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Feb 8, 2010 11:21 AM

London - Good & cheap Sri Lankan?

I've developed a taste for Sri Lankan food recently and am looking for good, cheap places in London to try out.

I live near to Morden but am willing to travel. There are a huge amount in Tooting but id like personal reccomendations if possibe to avoid the duds.



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  1. I'm not an expert on Sri Lankan food but I think Taste of Lewisham is pretty good. It's also incredibly affordable.

    Address: 19 Lee High Road, Lewisham, London SE13 5LD

    1. I've only tried Jaffna House in Tooting and we didn't think it was that great. OK to grab a bit if you are in the area. Haven't tried any other Sri Lankan places in Tooting.
      Lewisham has several decent Sri Lankan Tamil joints. A Tamil friend of mine swears by Everest Curry King. He's brought me mutton rolls from there and they were great, but not had anything else. It seems they may not have much by way of sit down service. It's more of stuff in a glass case to be taken away. Or heated up and eaten at a cramped table by the glass case. Taste of Lewisham used to be called Arru Suvai and they did good hoppers but I didn't like their dosa or sambar that much. Haven't been there since they changed name and they may have changed management/cooks as well. Our favourite place to go is Madras Restaurant on Lewisham High Street, but the service is really Fawlty Towers-esque. Last time I literally had to collect our food from the kitchen, the waiter was so hopeless and clueless. They know me pretty well so don't mind me being my own waitress. But the food is good, the dosas are crispy and the sambar and chutney are consistently good. They also do ok mutton rolls, a very good chicken 65 and nice little meal deals from 12 noon to 5pm. Their biriyani is moreish. Spice Grove is another fancier Sri Lankan Joint further up Lewisham High Street towards Catford. Have only been there once and it was fine. All Lewisham Sri Lankan joints are cheap and usually have lunch specials. There are local Tamil grocery shops to stock up on Sri Lankan ingredients to cook at home with.

      2 Replies
      1. re: medgirl

        Thanks for the replies, i'll certainly give them a try.

        Im going to give Appollo Banana Leaf Canteen a go in Tooting this weekend as it has very good reviews on Time Out. I'll report back.....

        1. re: Plantie

          I like the Apollo. Very cheap and byo. Good meat dosa, fish cutlet and crab curry. A friend really likes the stringhoppers (not my thing). Friends who live in Tooting think it's the best south Indian/ Sri Lankan in Tooting.

      2. Not strictly Sri Lankan, but Thattukada has quite a few specifically Sri Lankan dishes. Also, High St North has literally about a half a dozen Sri Lankan restaurants.

        5 Replies
        1. re: JFores

          So we visited Apollo Banana Leaf Restaurant on Saturday & we really enjoyed our experience.

          We ordered some chickpea doughnuts soaked in yogurt which were pretty yummy s i wasnt sure what to expect. The masala dosa followed which was delicious, shame the potoato filling wasnt slightly more spicy.

          For our mains we ordered a mutton string hopper fry (instead of our usual kothu roti), unfortunately i havent had this before so cannot compare to others. It was very good though & wasnt greasy. We also ordered a mutton curry which was cooked with yogurt, the mutton was a little tough but the flavor of the sauce was good.

          As sides we orderd a spinach side dish & a paratha to share (if we go again we'd get one each as they were tiny!). The spinach was lovely, nicely spiced with a creamy consistancy.

          We'll certainly be back!

          1. re: Plantie

            It is interesting you comment that the food wasn't very spicy, I understood Sri Lankan curries were meant to be very fiery, significantly hotter than similar Indian ones. The Sri Lankan food I have eaten (not in London) was extremely hot, is the London food "tamed" for the UK palete?

            1. re: PhilD

              A friend of mine in Sri Lanka sent us a large collection of curry spices as a gift.
              They were so hot that I've only used one package and will probably never use the rest for fear of an early demise. Sri Lankans curry are indeed very fiery.

              1. re: PhilD

                She mentioned the filling of the masala dosa wasn't very spicy. Usually it is the accompanying sambar and chutneys that are very spicy, not the dosas or filling. The Sri Lankan food we've had so far in London tends to be very hot/spicy.

                1. re: medgirl

                  The Masla Dosa wasnt as spiced as normal, not hot. just not as spiced. Ive never had a chilli hot masala dosa.

                  Im pretty good with hot food now after my trip to Kerala last summer, most of it was hot but not as hot as some Sri Lankan food ive had. I didnt choose particularly hot dishes though, mine were all 1 chilli on the menu.