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Food we ate whilst at Sri Lanka…. Part 2

Promise this will be my last post on Sri Lanka! Tomorrow will be back to the Hong Kong delights.

Like I said, not all the food we had was fantastic. There were some mediocre ones but it was still worth trying to say the least.

Mama’s Galle Fort Roof Café and Guest House were recommended by the Lonely Planet and a couple of people at the Fort. Considering how much food we had the previous night we thought we would just get one serve of curry and share between the both of us. I have to say, I am glad we did, because not only do you get the curry of your choice, but you also get five other side dishes, making it SIX different types of dishes!

Hubby and I decided to go for the fish curry, however, it also came with (from top left to right), dried fish and peanuts, mixed vegetables with curry sauce, and fish curry, (from bottom left to right), mango curry, dahl curry and potato curry. Yes a LOT OF CURRIES!!!! The fish curry was incredibly spicy which was delicious and full of flavour, however, the fish itself was a little hard, which was a shame. My favourites were the potato and dahl curry. The dahl curry was simple but yet tasty, and the potato curry was fantastic – potatoes were soft and cooked to perfection. I didn’t like the mango curry though – it was too sweet for my liking.

The curries at Mama’s were ok, it was dirt cheap 700 rupees for all that (which is about AUD8). I do prefer the curry from the Galle Fort Hotel. The highlight would have to be eating under the sky with views of the spinning lighthouse.

We also ate at Anura’s Restaurant – tiny bright-orange hole-in-the-wall place that serves curries, various pastas and apparently the best pizza in Galle’s. I am not sure why we both ordered curry, probably because we were both skeptical about pizzas in Galle.

I ordered the prawn curry, which should really be shrimp curry – the prawns were so small it shouldn’t be called that. The prawn curry was seriously watery, too watery to be curry I think. It was ok, nothing to rave about.

Hubby ordered the potato curry, again this was seriously watery. The potato curry ‘soup’ tasted better, it had more flavours that the prawns curry.

I still can’t believe we didn’t order the pizza. Other diners did have pizza and it looked seriously good! Anura’s Restaurant is quite cheap also, each curry is about 250 – 300 rupees (about AUD3 – 4) but nothing to rave about.

We were seriously starved one day, we had a half day spa and didn’t have time to eat breakfast, so was really looking forward to lunch! We went to Royal Dutch Café, which was next door to the spa place. We probably should have left after looking at the menu – nothing on the menu grabbed our attention (this was def a sign!) but thought we would try it regardless.

After much perusing, I decided to go for the roti – cheese and coconut – yes I know, weird combo but they had a lot of sweet roti which I didn’t want. This was the only savoury roti they had. I have to say, I was seriously disappointed and unimpressed. It was such a disappointment, the roti itself was nice, it was paper thin but cheese and coconut was just weird. It wasn’t even proper cheese, it was cheese spread with desiccated coconut.

Hubby ordered the tuna sandwich – I didn’t take a photo of this, but just imagine, the cheapest bread possible, two pieces with canned tuna, tomato and chili sauce. THAT was it! No lettuce, tomato or cheese, it was simply a ‘tuna sandwich’. Hubby looked it, ate it and was seriously unimpressed. He’s not usually hungry often but he was still absolutely ravenous after this and sadly to say… we did go somewhere else for more food!

I wouldn’t recommend this place, unless you want sweet roti. The best thing about this café is the bong outside, it was very Moroccan like.

So after that pathetic so called lunch, Hubby and I went to Pedlar’s Inn café, where we probably should have gone in the first place! It’s a very cool and groovy place in an old colonial house. Not only is it a café, but also a jewellery shop.

I noticed they had ‘avocado juice’ – oh my! I haven’t had avocado juice in a long time, so had to order! Hubby, who is anti-avocado, looked at me and said “how is that a juice? There is no juice in avocado”. Dear Hubby – how would you know if you don’t even like avocado! How can you not like avocado? The avocado juice was thick and creamy, mixed with a bit of chocolate it was just absolutely delightful and exactly what I needed!

Weirdly, I have been craving toasted sandwich all week – tomato, cheese and chutney toastie. The cheese was real and was melted and gooey. The bread was a little thin for my liking but the chutney was sweet and a little spicy which was a good compliment. The fries were fantastic – thin, crispy and absolutely delicious! This was SO much better than my cheese and coconut roti!

