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Dec 5, 2011 12:57 AM

Have you tasted Sri Lankan cuisine in the bay area?

There is small restaurant in Dublin, CA called Kadupul run by a couple from Sri Lanka. Every since I found them on a rainy cold December weekend two years back, I have always enjoyed their food.

This cuisine is spicy (can be less spicy like Thai), but can be much more spicy if you tell them to. The spices they use are different from India and south east asian countries and that uniqueness makes me crave for their food.

I saw such intense liking for all types of food on this board and that motivated the new forum member in me to share my liking. They serve buffet for lunch during weekdays - some of the stuff in the buffet are unique like raw Jackfuit curry, crab curry, etc. Since I prefer my curries more spicy that a buffet wouldn't be, I always order a la carte.

On weekend nights (Fri, Sat), they make thin pancakes called Hoppers (Appams in Southern India) that you can order with Goat Curry, Beef Curry, Chicken Curry and this is my favorite - Wild Boar Curry! They also have a noodle like dish called String Hopper that goes with the same curries.

The only shortcoming is that they don't serve alcohol, but you can bring your own. And they have some great ayurvedic teas.

On weekdays/nights if I happen to go there, I order Buryani (like Indian Biryani) - they can make it with rice, string hoppers or with chopped up paratha (flat bread).

This place is a must for folks who enjoy spicy food.

I got hooked to this cuisine when I started visiting Toronto (Canada) where they have many Sri Lankan restaurants.

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  1. Previous thread on a now-closed restaurant in Los Altos:

    I would dearly love to try this cuisine in SF, but unfortunately it seems like most of the community that would support such a restaurant lives south of 92.

    6 Replies
    1. re: bigwheel042

      I think a Sri Lankan food cart/truck would do well in SF. Especially, if it had good housemade Pol Sambol - which I find very addictive.

      1. re: scarmoza

        I love sambol as well, particularly the Katta Sambol. After I spoke to the owners about my head spinning experience with Ghost Chili burgers at Swinging Doors pub, Kadupul now makes special orders of Katta Sambol with the Ghost Chillies. They are crazy hot!

        A food truck in OFG with the Lamprais or Biryani would be a huge hit on a cold day.

      2. re: bigwheel042

        I looked up the thread on Spicy Leaves Indian restaurant and after reading about the names of the dishes, it was clear to me that it had an identity crisis like many of the Indian restaurants in the bay area. At Kadupul, you will not find even one non-Sri Lankan dish. And I hope that they stay that way. I am from Eastern part of India and having lived in southern part of India for many years, miss both the eastern and southern Indian cuisine in the bay area.

        1. re: ssaibal

          Thank you for this update. Could you please say more about the ayurvedic teas?

          If you click on the Kadupul link (on the right side of the page, under the map), you'll find an aggregation of past reports from last year.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Hi Melanie,
            We always have the Samahan tea that they say is good for common cold. I can't vouch for the cure, but, it is indeed very soothing and pleasant in taste. The tea comes in a large mug and being from the foothills of Darjeeling, we are brought up classical black tea in small porcelain tea cups, my wife and I split the tea.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Hi Melanie,

              Read the earlier discussion threads on this restaurant (wish I had located them before opening a new one). One of your link points to Lakdivafoods. I trawled that website and noticed the name "Aloka" mentioned in the guestbook. Alok is the owner of Kadupul. Maybe Kadupul is the new avatar of that catering service. Just my guess.

              I usually pack some stuff for quick dinner for the day we travel for camping or skiing - earlier I used to be partial to a Goat Biryani from The Mynt restaurant in San Jose and nowadays it is some stuff from Kadupul.

        2. are you sure you're actually legally allowed to bring in alcohol, and that's not just what they're telling you? when i went, it was when they were fairly new and still had lot of kinks to work out, but some of the stuff i had was very good. however, i got the impression that it's run by people who really don't know anything about regulations regarding running a restaurant.

          2 Replies
          1. re: vulber

            Stringhoppers, wow, the Sri Lankan place in Santa Cruz won't make them because they're too labor-intensive.

            There's no active liquor license at that address so they can't allow customers to bring in alcohol.

            8939 San Ramon Rd, Dublin, CA 94583

            1. re: vulber

              I don't think it is legal for the alcohol. They are still poor in table service and can get orders mixed up for the take out. But, the food is so delicious to me that I am willing to cheer for them and overlook the service part - I wish that was not the case, but I don't have an alternate option. Moreover, the couple that runs the place are very hard working folks and their presentation of the food has steadily improved. Try the dishes I mentioned.

            2. If you are not familiar with this cuisine, my recommendation would be for 2-3 people:

              Appetizers: Spicy Crab cakes
              Main Course: String Hoppers (Plain hoppers only on weekend nights) with Beef curry (or Wild Boar curry) and Sri Lankan Biryani (also called Buryani) - beef/chicken/mutton
              - if you have more people, get the Crab curry
              Dessert: Watalappan

              On the 2nd visit, try the Lamprais, which is a full meal wrapped in banana leaf having 5-6 different items around a fried rice. Great aroma and taste.

              The portions are big here - at least for me.

              1. Kadupul Restaurant has Moved to:
                4288 Dublin Blvd, suite 101 Dublin, CA 94568

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodcritique2011

                  That was their 2nd restaurant. Have they closed the 1st one?