New Sri Lankan Restaurant - House of Curry in Rosemount
Since there seems to be a number of fans here of the former Sri Lankan Curry House and the former owner Heather Janz's cooking at Highland Grill, I thought a new Sri Lankan restaurant would be of interest to the board.
A Sri Lankan friend of mine recently posted on their Facebook about a new place called House of Curry in Rosemount. Their very-much-still-in-construction website has some pictures of what I just ate at a friends holiday party (so I'm assuming fairly authentic):
3420 150th St W
Rosemount, MN 55068
I'll report back once I make it down there.
I've been twice. Haven't had time to report, but I loved it. More importantly, my Sri Lankan born girlfriend and her family really loved it. They said it was super authentic and the flavors spot on.
Patties - similar to a Somosa, but in a little flaky crust. Appear to be made in house and to order, just fantastic little starter.
Kottu Roti - Roti is cut up and then stir fried similarly as to a noodle or rice dish might be. GF's family really loved this. Traditionally a street food, so not something they even eat a lot of at home.
Bandakha Theldala - "Tempered" potatoes, apparently par-boiled then pan fried with peppers.
Chicken Curry - GF's sisters and my mom really liked this. I'm veg, so didn't try it.
Coconut Sambol - aka Pol Sambol, rather ubiquitous with SL food. Think Sriracha in Thai or ketchup in America. It's a condiment that can go in anything.
Watalappan - Dessert. Think flan with Indian spices in the background.
Dying to try the Eggplant, but both times I've been, they sold out of it during their buffet. I've had this dish as cooked by my GF and her mother. Vinegar and sugar are added, sounds weird but it works.
If you are not Sri Lankan, I think they might go a bit too mild on Mild requests. If you like heat at all, go with Medium. I've yet to venture to Hot, as SL food is (arguably) the hottest cuisine in the world. The pol sambol can add some heat if you're worried about the gap between mild and medium.
The young man in the Front of House is very polite and polished. I'm assuming he had fine dining experience somewhere. He smiled so big when my GF's mother gave him two thumbs up. He appears to fly solo to cover the roughly 32 seats. They have beer and wine too.
I had a great meal there last night. Papadam was serrved with a delightfully tangy mint sauce. Among other wine and beer options they offer 2 beers from Sri Lanka. The Lion Lager was one of the best beers I've ever had and was perfect with the entire meal. Rasam soup was delicious, an herb broth with cumin and celantro. My main was the devilled chicken. served with a great bowl of rice. The dish was spiced perfectly, perfectly cooked stir fry with tomatoes, onion, green and red pepper. It was not overly firey hot but the waiter assured me that they could do as hot as I wanted. Can't wait to return.
I had their lunch buffet today. Everything I tried was very good. It was a small buffet, but high quality - dishes I remember are:
Chicken wings: Great spice mixture, served with onions and lime wedges - pleasantly spicy
Kola Mallum (I think): chopped kale with coconut - very fresh-tasting and a nice contrast to the spicy dishes
Two kinds of chicken curry, one with bones, and one without. Both had a nice mixture of vegetables/potatoes, and were great served over rice - bony chicken was spicier than boneless, but both had some heat.
Papadums - very light and crisp and well-seasoned. Went great with the vegetable soup that was also on the buffet - seemed to have just a bit of coconut milk and subtle spices - but not a lot of "chunks" or vegetables.
There were also vegetarian fried rice and noodles, a dhal dish, and some kind of chick pea dish, and a "beet root curry", as well as some fresh fruit, a small salad, some plain yogurt with Sri Lankan "treacle" to pour over it. This is not like the treacle I was expecting - the molasses-y kind. This is a sweet, almost floral-flavored syrup.
There was also Watalappan on the buffet - a kind of egg/coconut milk custard, flavored with Sri Lankan spices as well as jaggery (juggery), which is a kind of sugar made from the treacle syrup - kind of like how brown sugar is made. This was probably my favorite part of the meal - a really great custard, _very_ sweet, but with enough other flavors to tame the sweetness.
I'm definitely looking forward to going back for lunch and/or dinner. The guy running the dining area was very nice - and took time to answer a lot of questions (I really didn't know this much about Sri Lankan food before today).
I went recently, and it was fabulous. We had the kottu roti (w/ chicken), string hoppers with fish curry, and okra. The kottu had super interesting textures and flavors, and a familiar comfort food feel, even though I'd never had it before. I noticed that even the small things like the coconut sambol that came with with the hoppers, were complex tasting. It felt like everything was made with care. The staff (server and the manager/owner?) were very kind. Wish it wasn't quite so far south, otherwise we would be regulars. Definitely going back when we have the chance.
We ate there a few days ago and really enjoyed it. They were a little bit busy due to all of the recent publicity, but handled it all right.
Went today for lunch, no Buffet which I think is good. They said they might bring it back on Fri-Sun when they are busier and can keep things fresh.. Had Lamb Curry and Dhal Curry, both were good. Will be back...Wish it was closer....
Finally got around to House of Curry last week. We had a very nice (though lonely) weekday lunch. Ordered a lot of food all of which was quite good. Seemed to us like high quality home cooking (not rich, not oily or creamy). We'll be back.
Standouts: the fish cutlets (croquettes in American terms, in Bengal we call the same thing fish chops); the biryani (nothing uniquely Sri Lankan), the Kolla Mallum, the sambols.
Quite good: the watalappan, the ambul thiyal.
Basic but good: the dal (didn't detect any coconut milk--this is not a criticism) and the basic chicken curry.
Spent some time chatting with the owners--very nice people and we're rooting for them to succeed. Hopefully, the raised profile with the new MSP mag recognition will send more weekday business their way.
Full review here: http://myannoyingopinions.com/2014/11...
Drove from Downtown East for dinner last Saturday, arriving at about 20:00. All tables filled and one group of four and one group of two ahead of us in the queue, but several tables looked to be about done. Forty minutes later the parties in front of us were seated and we were, too. Fifteen minutes later a party of two who arrived after us placed their orders. Ten minutes after that we finally were asked for our orders. Twenty-five more minutes and we had our food, which was fine, if not remarkable.
Short story is that we should have been warned off by the Help Wanted sign in the window. One server (who may have been an owner) and one busboy served the dining room. They were totally overwhelmed. A table of four that had finished eating about the time we arrived could not get a bill for more than an hour. It was just a disaster all evening.
No chance we'll make the drive again, and that makes me sad. It might have been very good judging from the comments here. The chicken roti was tasty.
That is too bad. And it might suggest that catching them at lunch when they're not busy might have been a good thing for us. Hard to imagine the kitchen isn't stretched as well in the circumstances you describe.
Still, they have an anniversary celebration meal thing coming up on the 6th--I have to call to find out if this is lunch or dinner or both--and I think we will probably go out for that.