Softlogic Restaurants Pvt Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of one of Sri Lanka’s foremost and diversified conglomerates, Softlogic Holdings PLC, in their latest venture has set sights on spicing up your life and giving your tastebuds a truly Asian experience like never before. The Softlogic Group with leading market positions in sectors such as retail, healthcare, ICT, automobiles, leisure, financial services and more relevantly being the master franchisee for international restaurant chains such as Burger King, Baskin Robbins and Délifrance, redefined authentic Asian restaurants when they launched ‘Wan Ge Di Ya’ in late November 2018.
If you happen to be wandering around The Promenade one look in Wan Ge Di Ya’s direction will make your Instagram-dedicated heart skip a beat. It’s certainly an interest-peaking restaurant – I say this because, a) the name ‘Wan Ge Di Ya’, while being very familiar to some Sri Lankans, is inspired by the stone mortar and pestle that is used in all the Asian cuisines the restaurant offers, and b) the lanterns, the lanterns and more lanterns! 450 to be exact, just hanging up there looking bright, breathtaking and ready for the click of your camera.
Launched only three months ago, Wan Ge Di Ya has already started to create a buzz among the foodies of Colombo and has become a go-to authentic Asian cuisine hub for very obvious reasons. Under one roof you’ll be surprised to find 8 different Asian cuisines; Malaysian, Hong Kong, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Singaporean. With dishes like the Chinese snack ‘Har Gow’, roast duck in egg noodle Soup, Kung Pao chicken, the Thai green papaya salad ‘Som Tam’, the savoury Japanese pancake ‘Okonomiyaki’, the Malaysian Nasi Lemak, the flavourful Korean Kimchi Tofu Soup ‘Soondubu Jjigae’, Beef Rendang and shrimp dumplings you just can’t go wrong. Wan Ge Di Ya has also started garnering attention for their impeccable crab dishes – like the restaurant’s signature dish Mud Crab in chilli and black bean sauce with glass noodles and fresh ginger, and other dishes such as the Pepper Crab and the Tamarind Crab.
Once your eyes are no longer glued to the lanterns, you’ll notice the inviting space and be greeted by the extremely friendly and welcoming staff who will guide you to a table of your choice. The restaurant aims to serve the vibes of a busy Asian street food market – you’ll spot a live action food station and a drinks and dessert bar that holds ingredients you don’t quite see in your everyday restaurant – my eyes spanned from boiled chrysanthemum flowers to Chinese flowers to barley and corn. You‘re also free to customise your drinks and desserts as your taste buds desire. Beverages like iced chrysanthemum teas and dessert cocktails like ‘Che Ba Mau’ are definitely ones that catch the eye and raise eyebrows, but surely worth trying. The space is dimly lit giving out a sense of comfort and privacy. The restaurant offers both outdoor and indoor seating options and can host up to 80 diners at a time.
The Culinary Consultant for the restaurant, Melbourne-based award-winning celebrity chef and owner of HappyK Solutions, Keerthi Hapugasdeniya AKA “Chef Happy” picks the authentic dishes and the Asian herbs that go in them. The herbs are organic, farm fresh and grown especially for Wan Ge Di Ya and imported from around the world to guarantee the diners the most divine Asian dishes and an unforgettable experience for their distinguished palates.
Now, if you’re one of those people who get bored while waiting for your food to be prepared, Wan Ge Di Ya simply won’t allow it. I can guarantee you that the live action station is some high quality entertainment! You’re free to walk over to the station and watch your food being made and that’s something you definitely don’t want to miss.
All the dishes, while being undeniably delectable, are extremely affordable too. With dishes ranging from Rs. 450 to Rs. 1200 and desserts and beverages ranging from Rs. 200 to Rs. 450, a meal with your family or clique at this restaurant will be quite easy on everyone’s pocket. If 8 cuisines under one roof, the LANTERNS and the reasonable prices don’t make your heart flutter and make you want to dash over to Wan Ge Di Ya immediately, I don’t know what will.
The parking convenience of the location is just the cherry on top. You’re bound to find a good spot for your vehicle as the department store and The Promenade provide ample parking space to all customers. Wan Ge Di Ya is open from 11am till 11pm on weekdays and 11am till midnight on weekends to serve to anyone and everyone willing to take the risk of mixing and matching their cuisines as much as they please.
By Kavindhi Wanigasinghe