Food in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisines are quite similar, and many local eateries advertise their menus as Sri Lankan & South Indian. However, there are regional differences, such as various kinds of hopper, devilled prawns/cuttlefish/chicken/etc., and the typical spicy addition to any curry, pol sambol, which is composed of shredded coconut, red chilli powder, and lime juice.
Sri Lankan cuisine is often hot, however you may easily request less spicy choices if you like. It’s worth noting that Sri Lankans eat with their right hands; this isn’t a big issue since every restaurant will offer cutlery if you can’t eat otherwise. But try the Sri Lankan method (tips of fingers alone! ); it’s more difficult than it seems, but wonderfully freeing.
Food is usually inexpensive, with a basic dinner costing about a US dollar. The most costly tourist-oriented establishments seldom charge more than 10 US dollars. Sri Lankans’ main meal is rice and curry, which consists of a huge pile of rice surrounded by different curries and delicacies. If you want to have a cheap lunch, follow the Sri Lankan throng and slip into one of a million tiny cafes, which are confusingly referred to as ‘hotels.’ These usually offer a rice and curry package as well as’short eats,’ which are a selection of spicy rolls. This is excellent for travellers and anyone looking to avoid tourist traps selling burned chicken and chips – you’re paid according on how much you eat, and unless you’re really hungry, it shouldn’t cost more than a US dollar.
If you’re going on a road trip outside of Colombo, there are a plethora of places to stop for lunch along the way. Rest stops and hotels along key highways in Sri Lanka feature excellent restaurants that serve both Sri Lankan and Western cuisine. If you’re not feeling adventurous, these eateries serve you tasty sandwiches and soups. These restaurants offer great rice and curry plates, and you will be given a variety of curries over a large amount of rice. These dishes are very tasty and will leave you feeling full and satisfied at the end of the meal. Eating is an unforgettable experience in Sri Lanka.
Kottu (Kothu) Roti (a mix of chopped roti, veggies, and your choice of meat) is a must-have for everyone visiting Sri Lanka, tourist or not. It has a distinct Sri Lankan flavor and is finest when prepared fresh by street sellers. Several kottu roti eateries, however, have been forced to shut owing to the usage of stale and outdated roti, which caused several customers ill. Use care, and even better, speak with locals to find the finest kottu roti eateries.
String Hoppers, Hoppers, Pittu, and Kiribath are some more delicacies to try.
In Colombo, there are many luxury restaurants to select from. The 5 star hotels have many fine dining restaurants that provide both local and foreign food. These establishments are mostly situated in western Colombo (along Galle Road), but others may be found across the city and in other major cities.
Major cities have fast-food restaurants such as KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Subway, and Burger King.
Drinks in Sri Lanka
Water from the tap is not regarded safe to drink in Sri Lanka. If you use bottled water (1.5 litre for 60-70 LKR in March 2012), ensure sure the SLS (Sri Lanka Standard Institute) logo is visible. Hard water is also found in certain areas of the nation owing to the significant amount of lime in the soil. Because of the environment, fresh milk spoils quickly and is frequently extremely costly. Powdered milk, on the other hand, is harmless and is often used as a replacement.
Thambili, or king coconut juice, is extremely refreshing. It’s sold on the side of the road all around the island, you can tell it’s clean since the coconut is sliced open in front of you, and it’s cheaper than bottled beverages at approximately R30/- apiece. Soft drinks may be found nearly everywhere, usually in dusty-looking glass bottles. Elephant, a local manufacturer, makes a variety of unique beverages; try the ginger beer and cream soda. “Coca Cola” and “Pepsi” are also available in big and small quantities (plastic bottles), as are many local soft drink brands – all of which are accessible in constantly expanding supermarkets and grocery stores throughout the nation.
Lion Lager is the most popular local beer (140 LKR in “wine shops” or 200-300 LKR in restaurants in March 2012). Try Lion Stout for something a little different. It has a tar-like oiliness to the body and a chocolate finish. Three Coins, produced reportedly following a Belgian recipe by the Mt Lavinia hotel group, is another beer.
Arrack is the traditional spirit, which costs approximately $4 USD for a bottle and is often paired with club soda. The quality varies depending on how much you are willing to spend. However, a popular brand that is worth spending 7.5 USD for is “Old Reserve.”