As much as I love this logo…
I love China Doll, the brand at least. They have, IMHO, the best logo in Sri Lanka, the best restaurant website (by far), efficient online ordering, everything. I also like their menu, at least concept wise. However, three of us tried them for lunch, and we just didn’t like their food.
China Doll is a spin-off from Chinese Dragon, which we don’t really like either, but younger, hipper and different. It takes the classic Chinese food in a tall box idea from the West and brings it to Sri Lanka. Which is kinda the problem. It tastes like Western Chinese food, kinda bland and unpunchy, not like the Sri Lankan Chinese food I like. They proudly state that they don’t use MSG, but they should use MSG, there’s nothing wrong with the spice and the food all, perhaps as a consequence, lacks the strong umami taste that makes Chinese food so good.
As Savan’s review says:
Everything was a little bit flat – the char kway teow was packed with a generous amount of sea food but the flavor was bland, the noodles in black bean sauce were similarly lacking in flavor. Shruthi’s comment- it tastes like East Asian food you get in the West was probably the most appropriate. Just blander and lacking the flavors we are used to. We know you can always add more salt and chilli but the spices, garlic and ginger flavors we curry munching Lankans like also seemed to be missing. (China Doll | YAMU
Honestly, we all really wanted to like China Doll. Everything about them is well presented and good. The food just lacks something. Check out the review and see if we tried the wrong stuff or something. I’ve always thought Chinese Dragon was mediocre, but I thought China Doll would be different. I still dig the brand.