Located at: 77 Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka
Visited on: 03 Oct, 2017
For some odd and unknown reason, I woke up a couple of mornings ago with the thought of dining at Chutneys. So naturally, perhaps, that is the first place that came to mind when we were contemplating where to have lunch. There was also something else that came to my mind with Chutneys that morning – paper dosai. I don’t know where this all came from, but it lingered. And so I decided to go along with it.
To begin with, we got a set of Ulundu Vadai (LKR 400), which comes as a set of three vadai with white coconut chutney and tomato chutney. Both chutneys tasted good – the white coconut being nice and thick and the tomato not being too runny. Good consistency to get onto the vadai at a dip, and they complimented it well in taste too. The vadai itself was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside – a sure sign that it had been freshly prepared. If I were to point a finger at something, I’d say that it was a tad bit oily. But this could be easily excused since it didn’t compromise on the ability to enjoy the ensemble.
Next was my Paper Dosai (LKR 300). I’ve seen these reasonably massive rolled dosai being served around the restaurant during previous visits but didn’t realise just how obtrusively massive they were until I had one placed in front of me. Massive but paper-thin, I thought. Hence, light and manageable (small appetite, remember?), was my thought process. I was to be corrected in this deduction. I was correct in that it does look deceptively light. But it was also surprisingly filling. This is because, well, there is only so much paper-thinness you can get out of it without having it crack and snap when rolling or plating. It looked so perfect and neat that it felt almost criminal to have to break into it. And it was good. Not too stiff, with just the right crispiness. It was accompanied by the same white coconut and tomato chutneys as before, as well as what tasted like a creamy cashew chutney and sambar. I’m not a big fan of sambar (I tasted it though, and it was pretty decent), so I enjoyed my dosai with the three chutneys. It was almost like the third chutney had brought an element of competition onto the plate, running for the ‘best chutney’ title.
We got a Kari Kari Kuruma – mixed vegetables cooked in cashew gravy (LKR 450) to go with the dosai. This was good too, understandably thicker than the sambar and therefore better with the dosai, I felt. I was tempted to order a portion of butter chicken, more or less a staple when we have Indian cuisine – mostly thanks to Mantra Indian Restaurant at Sunway Pyramid Mall, Malaysia. But then we opted for a change from the usual, which came in the form of a prawn dish recommended by the steward. (Butter chicken will have to wait till next time – with some garlic naan possibly. Yum!) And boy, was this dish a winner. The Chemmeen Curry – prawns cooked with coriander, green chilli, tamarind and coconut (LKR 900), for me, was easily the best find that day. So fresh for a curry! As an advocate for coriander leaves (you’re highly likely to find them somewhere in my dishes), I believe that it was predominantly the coriander that gave this dish such a light and refreshing flavour. Great consistency of the gravy for pretty much anything – dosai, naan, rice; and the prawns were cooked to crunchy perfection. Thoroughly enjoyed and definitely recommend.
Lastly, we also ordered a pot of Era biriyani – prawn biriyani (LKR 1,200) for the table. With a rather generous serving of prawns, this too was something to enjoy. The rice wasn’t oily, but nice and moist. The prawns weren’t as crunchy as with the Chemmeen Curry, but blended in well with the rice and condiments. This also came with a fried boiled egg. But honestly, it was good enough by itself not to need the egg. I didn’t try the raitha that came with it, but that appeared to be pretty decent too – not too watery like the raitha you get at some restaurants. So all in all, it was a really good lunch.
We did go through the dessert options but gave it a pass as, comprehensive as the menu is, most of the choices sounded too rich/oily/starchy – however you prefer to term it. But this is something one must expect with a largely South Indian menu (which also makes Chutneys a great option for vegetarians/vegans, by the way). Instead, I finished up with the Panakam – tamarind juice flavoured with dry ginger and jaggery (LKR 350) I ordered at the inception. Quite sweet, but interestingly and bearably so, with a very mild tang of the tamarind. The sort of thing that can freshen you up mid-day.
Yummy Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Read Part 02 of The Eat Log’s review on Chutneys @ https://theeatlog.com/2018/03/29/chutneys-cinnamon-grand-part-02/