Tuesday, 24 September 2013 00:00
Enjoy a fabulous mix of culture and cuisine every Wednesday
By Marianne David
If you want to enjoy a fabulous mix of cuisine and culture, there’s no better place in town than The Kingsbury. Every Wednesday, the hotel serves up an impressive spread of Sri Lankan food prepared to perfection, along with a host of traditional dance and drum performances.
The Sri Lankan Night brings our traditions and culture into the spotlight while tempting the taste buds with the delicious array of authentic and healthy food on offer. While achcharu features heavily among the starters, the hotel goes on to offer several scrumptious mains – including seven kinds of hoppers – and over 25 kinds of traditional desserts, served in clay pots in keeping with the theme.
Sitting down to dine at The Kingsbury last Wednesday, we started at the achcharu corner, serving ourselves some woodapple achcharu and slices of chillie-sprinkled guava and pineapple plus the pickled kochchi miris, which set fire to our taste buds.
Next up was the karalla soup, which came highly recommended. A light spiced broth, this village speciality is best enjoyed with a small roast paan on the side. While the buffet featured many kinds of breads alongside the soups, the crunchy mini roast paan is a firm personal favourite.
Moving on to the mains, there were many dishes I’d never tasted before and first I tried some olu hal rice, with a not-to-be-missed cadju and cuttlefish curry, which I believe was the best dish there, plus the delicious Eravur beef curry and some irresistible pol sambol.
Among other mains and village style curries served up that caught the eye were chicken ambulthiyal, karawala beduma, nelum ala kirata, several kinds of mallum, jack seed with sarana curry, stuffed fish capsicum curry, pittu, pol roti, and three kinds of string-hoppers. The food was not just delicious but also healthy and non-oily, with absolutely no additives, in line with The Kingsbury’s high quality standards.
Next up I nibbled on some gotukola hoppers (another first from the hotel) and crispy pani appa, followed by a visit to the dessert corner, where I was spoilt for choice given the massive spread of traditional sweetmeats, featuring everything from halapa, lavariya and asmi to dodol, thala guli, sago pudding and watalappam.
While diners feasted, there was more than food alone for enjoyment, with traditional entertainment being a key feature of this themed event – from around 8 p.m. onwards, the stunning cultural show began, with the Pubudu Cultural Group's drummers and dancers grabbing attention at every turn.
With around a dozen different performances, I was thrilled mostly by the raban dance and the devil dances, while the kolam dance was highly entertaining, as were the drummers. The large crowd gathering around the buffet area to watch the performances in awe and click away were testimony to their talent.
With unique offerings such as this that focus on more than food alone, the hotel is fast gaining a name for itself as ‘the place to be’. The Sri Lankan Night is on at the Pool Deck on Wednesday nights, from 6:30 p.m. to 12 midnight and priced at Rs. 2,200 (all inclusive) per person, including a welcome drink. For reservations and inquiries call 0771087720 or 0115635635, or email [email protected].
Pix by Krishan Ranasinghe