Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hawkers' street and spicy foods

So yes, I regret to announce that there has been a relapse, triggered by 5 star hotels masquerading as street food sellers and the 50% discount afforded by access to a HSBC credit card.

I must say I had no idea there were so many frikkin' cars in Colombo... even though Darling and I meandered towards Greenpath fairly early, finding a spot to park required near superhuman effort. I also underestimated the interest shown by the Colombo crowd, who were there in full force... and it was a little annoying as well - for every person to go "hi meya" at me, there were a dozen going "ma-chaaang!!" or "hi...iiii (simper giggle giggle)" at Darling. Chaarmax was also there, Cindy on tow, heading determinedly towards the food - but didn't see any other bloggers. There was also an over-representation of skinny girls with sunglasses carefully holding hair in place (honestly, dudettes, it's night time), slathered on makeup, sky high skirts and jingly jangly earrings.

Don't mind me, I'm just jealous.

The food... hmmmm... I won't say I was overwhelmed since most stalls were going in for rice with a variation of curries and slapping on the label "South African" (yellow rice, chicken curry, beans and potato curry), "Indonesian" (nasi goreng), "Phillipino" (yellow rice, kebabs), "Malaysian" (nasi goreng).

My favourite was the stall by Mount Lavinia Hotel that was hawking Italian food - the indomitable Chef Lal was having everyone in stitches while yelling "enna enna apeng kema ganna" in a thick Italian accent. The ricotta cheese ravioli with potato wedges was simply to die for, and I'm seriously considering going there again today, simply to have another go at it. They very kindly allowed me to go round the back and take pics, amidst furious whispers from the other people standing around "Who is she ah?" "Why is she allowed to go there?" Darling reports that one long suffering dude kept insisting "no no, she's from Hi magazine men, don't fuss".

MLH display

Chef Lal

Chicken penne pasta on the make

We initially avoided the Mango Tree stall because of huge queues, but were tempted back by the sizzling chicken tikka kebabs on the coals, and the peni berena jalebi. The majority of the crowd was composed of a large Indian contingent, who were having a fantastic time bidding for the eats and treats. Darling very rudely told an Indian friend to go sample something from a different country, before jostling him out of the way and taking his place. Hmm... I might go back and check out the paneer puri today.

Handling the crowds

Chicken kebabs - yummeh!

Making jalebi

More jalebi


OMG, this was so delicious!

Ramada was doing the Mughlai Indian stall, with this dude seen madly swishing the roti around.

Roti dude

The Phillipino food stall by GOH looked good, sizzling chicken kebabs, grilled fish, and banana fritters with mango cream. I must say the fritters were an utter disappointment, since they were made of raw alu kesel and the batter was the same type usually found coating chinese rolls.


Taj Samura had gone all crazy with the "Madagascar" theme, and had genuine South African food, cunningly disguised as burgers, yellow rice and miscellaneous curries.

The display

Reaction by the clientele

Genuine South African cuisine

Raja Bojun had risen to the occasion and had a flavoursome stall replete with hoppers, kottu, crab curry, polos curry etc.


Curry world


The indomitable Tushar Amalean was there in person at the Sizzle stall, madly trying to direct a dozen operations at once. This was easily one of the most popular stalls... the sizzling smell kept leading me back by the nose!

Mr. Amalean



The Mediterranean stall looked lovely, but I couldn't shoulder past the crowds to get a good look at the food. It sold out pretty soon, and a manager dude in a black tie was seen later on, regretfully turning away the hopefuls.

All I tasted of the Mediterranean cuisine

Live entertainment

Dessert courtesy of Elephant House

Actually, almost every stall was running low on supplies by about 10pm... but the more enterprising had sent for top ups to satisfy the hungry crowds instead of saying "sowwy, we is closed". All in all, I give the whole thing a thumbs up and will be definitely heading thataway tonight as well. My advice to all you foodies, go check it out, take your HSBC CCs, go early, and take an umbrella, just in case!


Edit : so yes, we went the second time, just to see what we had missed. My fave was the butter chicken bunny chow (isn't it a lovely name?) which is a bread bun filled with succulent chicken chunks in gravy. A lovely South African sudda lady assured us that it was very popular and very South African, so it's got endorsement from the natives! Actually, she could have been from South London for all we know but still....

