Anywhere you choose to dine in Sri Lanka is going to be a great experience. The cuisine of this island country is unlike any other, and with a wide assortment of places to choose from, you’ll have a hard time picking just one place for lunch or dinner! Cuisine from the Cultural Triangle tends to be based off meals and traditions from Kandy—the most populous city in the Triangle. Kandyan cuisine has a distinct flavour and traditional Sri Lankan food is a wonderful mix of taste, colour and aroma. The island’s location made it a popular stopping off point for foreign traders so indigenous spices such as cinnamon and cloves have been enriched by diverse culinary influences from around the world.
Most of the hotels in the Cultural Triangle including Chaaya Citadel and Mahaweli Reach welcome non-resident guests at their restaurants that serve a mix of Sri Lankan and western buffets. For a more novel dining experience, try visiting Helga’s Folly where fusion cuisine is served amidst an utterly creative and unique dining room. Here’s a list of a few places to try when you are travelling through Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle—you won’t be disappointed.
The Liya Wela restaurant occupies the top floor of the main building of the Ulagalla, with views of the gardens, pool and surroundings. Because it’s open to the elements, a pleasant breeze blows through the dining room. Furniture is traditional, crafted from timber and their menu ticks off international options and Sri Lankan classics. Most of the Sri Lankan dishes are vegetarian, including a delicious sweet-potato curry – though the chef’s signature Wallawa chicken with curry leaf, spicy sauce, rice and home-grown vegetables is also worth sampling.
Heritance Kandalama is highly regarded for its award-winning cuisine ranging from lunch time buffets to fine dining. The buffets at the Kanchana Restaurant will give visitors a chance to try a very wide variety of Sri Lankan food, as well as the best of other internationally inspired dishes. Different nights have different themes in Kandalama’s restaurants so you need never try the same dish twice!
The Apsara restaurant is a part of the Jetwing Vil Uyana hotel and this restaurant specializes in the art of high dining. Here, you’ll find a fantastic view coupled with equally fantastic food. You can eat breakfast, lunch or dinner here, and with Sigirya looming in the background, you’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of everything. The menu boasts a range of uniquely authentic dishes and as any patron will tell you, dining at this restaurant couldn’t be more enjoyable.
Helga's Folly is a thoroughly individualistic place – a slice of art nouveau situated above the Kandy Lake. In the eyes of its flamboyant owner Helga de Silva Blow Perera, this is not a hotel but a home of rare originality and spirit. Over the years Helga has brought it to life with her own creative expression. Walls are enlivened with whimsical murals, ceilings with baubles and chandeliers, antique couches and beds are draped in vibrant silks, hallways are filled with old photos and stories of colourful personalities that have passed through here and wax-laden candlesticks are straight out of a Gothic novel. The Folly’s impressive blend of Sixties flower-power and high-camp will appeal to those seeking an imaginative alternative to routine hotel life. Sumptuous home cooked fusion cuisine is served here anywhere that guests desire. Advance booking is required.
The Kandy House is a beautiful and stylishly renovated boutique hotel set in an old Kandyan 'Walauwa' (ancestral mansion) and located 12km from Kandy's town centre. The inspired refurbishment of the 'Walauwa', with its light white interiors, polished hardwood floorboards, Dutch-style antique furniture and old photos that tell of Kandyan history, has been a triumph. The restaurant here offers a daily set menu. Sumptuous Sri Lankan and western fusion cuisine is served here. Advance booking is required.
After a long day of roaming through the ruins and getting to understand the history that is everywhere in the Cultural Triangle, you will undoubtedly hear your stomach rumbling. Pick from any of the restaurants or buffets above and get ready for a delicious treat. Sri Lankan cuisine is worth the try, especially the traditional dishes from Kandy and the Cultural Triangle. Settle in for a meal, and forget about the worries of the day and of the holiday when you buy a policy from Cover-More Australia.
Image courtesy of Flickr user David Veksler