Dehiwala is the largest suburb of Colombo and lies to the south of it. It is one of the biggest hubs for retail shopping around the province. As if to show for its extensive population and rapid industrialization and urbanization in recent years Dehiwala is made up of winding interconnected roads that are almost root-like.
While Galle Road, Dehiwala is mostly populated with the clothing and footwear outlets and dotted with occasional Bombay Sweet joints the real food game begins when you enter Hill Street. Slowly working its way into becoming a slightly elevated “aluth kadey” (the street food hub at Slave Island) Hill Street is vastly populated with family friendly restaurants of a large variety of cuisines from Indian and Middle Eastern to Malaysian and Mongolian. We decided to experience as many of these restaurants as we could in one evening and try their signature dishes. This is much similar to club hopping (the act of making a series of short visits to a series of nightclubs) hence we decided to call it restaurant hopping.
We made our first stop in the much heard of “Malay Food”. The menu had a clever blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. Don’t let the bustling counter at the entrance fool you. Malay Restaurant is more than just a food joint that does takeaways and deliveries. There is a well lit, spacious dining area suitable for families and large crowds. One of the many reasons we stopped here first is their large portion sizes and we weren’t let down. One portion of our mains (Malay style mixed noodles) seemed enough for at least 3 hungry people with ample amounts of protein. If any our only complaint was that the food took longer than we expected.
Cuisines include: Malaysian, Mongolian, Indian, Western, Middle Eastern and Sri Lankan and Sri Lankan Malay.
Cafe Asiana is smack in the middle of the busy hub that Hill Street has become. You get some folks here on their lunch break and especially family gatherings during dinner. The ambience is nothing to speak of, your typical middle class restaurant, and the service was alright – our waiter was particularly obliging when we asked for recommendations. We recommend their mongolian Rice, much like Malay Restaurant, a single portion is enough for 3 or 4 moderately hungry people.
Cuisines include: Indian, Chinese, Singaporean, and Sri Lankan
Nelum Flower is a restaurant in Dehiwala that looks like almost every buth kadey in Colombo – which, essentially it is, except that all its food come firmly wrapped in a lotus leaf which was a new experience for most of us. Nelum Flower has – in terms of protein, one of the largest selections we’ve come across. From fish curry to deep fried fish to prawn curry, crab curry and chicken cooked in at least 3 ways. The food was quite nice, the prawn curry tying everything up in one delicious bow. The service was fast and the staff was nice. We loved it.
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Though known as burger hut their menu is very large and ironically, they only have about 5-6 burger options. Everything else is rice, pasta, sandwiches, submarines, kottu and paratha. Their service wasn’t the fastest but we were introduced to the best veggie burger we have had in a while.
Cuisine: Western, Indian and Chinese
Not initially part of the agenda we happened to spot this restaurant and stepped in. Consisting of private rooms for families the ambience created was quite calming we went for the mixed grill platter and were not disappointed at how large the portion was. Definitely enough for at least 3 people. The staff were very accommodating and the manager kept checking on us. Overall a very good experience and hope they’ll keep the service, the quality and the quantity of the dishes the same. Highly recommend
Cuisine: Western and Middle Eastern
Big Bite Biryani
They say save the best for last so we stopped at Big Bite Biriyani for their signature pakistani biryani. They offer the two things that Sri Lankans expect when it comes to any rice dish – massive portions at an affordable price. Their basic chicken biriyani is priced at Rs. 250, with the BBQ chicken biriyani costing Rs. 450. They cook it in this massive metal pot and serve it throughout the night. Literally through the night because according to the waiter who served us they close at 4:30 a.m.the next day.
No matter what kind of food you are in the mood for, you are bound to find something to satisfy the craving up Hill Street. So if you find yourself in the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia region and ‘Aluth Kadey’ is definitely out of the way check out your options at Hill street you won’t be disappointed.
Watch this space for more about things to do in Dehiwala and Mount Lavinia. Looking for affordable stays in the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia region? Hit us up. Call us on 0117344444 and check out www.yohobed.com for quality stays at affordable rates.