If your trip takes you along the A4 road through Ratnapura have your driver stop at the excellent Lindys Restaurant and Bakery at Batugedara (just to the south of Ratnapura towards Haputale).
There are no inflated tourist prices at Lindys, the owner manager has many years of catering experience in Sri Lanka and abroad, his place is well managed, spotlessly clean and the food is simply great.
A breakfast buffet is served between 7 and 10am, lunch from 11.30am to 3pm and dinner between 4.30 and 10pm. The owner also has two shops selling bakery items in the area.
Favorite Dish: The splendid rice and curry buffet comes at Rs200 for all you can eat and is followed by a complementary crème caramel. Or, if you are fed up with curry you can treat yourself to pies, sandwiches and cakes from the bakery counter.
Last time in Nov. 04, this restaurant was not open. !!!!
In Feb. 03 we really enjoyed this real small restaurant - nothing special at all. It is right behind the rails and you can watch a train passing by very slowley if you are lucky (it's an experience!).
We went there every day at lunch time without really being hungry, just because of their inexpensive and very tasty and freshly prepared hot meals as well as for their drinks (beer available). An absolute Must: Their seafood dishes! Oh, I am getting hungry straight away just thinking about it!
Favorite Dish: Barbequed King Praws (approx. 5 Euro) and rice with prawns (less than 1Euro)!
Aida in Bentota is a very good place to eat,it looks out onto the Bentota Ganga(river) and it floodlit at night. The food is excellent as is the service and there is wide selection of both local and western dishes. Last time I was there a meal (3 courses and coffee and 3 drinks each) was £31.00 for 4 people with healthy appetites.
Favorite Dish: Rice and Curry(Sri Lankan style) but then I am a curry freak.The french Onion soup is excellent and almost a meal on its own!
The national dish of Sri Lanka is rice and curry. At lunchtimes it's sold virtually everywhere - street stalls, restaurants, men selling it in 'lunch packets' from a wooden table at the roadside - and is mostly very cheap but of highly variable quality. At its best it's a wonderfully flavoursome delight, at it's worst its bland and tasteless. The trick is working out where is good and where is bad - unfortunately that's purely down to luck rather than the appearance of a place. If you find a good place, stick with it.
The best place to try rice and curry, apart from quality restaurants, is at a family home. The wife/mother will generally spend hours making it and the longer it cooks for the more flavour it has. You'll also get ridiculously large portions!
The meal is overwhelmingly rice, with a little bit of curried meat and gravy (the curry sauce) to flavour it. At shops, you can usually choose from chicken, fish, egg and sometimes just vegetable, and the curry is accompanied with various vegetables and spicy sambols.
Sri Lankan food is renowned for it's spiciness and hot taste. Throughout the trip you'll be warned by proud Sri Lankans that you'll find the food too hot for your poor sensitive foreign mouths to handle. But in fact I've eaten plenty of hotter curries in Britain, and certainly in southeast Asia. I find most food here is much milder than you're led to expect - particularly if you're staying at tourist hotels which deliberately go easy on the spices, but even when I'm eating with local friends who sometimes put even more in just to prove a point!
To be honest, I've also been a bit disappointed with the quality of the food. I've always thought you can tell the quality of a country's cuisine by the standard of the most basic cheapest street food - if you've been to Singapore or Thailand you'll know this can be fantastic. In Sri Lanka however, much of it is fairly bland and tasteless.
Sri Lankan food can generally be divided into two groups. First, the good stuff. This takes hours to prepare and requires lots of careful attention - some hotels will ask you to choose your evening meal at lunchtime! If it's properly made then Sri Lankan food is delicious - try good hotels or traditional home cooking as the wife usually spends hours slaving away in the kitchen!
But the other group is what you'll probably eat most of the time - pre-cooked lunch packets or takeaways from local shops. Most of this is often pretty uninspiring and dull. If you've got time to hang around then always go for the freshly cooked food, even if it takes a few hours. It'll be worth the wait!
Drinking is an important part of Sri Lankan male culture, and a social gathering is usually accompanied by a bottle (or ideally several bottles!) of arrack - spirit distilled from palm toddy or coconut. Sri Lankans like to think of themselves as big drinkers - and much is made of bragging about how much (or little) was drunk in a night (a lot like the UK then!).
In fact I find normal arrack to be fairly mild - certainly not as strong as most Western spirits. It's not really drunk straight, but mixed with anything from ginger ale to Sprite or most usually Coke and is quite drinkable. A common Sunday might involve getting a few bottles from the wine stores easily found around town (look for a barred window and a group of men outside!), grabbing some friends and heading for the beach - have a swim and then the drinking begins. Arrack is nearly always accompanied by 'bites' - snacks of crisps, chilli potato, nuts etc. Public drinking like this is perfectly acceptable but often seen as something only for the lower classes! Classier people go to the bar or drink in the comfort of their own homes.
