The Great Wall Restaurant, a culinary legend of Colombo, celebrates 26 years.
Words Yomal Senerath-Yapa
Photographs Vishwathan Tharmakulasingham
The Great Wall Restaurant materializes with a quaint Chinese identity. Paper lanterns glow and Chinese lions stand guard like spirits protecting a temple who may spring to life any time. The solid doors wheel open and we walk into a room where the imperial grandeur of China meets the hospitality of its dining rooms. There is dark, elegant furniture and walls of rough brick. Two terracotta warriors stand to attention.
This year, Great Wall Restaurant is celebrating 26 years of serving authentic Chinese and Far Eastern cuisine to Colombo diners. Great Wall was opened in 1991, at a location which had an establishment by the name of Great Wall that was operated by a traditional Chinese family. Therefore, it was deemed appropriate to keep the original name.
Great Wall Restaurant, in order to blend in more diversity, has made space for other far eastern cuisines such as Singaporean, Thai and also Malay. Some of the restaurant’s most beloved signature dishes are classics such as Hot Butter Cuttlefish and Singapore Chilli Prawns, however some of the innovative new items have caught on splendidly, the Hot Butter Lotus Roots and delicious Black Pepper Lotus Roots, with the Sweet Potato Leaves, are now fast moving.
The Restaurant takes pride in using authentic ingredients with very little artificial additives. Their Tom Yum soup, for example, is one of the most painstakingly and also authentically made in Colombo. Every month they add something new to the vegetarian menu, some of the latest being the delicious Tso’s Cauliflower and Pak Choy with black mushroom.
Chinese patrons and many regulars from across the world including the UK, US, continental Europe and Canada, dine at Great Wall. The ambience complements the food. Elegant Chinese folding screens in wood embellished with geishas in willowy settings or quaint bedchambers, and antique lamps hanging in the corners of the walls, complete the picture of Far Eastern mystique.
The VVIP Lounge and the VIP room are named ‘Golden Lotus’ and Jade. The ‘Jade Room’, in red, has a Laughing Buddha statue in a circular recess and dainty red wind chimes and porcelain. The ‘Golden Lotus Lounge’, dim lit, sensuous in dark ruby, has classic artistic sculpture of the namesake plant softly flood lit. The restaurant’s lavish banquet hall can seat 100.
The staff itself deserves special mention, given the warm hospitality and care for diners. The culinary team is headed by three chefs who have served here for 25 years. The front office staff too have been part of the restaurant for a long time.
To celebrate the 26th anniversary, Great Wall has many specials for their diners. To experience authentic Far Eastern cuisine, a visit to Great Wall Restaurant is a must.
[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”1380″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails” override_thumbnail_settings=”0″ thumbnail_width=”100″ thumbnail_height=”80″ thumbnail_crop=”1″ images_per_page=”20″ number_of_columns=”0″ ajax_pagination=”0″ show_all_in_lightbox=”0″ use_imagebrowser_effect=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″ slideshow_link_text=”[Show as slideshow]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]