Hubby who absolutely love turkey breast, had turkey breast with tomato, lettuce and cheese toastie. He demolished this, not sure if it’s because he was hungry or if it was actually good.

Pedlars’s Inn Café was definitely better than the Royal Dutch Café. Content and full, we decided to walk and explore.

We spent our last day in Colombo, sightseeing a little shopping. We went to the Pagoda Tea Room, their specialty is the inexpensive pastries. However, we wanted something more substantial. It was a casual and very local restaurant. Apparently Duran Duran filmed its classic 1980s video (Hungry like a Wolf) in that establishment.

I ordered a plate of Mongolian Chicken – which was a mix of fried rice and noodle cooked in garlic, onions and chili. The chicken was cut into bite size pieces which were full of flavour and extremely spicy. It had that wok-aroma which I absolutely love! I still can’t believe I demolished all of this! Hubby ordered the Mongolian Vegetarian, which was exactly the same without the bite size chicken.

I think I enjoyed the food in Sri Lanka more than in India. Mind you – we were sick for 2 days so didn’t really eat that well. Still, we had a great time eating, sightseeing and most importantly, we both relaxed!

Mama’s Galle Fort Roof Café

76 Leyn Baan Street

Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka

Ph: +94 91 222 6415

Anura’s Restaurant

9 Lighthouse Street

Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka

Ph: +94 91 222 4354

Royal Dutch Café

Leyn Baan Street

Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka

Pedlar’s Inn Café

92 Pedlars Street

Galle Forte, Galle, Sri Lanka

Pagoda Tea Room

105 Chatham Street, Col 1

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Ph: +94 11 232 5252

Food we ate in Sri Lanka… Part 1

We ate so much that I am really not sure where to start. We consumed a LOT of curry, more than I would have liked and possibly could have ever eaten. However, it was good curry and I am glad to have tasted the different types. Thought I would say the top 3 meals we had whilst at Galle. Mind you, the top 3 were probably the most expensive we had on the trip!

In no particular order….

Our first meal in Galle, after not eating for a good 12 hours was at the Galle Fort Hotel. They have superb Sri Lankan, Asian fusion cuisine. The dinner menu which is a set dinner menu changes nightly, and if set dinners are not your cup of tea, then they do have a la carte menu, which we did try also.

That evening, they had the Sri Lankan Rice and Curry Tiffin set menu, which consisted of 4 curries and 4 vegetables (and papadams) served with Saffron and Red Rice, and a choice of espresso panna cotta, sago pudding or fresh fruit sorbet for dessert. Hubby and I were ravenous and looked forward to the feast.

We started off with some drinks, Hubby ordered the fresh coconut and lime juice – doesn’t the coconut resemble a pig? It wasn’t cold though, which was a shame but it was indeed fresh!

Now the different curries: starting from the top left to right – bringal moju (eggplant curry), dhall curry, mukunuwenna mallum (which is like a salad of fresh onions and tomatoes). Bottom left to right – pumpkin curry, sautéed beetroot, and cucumber and tomato sambal. My favourite was definitely the pumpkin and dhall curry. The pumpkin curry was rich in flavour with a hint of spiciness, the dhall curry offset the richness of the pumpkin curry, and mixed together, the flavours were just amazing. The eggplant curry was sweet and not what I expected at all, however, I wasn’t a huge fan of the mukunewenna mallum.

The white fish curry (bottom right) had great flavours but the fish itself was a little hard and dry for my liking. The chicken curry (top left) was tender and succulent, they gave us a generous amount of chicken! I have never had saffron rice before and I have to say, I am a huge fan! Eaten with a mix of dhall and pumpkin curry, it was incredibly delicious.

The papadams were light and crunchy and a great compliment with the curries.

For dessert, we ordered one of the sago pudding and espresso panna cotta. I have to say, the espresso panna cotta was amazingly good! I am usually not a fan of panna cotta but this one… oh my, it was soft like crème caramel, had a hint of coffee and was not too sweet, it was just perfect. It would have to be one of the best panna cotta I have eaten thus far. Hubby certainly enjoyed it – we were both fighting over it. My only gripe would be that it was served in a small Chinese tea cup – WAY TOO SMALL! The sago pudding was so so, I prefer the Asian, mango and sago dessert!

Stuffed and deliciously happy, we waddled back to our room and slept….