For the more degenerate alcoholic are the kisippu dens. Kisippu is bootleg liquor containing anything and everything from alcohol to paint stripper (whatever was at hand when they brewed it basically) - extremely strong to the point of deadly, but extremely cheap. Kisippu dens aren't places most tourists go and are usually best avoided - if the liquor doesn't kill you one of the other drinkers might.
Arrack is the drink of choice but lager is also popular and sold at wine stores and bars. The 3 local beers are Carlsberg, Lion and 3 Coins, the latter of which is particularly distinctive and has a love-it-or-hate-it kind of taste. Imported (and expensive) bottled beers are available at top bars/hotels.
Alcohol can't be bought legally anywhere on poya days - although it can be (and definitely is!) drunk.
Athough a lot of local foods including fruits and vegetables were served, for the less daring, there was a wide variety of European foods to choose from.
Favorite Dish: Prawns and fish and crabs because they were so fresh and delicious.
After 2 nights in Colomobo we wondered how we would manage for food in sri Lanka..the Restaurants served only a very Bland TOURISTY VERSION of Sri Lankan food and we asked our driver enroute to our next destination that we wanted REAL lankan food and not some upmarket place serving passable cury and rice..so we were DELIGHTED when he stopped a bit worried at place which resembled a SHACK ..but he could see the hungry Glint in our eyes when we said ..this is a LANKAN DHABBHA!For Sri Lanakn Rupees 50-Rs 100 one could eat wonderful Lankan vegetarian food of about 6 dishes including all the lovely accompaniments.For Rs 50 more you could have some fish curry or fried fish!Even better -the food was cooked with wood fire and that was what gave it its great taste...Forget michigan restaurants..this is REAL FOOD!
My 3-wheeler driver took me to this very nice restaurant.
It is a bit out of town, but a very good experience. It is situated next to Wedamedura Auyerveda.
I had a very good Rice and curry with chicken, at reasonable prices and good service. I can recommend this restaurant anytime!
Remember when ordering Rice with Curry, you get about 6 side dishes as well - so it quite a big meal!
The waiter took time to explain each dish to me.
Favorite Dish: Rice and Curry
The restaurant is spectacular: it was once the room where tea was sifted and graded, and wood abounds in the decor. The nearby kitchen is where the tea factory's engine room was.
Favorite Dish: There are two menus: a sri-lankan buffet or a-la-carte western food. The buffet is the most expensive of the two. We had some a-la-carte meat - I don't even remember what it was, although it was pretty good. What I'll never foget is the desserts, and in particular the ice-creams... to die for!
The food at the restaurant of the Sigiriya Village Hotel is very beautiful... it's actually more than beautiful, it's spectacular. It's a buffet, of course, but the chefs have taken their time in carving and decorating some pumkins and squashes. Very eye (and photo) catching.
Favorite Dish: Despite its beauty the food looked like all the other buffets that we saw across Sri Lanka... talk about a serious lack of imagination at very high prices. We opted for a-la-carte: we had delicious king prawns at a much
It's one of the restaurants of the Hilton Hotel, and it's located across the road, by the swimming-pool. It serves nearly authentic italian food and it's truly delicious. The dress-code is casual, and the place is very relaxed.
Favorite Dish: Some seafood tortellini.. to die for! Lobster and king prawns were ok, but not memorable. We went back a second time for pizza with parma ham - and the ham was authentic! We were amazed. The tiramisu was sour... so forget about desserts.
Hopper is Sri Lanka's famous food. It's a kind pancake made into shell shape and can be enjoyed with chilly onions or other things you may prefer.
I found it to be like Indian uppam, and was not so amazed. You can find them in many places though. It makes a good breakfast or snack rathern a meal.
Sri Lanka is world famous for its tea. You must try drinking tea whilst you are in Sri Lanka - it definitely competes with Darjeling te from India.
Most of small tea shops and restaurants have good quality tea served with or without milk.
If you are confident of withstanding spicy food, try local restaurants. Strangely, meals are served on plate covered with plastic. Rice is served with really spicy vegetables, fish and chicken. It is alot like South Indian food but there is only chilly flavor.
This is the closest hotel you can experience the Beach as you come to Colombo. Good food, good rooms...more
Very pleasant polite friendly front desk staff. Exceptionally efficient. Greeted with a warm towel...more
If there's a hotel I have loved to bits in Sri Lanka, this hotel is the one! Not only because it had...more
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