Restaurant Reviews TenderFresh- Reviewed

TenderFresh- Reviewed

2016 Dec 3

Open Time:

12.00 noon – 12.00 a.m.


No.400, R A De Mel Mawatha,Kollupitiya, Colombo 03


Contact No


by Anuki Premachandra

Grill it like it’s hot


TenderFresh is a fast-food Singaporean franchise that was brought to the country not too long ago and was relocated down Duplication road a few months back. Its new location is just before the Manhattan Fish Market. Their menu focuses on an array of chicken dishes, their tagline that highlighted Quality and Good Food didn’t really live up to standards from the not-so-great experience we had.

Their specialty is roast chicken and they have some pretty neat chicken dishes, along with a few fish and pork ones. They’ve added a variety of great pasta combos as well, so if you’re not in the mood for chicken, you can try these alternatives out.


TenderFresh is your typical franchise; it’s got that ‘hustle-bustle’ look and feel. They open at noon so you can drop in to grab a quick lunch and they’re open till 12 midnight – if you feel like having some good buffalo wings for dinner.

Service is fast, but the waiters aren’t exactly very cordial. It isn’t the show-you-to-your-seat, check-up-on-you-after-your-meals kind of service. We really felt like they need to work on their waiters and their service overall.

Apparently upstairs seating isn’t allowed on the weekdays (kinda sucks but it’s understandable). The place has a modern playroom vibe to it – it’s a cozy chilled out restaurant with café chairs, wooden floor panels and an interesting match-up of colour and décor. Simple, fast food feel but a version higher compared to places like McDonalds.

They’ve got some groovy tunes playing on an overhead speaker, too.

Food and Drinks

Drinks: Milky Rose Cooler – Rs. 340, Chill Coconut Water – Rs. 390

They don’t have a long list of options but they do have some out-of-the-box mix-ups that we tried.

The milky rose cooler, to us seemed different, and hence our decision to indulge our hungry stomachs in it. Sadly, this was a terrible let down. It tasted less rose and less milky and more faluda and watery. The drink was a little too sweet and I would have preferred some kasa kasa, a dollop of vanilla ice cream and for the drink to be renamed good ol’ faluda instead. At least, this was the better option.


I’m not going to sugar coat it, the chilled coconut water was a disaster! It was a small bottle of coconut water and the brand name on it was “Tropical Fruits”. Well sadly, the coconut water did not taste tropical at all. It tasted processed and I figured this because they needed the water to stay fresh (the irony) longer.

Not the best two options, but if you find yourself at cross-roads, I’d pick the Rose Water cooler.

Appetizers: Buffalo Drumlets – Rs. 590, Fries with meat sauce and egg – Rs. 640 and Cream of Chicken Soup – Rs. 240

The Buffalo Drumlets was actually an interesting dish to try. They tasted really good and were a great whip-up of the traditional buffalo wings you would find. The drumlets were cocooned in a thick buffalo sauce that was the right amount of sweet, spicy and tinge of salty. The skin was crispy on the outside and juicy, succulent on the inside. The Drumlets were accompanied with a coleslaw, this we felt like this could improve so much more because it looked like a pile of blended veggies and tasted so, too.


Our next pick; Fries w/ meat sauce and egg did really blow us away. The portion was massive and it was a super adventurous dish to try. The fries had turned a little soggy within the layers of egg, meat sauce and what tasted like mayo and cheddar. It was absolutely loaded with fries and sauce, a little less meaty though. Ah, I did find a few yummy button mushroom slices tucked under the fried egg.


We had a love-hate relationship with the cream of chicken soup. On the one hand, it wasn’t thick at all and felt like packet-soup (I think it was). But on the other hand, it did taste pretty good and the fact that it wasn’t super thick gave us the assurance that it wasn’t loaded on corn flour. The chicken cubes were a little dry but the soup was paired up with a slice of garlic bread that tasted amazing. It was a great add-on to the soup. 


Mains: Roasted Leg of Beauty with Rice – Rs. 690 and Crispy Fried Chicken (2 piece combo) – Rs. 740

Let’s start with what we liked more. The roasted leg of beauty was great! – they do keep their promises with the roast chicken. The skin was the right amount of crispy, it was loaded with flavour and had a slight char to it. The meat was pretty juicy on the first few bites, but as it got closer to the bone, the more it got drier. The chicken was a star though, it’s a definite recommend. The rice it was paired up with, did not give us a run for our money. The rice was super dry and grainy. But the gravy that came with it sort of helped bind it together. It’s literally a copy of KFC’s biriyani – it’s so close to the taste and texture.


The crispy fried chicken was less of a favourite – this is where they suck at keeping promises. Actually, we had to send it back because it was an absolute wreck. The chicken wings were fried beyond repair and the skin of the chicken was too salty for human taste receptors. They did rush back and prepare the dish again, but it wasn’t exemplary – it just tasted far less salty. 


Dessert: Creme Brulee – Rs. 390

The Crème Brulee was god-sent after a not-so-great experience at TenderFresh. On the lookout for good Crème Brulee in Colombo, I think we found one that made it to the top 5. It was super creamy and only kept getting better with every bite. The sugar on top was caramelized beautifully and it left fragile shards of hardened sugar when you tap it with your spoon. Again, definitely another recommend.


Tip: If you check into TenderFresh on FB and show it to the staff, you get a free soup!!! (I know you’re never going to turn your back on freebies)

Let us know what you think of Tender Fresh in the comments below! Is there anything we’ve missed?