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CURRY LEAF

Cuisine: Sri Lankan

The word “buffet” makes some foodies baulk at this plainly decorated restaurant’s all-you-can-eat weekday lunch $10.90, but suspend your preconceptions until you try it. The bain-marie beckons with quality curries, rice dishes, sambals (sides) and pappadums aplenty. On Saturdays the buffet can include egg hoppers, a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast of egg on a thin pancake, plus 10 different curries, salads and sweets for $20. If going a la carte, don’t miss the traditional lamprice, a curry of fish cutlets, dried shrimp and rice in banana leaves $9, or devilled prawns, a spicy curry with a base of capsicum, onion, leek and tomato $17.90. Indian dishes are also available and it’s a toss-up whether to sip on a mango lassi $3 or a traditional Sri Lankan ginger beer $2.50. We love both.

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INDO LANKAN FOOD BAR

Cuisine: Sri Lankan,Indian,Sri Lankan

The hybrid menu and availability of dishes on certain days makes choosing what to have more exciting at this low-key, excellent-value diner. The menu is divided according to what you love, be it dosai, biryani, curry or idli, which are steamed discs of rice and fermented-lentil batter, perfect for dipping in sambar and coconut chutney, from $6 (check if they’re on before you arrive). The dosai are lovely — try paper dosa $6.90, named for its fragile thinness that is best not too crispy, the perfect vehicle for devouring coconut chutney, vegetable sambar and curry. Sri Lankan lamb kotthu roti with traditional bread, onion and egg $11.90 is a stand-out, or fill up on curries, including prawn, none of which exceeds $15. The place could do with a spruce-up but don’t let that put you off.

 

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