A couple of weeks before New Year’s Eve 2015, we were trying to work out where we were going to celebrate (that means “eat”) on the cheap, when we passed by this sign:
“Well, isn’t that convenient!” I squealed to hubby bear. It’s like the new owners for this Sri Lankan restaurant (which used to be called Sigiri but is now known as Sigiriya) knew exactly what we were looking for: tasty food, lots of it, on the cheap, and on New Years Eve! Booked in!
The fit-out here isn’t going to win any awards; the front door would slam whenever people came and went, which would break up our conversion from time to time – especially given there wasn’t any music playing (which would’ve created some much needed atmosphere). Furthermore, we were perplexed why their bar looked like a little adobe-tiled hut from some unseemly Mexican restaurant. But who cares when the meal’s gonna be $20 a head, eh? In saying all that, the dining room was clean and functional and the servers were amazingly sweet, informative and really keen to open our eyes to their cuisine.
Hubby bear started off trying the Tuna Cutlets, which were little balls of crumbed tuna and potato. He said they were tasty, a little dry, but they reminded him of something his mother made many moons ago. I bagged two of the Masala Wade because they looked like little Indian pakoras, but were actually crispy dhal patties. There was a nice spiced flavour in them, but a little bit too much crisp for me (but I ate them both though, so clearly not too too crispy! ha!).
There were a few different rice types to try, including a red rice and fried rice. On the opposite side of the buffet table sat six little black pots filled with pickles and sambols – which we loved to try! Some were exceedingly spicy-hot, some sour, some bitter, some sweet – all of which were great accompaniments to the curries.
We just hope they end up putting some signs on their buffet items so it’s not so mysterious. Don’t get us wrong, the server told us what everything was before hand, but it was so hard to remember later, given there were 25 items laid out, including rice, entrees, mains, sides, salads, and bread. In short, it’s much easier for a vegetarian to know which items to steer clear from if there are signs, and also a good way of recommending a dish to your party. Saying “Try the Those Sambol” is much easier than saying and pointing “Go try that bowl of greenish ball things over there”
As you can see by the plate below, we both tried a little bit of everything – and everything was pretty good. The clear, hands-down stand out for me was the Kaju Hodi, an absolutely delicious curry of cashew nuts and cauliflower. That curry alone is worth going back for. Even after trying the various meat curries, such as the beef and tuna ones, even hubby bear came to the veg-side and said that cauliflower curry was the winner. That and the extra curry the server brought to our table just for me (just in case I didn’t get enough from the buffet table – how super nice!), which was called Wattkka: big chunks of cooked pumpkin in a mild sauce. Hmmm….
Add to all that food, these guys kept bringing out fresh “Hoppers” for each table and just keep rolling them out until it wasn’t possible to eat anymore. The hoppers were like a little cupped rice-crepe thing and can come plain or with egg – and were great to roll up and dip into the curries.
We got a sad face from our server when we got up to leave as they were in the process of making us desert! Can you believe it? All that food and desert, too? Okay, next time 🙂
Overall? For us? It’s definitely worth going back again! For you? Definitely worth a try. Especially if you haven’t given Sri Lankan food a go before, their buffet is a great way to sample what’s on offer. Try something new tonight, give ’em a go. 🙂
Address: 338 High Street, Northcote VIC 3070
Tip! They offer a massive all-you-can-eat buffet on Fridays & Saturdays for only $25pp, or $12.50 per child.