We had lunch one day at Amangalla hotel, this is also a 17th century town hose which has been converted into hotels – only 5 rooms apparently and it is one of the best hotels in Asia. It is also one of the most expensive hotels in the Fort, they have private cottages which start at around US$1500 a night! Hubby tried to get a reservation for one night (not the private cottage but a room) however they were fully booked!

So lunch… we started off with fresh bread and it was indeed fresh. Crunchy on the outside and fluffy / soft on the inside. With a slitter of butter, my my, how I missed fresh bread!

I wanted something non curry, so opted for the homemade pumpkin ravioli with burnt butter and sage – it had me at ‘burnt butter’. Half a dozen of medium size pumpkin ravioli were absolutely delightful.

I could have probably eaten another dozen, and as you can see, completely cleaned the plate off! It was THAT good!

Hubby wanted something light – so had the seared tuna with gotukola salad. The tuna I thought was a little dry, and I was not a fan of the gotukola salad, similar to tabouli but thought tabouli was so much better! I think my pumpkin ravioli was a winner!

Our last meal in Galle, we ate at the Fort Printers Hotel, an 18th century mansion turned printing facility – also only has five suites – antiques filled suites. By this stage, I was seriously over curry, so wanted something western for dinner.

Started off with new style sashimi – which was red snapper, ginger and sesame oil. The sashimi was fresh and the ginger and sesame oil were a great compliment.

I think Hubby was also sick of curry, so he ordered the tuna tataki which was served with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin oil. The tuna was fresh and refreshing. We both endeavored this.

We were given complimentary bread with hummus. The bread was warm and the hummus was fantastic! Such a simple but yet delightful starter.

For main, we thought we would share the chili prawns with basil and fried rice. It was very thai-like dish but absolutely delicious. The chili prawns were seriously spicy and full of flavour. The fried rice was good, it had that wok-aroma smell which I can’t seem to make but it was relatively simple.

It was a great meal to end the trip.

For breakfast, we mainly ate at the hotel – we didn’t have breakfast every day, Hubby is not your typical breakfast eater! The breakfast menu at Galle Fort Hotel, freshly cut seasonal fruit salad, tea or coffee, toast with home-made jam and a choice of eggs with grilled bacon and tomato; toasted tropical muesli with milk or yogurt; buffalo curd hot cakes with kittal honey; home-made toasted banana bread or French toast.

The first morning, we had the eggs with grilled bacon and tomato. We started off with the freshly cut seasonal fruit salad with consists of banana, mango, paw paw and pineapple. All were fresh and absolutely refreshing.

I had the poached eggs with grilled bacon and tomato – 2 poached eggs cooked to perfection with crispy bacon and grilled tomato. It was a great way to start the day!

Hubby had the scrambled eggs – I thought the scrambled eggs were a little dry but it was still pretty good.

The buffalo curd hotcakes with kittal honey was to die for! The hotcakes were similar to that of crepes, very thin and very VERY tasty! We shared this – one each and that definitely was not enough!

The banana bread was good! Thick slab of bread with real banana pieces was just tasty. Slathered with butter, it was just scrumptiously good!

We also had some mediocre meals, which I will post next. It wasn’t bad but the above were definitely the highlights!

Galle Fort Hotel

No 28, Church Street,

Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka

Ph: +94 91 223 2870

Amangalla Resort

10 Church Street

Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka

Ph: +94 91 223 3388

The Fort Printers

39 Pedlar Street

Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka

Ph: +94 91 224 7977

A little bit about Galle, Sri Lanka and what we did….

It took a while to get to Galle, after the delayed flight, the 2 hours at the car park and the 4 hour drive; we finally made it to Galle Fort. Galle is located at the southwest corner of the island. The Fort is built on a small peninsula belonging to the sea as much as to the land. It was built by the Dutch in 1663, 36-hectare Fort which is the oldest part of Galle and has an amazing collection of structures and culture. Just wandering the streets was amazing, one architectural surprise one after the other.

Below is a photo of one of the streets in Galle Fort…

We stayed at this amazing hotel, Galle Fort Hotel, 17th century Dutch merchant’s house turned into a boutique hotel. It has 14 rooms, all of which are different, some have two levels, and others stretch across an entire floor. We were fortunate enough to have one with a two levels – split level, living and dining area downstairs, and bedroom upstairs.

And here is a photo of the pool where we spent many hours during the day swimming and relaxing.

