FOR a nourishing and chillaxing start to 2018, I found it most fitting to dedicate the first post to soulful food that infuses that relaxed state and my Colombo food trails came to mind. Here are some of my favourite Sri Lankan food eateries in Colombo and recommended dishes for inspiration. Please share your top picks in the comments or via email to email@example.com.
The Verandah Restaurant @ Galle Face Hotel, Colombo 3
Offering a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean, a meal here is a treat to the senses. With closed eyes, I can still visualize the aromas of slow cooked curries, my hips swaying to the gentle sashaying of coconut trees as I walk up to the buffet counter and my mind, relaxing to the sounds of luscious ocean waves – perfect rhythm to slurp up more curry.
I stayed for four nights at the hotel and for once, didn’t kick up a fuss to make it in time for breakfast. My lenses were on the Lankan food and dishes that get a mandatory seat at the buffet table include the chicken and fish curry, hoppers and friends, i.e. pol and seeni sambal. The dishes on rotation (special guests) include red string hoppers (made with red rice flour, instead of white), pittu and uppuma. The red string hoppers were my favourites. These delicate palm sized feather light delights are packed with health benefits and go well with both the chicken and fish curry. As Lankan curries tend to be on the spicier side, sweeten your palette some pol cake. An Asian relative of the fruit cake, the pol cake is made with jaggery, coconut and nuts; and pairs perfectly with a hot cup of Sri Lankan tea. Make a reservation now at Galle Face Hotel – Dining
Raja Bojun @ Liberty Arcade, Colombo 3
Raja Bojun serves an excellent buffet (lunch and dinner) of traditional Sri Lankan food at an economical price. It’s a great place to start the food tasting as you get to sample a lot of the popular dishes before deciding on your favourite. The automated elephant at the entrance is also a cute welcome to start the meal celebrations. Visit the Raja Bojun Website for details.
The New Banana Leaf Restaurant @ Colombo 3
This is a casual style diners and one of the food outlets with yellow flooring. Reason for highlighting the yellow floors, is it helps to fight of the sleepy feeling after multiple helpings of the fish curry. Meals can be served on the plate or banana leaf. Always opt for the banana leaf experience if you can – the leaf lends a natural component to make the dishes more flavourful. For additional texture, I layer my curries with yoghurt. You can omit the yoghurt if you like but it triples the scale of deliciousness when you marry cream and curry.
Ministry of Crab @ Dutch Fort Hospital, Colombo
Crab wonderland, nirvana and passage to crab paradise – a meal here is a celebratory experience in honour of the crab. Crab sizes range from size S to size Zilla and to keep calm and crab on is the only way to get through this party. The outlet is owned by and renowned chef and king crab restraunteur Dharshan Munidasa and my two favourite and smashingly handsome cricketers Mahela Jeyawardane and Kumar Sangkarra. Part proceeds from souveniers are also contributed to the charities run by Mahela and Sangkkara. Reservations are essential – book your experience at Ministry of Crab.
Gallery Café @ Paradise Road, Colombo 7
The classic black and white décor blends sophistication and urban relaxation with ease. This place was recommended by a dear friend for the ambience and the black pork curry dish. Pair this with a cool glass of tamarind martini or tamarind margarita or both – the meal is complete. If you need a short stretch between dishes, hop to the adjoining shop for a little stroll before the next refill 😉 Multi task shopping and eating at Gallery Café.
Beach Wadiya @ 2 Station Avenue, Wellawatta, Colombo 6
Do not be mistaken for the beach shack look and feel of this restaurant. The food is sensational and the place is no stranger to the royalties too. Look out for the photos and momentos in the restaurant which tell a story about the earlier diners. Check with the staff if there are any specials for the day or recommended preparation for the dishes. Excellent choice for group dining as you can sample more from the seafood selection. Reservations are essential. If visiting for dinner, head up earlier for a spectacular sunset view. Pull up the address book and plan a meal at Beach Wadiya.
Kaema Sutra @ Cinnamon Gardens and Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo
Another Dharshan masterpiece, the restaurant specializes in a variety of sweet and savoury hoppers and kottus. Do not leave the restaurant without trying the AGP sundae – it is the ultimate sundae and no ice cream is involved. Do not miss this for every bite is a flight to cloud 9. Reservations are recommended.
These are my food trails…please share yours and let’s have a nourishing and enriching 2018!