The rippling waves that shimmered across the emerald hued waters and the soft breeze that stirred by evoked a sense of calm as I watched a flock of herons nestle adding to the gathering rapture. All at once a mouthwatering aroma greeted my senses and soon I was lost in the midst of the enchanting setting of Fortune Boat.
Words Krishani Peiris Photographs Menaka Aravinda and Indika De Silva
Stepping into the short walkway that led to Fortune Boat – a Chinese Restaurant in the heart of Colombo 7 – I let my eyes drift over the two floors, a small but endearing garden and a man-made pond while savouring the charm that engulfed this unique space.
Named Fortune Boat symbolising the fortune or luck and the shape reminiscent of a boat atop the waters, the restaurant is located in a part of the Olympic House, the official premises of the National Olympic committee of Sri Lanka. Eager to see the interior of this alluring restaurant, I stepped through the threshold intent on exploring the premises to discover all its charms.
The guests who come to dine at Fortune Boat are presented with several enticing options with regard to seating, as there are about six different seating areas to choose from. One side of the first floor houses three enclosed rooms – ideal for private gathering sessions – furnished with wooden furniture, delicate vases and trinkets of Chinese origin. Separating this from a small wooden span and a pond, is an area built to accommodate 85 people while a flight of stairs situated in between leads to the upper floor arrayed to accommodate 44 people. Both these floors overlooking the small lake and beautiful vistas, are adorned with wooden furniture and art of Sri Lankan and Chinese origin. Furthermore, guests can also dine outside at small sheltered tables amidst the greenery and the paved lawns surrounding the building.
Stepping into one of the private dining rooms, a table decorated in purple hues and laden with mouthwatering dishes caught my attention. Peking duck – a delicacy hailing from Beijing and which takes nearly a day to prepare – cut into thin slices, herb steamed chicken, fried yellow fish, ash pumpkin soaked in orange juice, black fungus with wasabi, rice roe and much more completed a table set to perfection. The centrepiece was Fortune Boats’ signature dish, the Fortune Boat steamed fish, where the chilli on top and the tell-tale red colour engulfing the dish attested to its zest. The inviting aromas that wafted from the table left no doubt in my mind that the dishes were made with utmost delicacy and attention to detail.
The restaurant specialises mainly in Szechuan cuisine, a branch of Chinese culinary dedicated to spicy food and Fortune Boat is adept at infusing genuine Chinese ingredients with local ingredients, thus creating authentic and delectable Chinese cuisine. Furthermore, the bar whips up delightful cocktails such as the Fortune Boat Paralyzer, that includes five colour white spirits, southern comfort and much more while the restaurant also has an extensive list of tantalising beverages to select from. Moreover, equipped with much space the restaurant is ideal for functions and going the extra mile to cater to Fortune Boat’s esteemed patrons, they undertake delivery through ‘Hot Wheels’ enabling many to order and enjoy the wonderful dishes in the comfort of their own quarters.
The inviting aromas that wafted from the table left no doubt in my mind that the dishes were made with utmost delicacy and attention to detail.
Bright baubles of lights above punctured through the yellow glow encompassing the floor while the sounds of the BeeGees set a soft rhythm in the background. As dusk gave way into the inky blackness of the night, I was convinced that Fortune Boat yielded a perfect backdrop for good food and peace of mind.
Fortune Boat Chinese Food
100/9F, Independence Avenue,
Tel: (+94 11) 436 8866 (+94) (0)718 030 900