Cerno’s post on Sri Lankan products got me thinking of places in Colombo. Mostly eating places cos most people, when thinking of Sri lankan products, seemed to think of Sri Lankan food. Which is fine. There’s nothing wrong with a community that likes food.
But where are the best places for street food? Indi had a post out on it recently, but here’s a little breakdown of my favourite places.
Everyone’s familiar with Burger King by now i presume, and no im not talking about the international franchise, im talking about that little joint on the corner of Malay Street at Slave Island. Cheap, tasty burghers in a variety of forms and killer shawarma. Helped possibly by the chap who cuts up the chicken, who in some shades of light looks like a maskless Jason X to my eyes. They’ve also got kebabs which i am yet to try out. How it got the name Burgher King i don’t know, the outfit doesn’t possess any visible branding, but everyone calls it that.
There are a variety of rotti based food to choose from. Time was when the number one joint for paratas, naan and other rotti like food items was Nana’s. He had an outlet at Galle face green and then one at slave island. But he’s gone and shut down his business now for some obscure reason and great butter naan with some tandoori chicken on the side while you sit of an evening looking at the sea at Galle Face is denied us.
On the topic of rotti, but off the streets of Colombo, i simply have to tell you about this great place at Hikkaduwa simply known as the ‘Rotti Shop‘. It’s a few hundred metres before Amaya Reef on the land side if i remember correctly. The cheese rotti there is awesome. Very thick and juicy, filled with spicy chicken and cheese. And it’s not shaped like the standard cheese rottis available in Colombo. I’ve had it several times and keep going back for more whenever i pass that way.
When we talk kottu, most people think of Pillawoos (or Pilla) or blogs. The Pilla at Kollupitiya is the most popular. You can park your car and they’ll serve you right there on the street. They’ve got a bit of variety with the cheese kottu, masala kottu etc. A good option is also Hotel de(?) Hijra right next door. They’ve got similar fare and will serve you the same way. Wash it down with a nice iced Miloand you’re all set to go. Though kottu fare seems to have dropped off in quality of late.
For indian food like dosa’s, veggie rice, vadeys etc. the place to go in my school days was Amrithas next to the flats in Bambalapitiya. For unlimited and delicious vegetarian rice however, it used to be Vani Villas down Armor street. They serve your rice and spicy veg curries on a banana leaf and keep refilling you free of charge till you’re too full to move, they also get a bit offended if you don’t eat a lot. Sadly haven’t been to a really great Indian street restaurant lately, though Rahumania right next to Odel (Town Hall) is not bad at all.
Vadeys, Rice and other stuff
Galle Face has always been a great place for vadeys, isso vadeys (or prawn vadeys) that is. there is also a chap at the top of the corner of Bullers road and Galle road (basically right at the mouth of the Bambalapitiya junction) who sells great Maldive fish vadeys.
For manioc chips there used to be a famous place down station road Dehiwala. You could get a whole bag for just ten rupees.
Hopper’shave always been a favourite. Sadly there is no trademark place i can name for the best hoppers in town, but recently i tried out this tiny place at the Kirulapone junction that was fantastic. I like my egg hoppers watery, and like a lot of loonu miriss (onion/chilli mix) and gravy. Yum yum.
Finally we come to that staple of all Sri Lankan food, bread rice. You can get great biryani at Bilal Hotel opposite Majestic City, There is also a new Pakistani place called Eat More at the Bamba junction that’ll serve you some killer fried rice. They also got this very nice kind of chapathi. You have to try it. They’ve got a speciality called Brain Masala which im probably gonna try out soon.
Sure i’ve missed out on some great places and even possibly some great food items. What are your favourite places? And anyone know any better places for kottu?