Having had food cooked by greatest cooks (My Mom, Mom in Law and Wify) the very first day I came to Dubai the first thing I started looking for was ways to satisfy my spice loving Lankan pallet. Lucky enough I was able to find some Sri Lankan cuisine without much difficulty.
Approximately 5% of Dubai’s population is made of us i.e. Sri Lankans. Obviously we are a minority my first impressions of Dubai was similar to the experience I had in Little India in Singapore though it is not India everywhere you turn all you see is Indians; they makeup 40+% of the population. There are more Indians in Dubai than in India’s fourth most populous metropolitan area Chennai.
That aside, soon I was headed to the famous Chef Lanka (CL) in Karama, Dubai. I still remember how I was so pleased to see so many faces that I could relate to (the Sri Lankan Look) and the smell of Sri Lankan Spices and not to mention the bottle cooler filled with Elephant Cream Soda and Elephant Ginger Beer!!.
CL offers a variety of Sri Lankan food including an “All you can have” buffet for just 25 AED. My favourite of course was the Kottu Rotty. It is nothing compared to the Kottu at Pilawoos or Hijra which so many of us the night dwellers are used to, but something is better than nothing is n’t it. The service here is great and friendly as you can expect from any Sri Lankan joint.
I figured on Friday’s for lunch they serve lumpries packed in banana leaf (this is making me hungry); but you are ought to arrive early or you’ll be disappointed as the supply does not match the demand.
Apart from CL, there are few other places where you could try Sri Lankan food one of which is Indunil Lanka, they are located just a stone throw away from CL near the Ted Lapidus shop (around the corner) in Karama. This is a very small place as compared to CL but hey who cares about the size of the place as long as the food is good!! The Kottu here is way better than at CL.
The Curry Leaf at musalla towers in Bur Dubai is another popular place amongst the Lankans, I’ve had one of the best nasi gorengs ever in this place, one nasi goreng cost 30 AED and the quantity is huge so watchout if your palet is small. Of course Nasi Goreng is not a Sri Lankan dish (its Malaysian) , but so much so with all the Malays in Sri Lanka we’ve grown to love this stuff.
There are couple of restaurants that I’ll be blogging about later on, I need to do couple of more rounds of UATs before I recommend them to anyone for I don’t want to be cursed.