Butter chicken bunny chow

We couldn't resist going for the ravioli again, and the 2nd time was even better than the first.

Ricotta cheese ravioli

While Darling was fighting for life, limb and jalebi, I wandered over to the Arabian food stall, run by Galadari. This was extremely popular, possibly due to its halal status. (Even an aunt and cousin of mine were spotted vaguely hunting for halal food... I have no clue why). The chappie there asked me if I was from the media and when I went "mumble, mumble" in reply, told me that their Arabian cuisine promotion starts tomorrow, so I promised to give it some publicity. So people, check it out at the Sheherazade where as an added perk, the HSBC cardholder dines free.

Ahhh..... shawarmah....

I found the french fries a little incongruous

Chinese cuisine from the Emperor's Wok

Victim of the crab promo

All in all, I had a great time, ruined diet notwithstanding. And it didn't rain, so I was the only person carrying an umbrella. If you happened to notice a harassed looking someone clutching several bags of food while trying to swing a large umbrella in a nonchalant manner, that would have been me.

Well, tomorrow is another week. Have a happy Monday y'all!


Suri said...

Gosh the food looks so good!

~ lo$t $oul ~ said...

U missed a blogger :D hehehe

Although it was nothin much, long queues to order, more hassle to get the food n less space to sit.. :)

but it was alright, somethin for a difference n change.

Darwin said...

Dude. Just wow. Been salivating the whole time I read this post and saw the pics. Can't blame you for ruining the diet, I'd be as bad if I were there! Thanks for sharing :P

PseudoRandom said...

I am not jealous. I am not jealous. I am...

*stares at her plate of rice, ready-made tandoori vegetable curry, boiled egg and katta sambol*

...not...oh who am I kidding? JEALOUS! :D

And you think fries with Arabian food is incongruous? A lot of Indian restaurants here have 'fried egg and chips' on the menu :-|

Gehan said...

ruined diet indeed...! the indian food looks fab, always have a soft corner (in my stomach) for good kebabs..!

sounds like fun, wish i had been able to go.. and how did u get to go behind all those counters to take pics anyway?? :D

Hoot-a-Toot said...

Here I am early on Mon morning and you had to throw those pictures at me didn't ya? Just when I had a measly egg sandwich and nothing but leftover food over the weekend cause my daily didn't come.

santhoshi said...

oh I missed it. Was worrried about the rains.. love the post and pics...

Dee said...

methinks i went on a bad day. :(

Hisham said...

GAH! NOOOOOOOoooooooooo!!!!!!


Angel said...

Suri : doesn't it?

Lo$t : dammit! Missed you! It was definitely good for a change...

Darwin : thanks! and so glad we see eye to eye on the diet thing...

PR : awww.... *hugs*, make sure you time your next arrival to catch this!

Gehan : it was pure charm, and the quiet aura of journalism (citizen journalism, but whatever!)

Su : aiyo, I know the feeling, my domestic has gone "gamey" and we're scrounging for food!

Santhoshi : thanks

Dee : I went on both days... but then,. I'm very easy to please :)

Hisham : lol

Sach said...







You should be sentenced to jail for this crime!

Jack Point said...

Angel, tsk, tsk. Give in to temptation once is ok but TWICE?????

Anyway, glad I gave it a miss, nothing I dislike more than fighting for parking and then fighting the crowds.

Knatolee said...

Oh my GOD, I gained five kilos just looking at the photos!!!! YUUUUUUMMY!

Angel said...

Sach : But you get to enjoy all the Jap-food!

JP : am totalleh off the wagon!

Knatolee : when are you next coming to SL?

Chavie said...

From what I heard there were quite a few bloggers there on Sunday night. I cunningly avoided going since I suck at eating stuff. ;)

Gadgetgirl said...

GOOD LORD. I salute thee,
this is food porn.

this blog is on fyaaaah!!!!

Angel said...

Chavie : ha! and is that the only reason?

GG : Thanks Ma'm!

ishan ali th said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mm...................