Hubby and I spent most of the 2nd day around the Fort, shopping, walking and soaking up all the culture and heat! It was monsoon season but like in India, we were very fortunate with the weather. Most of the buildings inside the Fort date from the Dutch era, and many street names still bear their Dutch names.

A few photos to show you inside the Fort: The lighthouse is Sri Lanka’s oldest light station dating back to 1848, but the original lighthouse was destroyed by fire in 1934.

Ambalama, a public resting place at the old town center.

The Maritime Archaeology Museum – it was interesting to say the least.

The famous clock tower

On top of the main gate Fort

On top of the southern end of the Fort

Apparently, every day, there are jumpers who entertain people by running and jumping off the Fort. I was ‘tempted’ but it looked kind of dangerous!

Here is one of the more modern shops / café.

The Fort was just amazing, it was a pleasant to stroll around the town at dusk. You can walk almost the complete circuit of the Fort along the top of the wall in about one or two hours.

On one of the days, we hired a car and roamed outside of Galle. Started by going to the Peace Pagoda, which was a gift from a Japanese Buddhist monk in 2005. It is situated on the headland between Unawatuna and Galle.

The view from the Peace Pagoda was simply breathtaking.

We then went to a turtle hatchery. Look how tiny they are – 3 days old apparently!

This turtle is about 5 years old – pretty big for a 5 year old!

Also went to the white tea plantation – it wasn’t the most stunning or impressive tea plantation I have seen, but they had all the components, tea plants, small factory, tasting and shop. Check out the different types of teas they had. They had teas ranging from black tea, white tea, coffee flavoured tea (weird!), spicy tea to your green and flavoured tea. It was impressive!

We also went to temple and a herbal plantation. However, the best bit of all, Unawatuna, the beach where we spent countless hours swimming and sitting / relaxing under the sun.

It was quite a relaxing holiday, as you know we spent a day at the cricket, we did a half day spa (yes Hubby actually suggested it!) and spent a lot of time reading and relaxing. Oh how I wish I was there right now….

Day at the cricket in Galle

It was perfect blue sky today, not a cloud in sight. It would have been the perfect day to surf or sit by the beach or pool with a book. However, I knew that Hubby wanted to do something diifferent! It’s what he has been wanting to do since we arrived in Galle. Watch Sri Lanka’s M Muralitharan play his last test match as he is retiring.

Now before I go on, I know some of you may think I’m crazy! Cricket? How could I? Well I never thought I could! I love watching sports – basketball, tennis, football, hockey – you name it. I love watching the One Day International (ODI) cricket but it took a while for me to get ‘hooked’ on test matches! Cricket is not the most exciting game. I agree that it can be boring, like watching the grass grow or paint dry. I am not going to argue or convince you why you should watch it.

I enjoy it because it is social! You go with friends, drink beer, eat meat pies and sausage rolls and be social. And if they annoy you, open a book and be immersed until you hear people cheering and you know someone is out! It’s a great day to be with friends, soak in some sun, sit out doors and well… Drink beer 🙂

We got up late this morning which I knew annoyed Hubby. He wouldn’t even let me have a proper breakfast at the hotel or anywhere for that matter! I could sense the eagerness and anticipation of getting to the ground! He loves watching the players come onto the ground and watch that first ball of play! So I suggested we go to Serendipity Cafe to get some takeaway sandwiches so we could eat it at the match. It wasn’t even worth taking a photo as by the time I sat down to eat it, it was cold and hard! We both ordered the toasted cheese, tomato and basil sandwich. 3 pieces of toast, with mango chutney and fresh basil – if it was fresh it would have been fantastic!

We got to the ground and paid 500 rupees each (which is equivalent to $5AUD) to sit at the nicer stands in the shade! Hubby was definitely excited and was ready to soak in some cricket!!

It was Murali’s final test match. He was going to become the world’s first bowler with 800 Test wickets, which is a great achievement! You could tell he was loved by the spectators and fans. Full size posters of Murali everywhere!

We saw Murali take four wickets, he had two from yesterday and needed another two wickets to achieve that landmark. We would love to see him achieve this as it would be one of the greatest achievements in cricket!

I know I know, I am probably boring you but I would like to be able to say that ‘I was at that match when Murali took his 800th wicket!’ Like the time when Hubby and I watched one of the greatest football player Messi score that amazing goal which was compared to Maradona. I am glad to be able to say that ‘I was at that game’.

