood Fried Rice: Large – LKR 1200
This portion is enough for 4 Pax and is made of basmati rice consisting of shrimp, chopped cuttlefish and fish. It tasted fine on its own but a little more seasoning would have hit just the spot. It was a fine staple for the other dishes we tried out.
Sweet and Sour Fish: Large – LKR 1460
I’m not big on fish but this dish totally changed my perspective! The batter coating was crunchy and the sweet and sour sauce was very flavoursome. Cutting into it, we could see all the layers and the fish looked very delectable! No complaints here because it had a perfect balance of flavours.
Hot Butter Cuttlefish: Small – LKR 970
There is a new contender in town for the best hot butter cuttlefish because Red Box Chinese Kitchen gets it right! The batter was crispy, the cuttlefish was juicyand the dish was very well seasoned, unlike most places which make it too salty. So, the next time you are craving some good HBC to chill with a beer, head on over to Red Box Chinese Kitchen!
Crispy Chicken with Garlic Sauce: Large – LKR 1700
We expected the chicken to be crispy as the name suggests but it really wasn’t all that crispy. However, the chicken was succulent and tender. The garlic sauce was a great accompaniment for the chicken, not too overpowering, and the blend in flavours made our tummies very happy.
We also tried out their buffet which is open from 11 am to 3 pm.
When we visited, their lunch buffet consisted of typical Sri Lankan rice and curry but they switch it up every day so expect to see other dishes too, like pasta and noodles. Guys, this is such a steal because their buffet costs only LKR 595, inclusive of the soup of the day AND dessert!
We were happy with the spread and for 595 rupees, it is really worth your buck.
All in all, The Port Mc Callum Lock Gate Café and Restaurant has done a great job at making the venue a multi-purpose site. They have a separate area available for bookings for parties and functions too, so be sure to think of them for your next get-together.
Tip – They don’t charge corkage, so start making plans with your drinking buddies!