Hubby was glued to the game. We spent almost the whole day there, met some friendly Sri Lankans and had a great time chatting and drinking beer! We met some British people also, but alas we were the only Australian / Asian there.

We left before stumps (end of play) to hit the pool and swim.

Of course by this time it’s 4pm and I have not had lunch! The problem with travelling with Hubby is that he is never hungry!

Unfortunately, it started to pour as we were getting ready to head out for dinner and being the lazy people we are, ordered room service! I couldn’t go pass the butter chicken masala with roti and cucumber and yogurt salad. The chicken was tender and succulent. The butter chicken masala was a little spicy which gave it a nice kick. Roti dipped in the butter chicken masala was tasty and absolutely satisfying! It was definitely what I needed.

Hubby ordered the blue fin tuna with couscous and mango and cucumber salad. The blue fin tuna was seared and cut into cubes. It was served warm and separately from the couscous. The couscous was a little bland on its own but with a bit of my curry, it went down well. I wasn’t a huge fan of the blue fin but the butter chicken masala was a winner!

Ravenous, I indulged and ate in less than 5 mins! The problem with being too hungry is that I tend to eat too fast! Serious indigestion and food coma!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Galle Fort Hotel Dining
No. 28 Church Street
Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka
Ph: +94 91 223 2870

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Sri Lanka

Thought I’d do a quick post on Sri Lanka! Will do a longer post when I’m back home.

One word to describe Sri Lanka… GORGEOUS! We are staying at Galle, which is about 4 hours drive from Colombo. The trip from Mumbai to Colombo was a complete nightmare! Plane was delayed, which we didn’t know as they didn’t have our details! We got to the airport at midnight for our 3AM flight only to be told that our flight has been delayed and was not departing till 7AM!!! So yes, we spent 7 long hours at the airport! Poor Hubby as it was his birthday – not a great start that’s for sure!

The drama didn’t end there! We finally arrived at Colombo, got a driver to pick us up and it took a good 2 hours to get out of the car park! They had some new system and only had one gate opened! Hubby being the man that he is thought he would offer some of his advice and indeed he did! He spoke to the ground advisor and other officials about how they could improve the system! He was filmed by one of the tv channels crew and a local on his camera phone to be uploaded on youtube perhaps? God bless him but no… His words and advices did not help!

We finally arrived at Galle after 4 hours drive, mind you I was ready to pass out! Had not eaten since 5AM and was absolutely starving! We were supposed to arrive at 11AM but instead… 6.5 hours later… We finally arrived!

Staying at the Galle Forte Hotel and it’s AMAZING! The whole forte is amazing! Below is a snap shot of the view of the ocean from the fort.

You know when you are married to a cricketer when they time cricket games around your holidays! There is the India vs Sri Lanka game at Galle and the ground is right near our hotel! Unfortunately it has been raining and so no play – Hubby has been totally and utterly gutted! We are still planning to watch Sachin Tendulkar bat – Hubby was actually looking out for him in Mumbai! Oh Hubby!!!!

Took a shot from the top of the forte wall – it’s quite spectacular! You can pretty much watch the game from up here!

Anyhow, been eating WAY too well! Curries, rotis, hoppas, you name it! Indulging on some espresso pana cotta right now… amazingly good!

Until next time…..

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India / Sri Lanka here we come….

Hubby has been talking about going to India / Sri Lanka for a while now. Ever since I went to Chennai at the beginning of the year for a friend’s wedding without Hubby, he has been kicking himself for not going. We were originally going to time our trip with the IPL as Hubby is a HUGE… and I mean HUGE cricket fan. Unfortunately due to work and other issues that crept up we couldn’t go but finally… we are on our way!

We have been looking forward to it for a while now; we will be in Mumbai for 4 days and then Sri Lanka for 6 days. I am beyond excited; there are no words to describe how excited I am.

It’s been a while since Hubby and I went on a trip together. I have travelled without him the past couple of months, to China, Sydney and soon also Indonesia, so this will be a good and relaxing holiday for the both of us. He’s booked this awesome hotel in Sri Lanka – I won’t say where just in case it turns out to be a complete disaster but I have read and heard from friends, and it’s supposed to be absolutely fantastic!

Anyway – see you all in a week in a half. Stay safe and I’m sure I will have all sorts of stories when we get back.