Rating: 7 / 10
Encountering a friendly, enthusiastic person behind a counter is not something I'm used to in Norway. Apart from the occasional kind face (usually a foreigner), the state of customer service in this country is lacking.
However, after 5 minutes of talking about Sri Lanka, myself and the cheery proprieter/cook were bosom buddies. He was slowly convinced that I could handle my spice after name-dropping some legendary crab curry shacks in Arugam Bay, to which he replied "I make the worlds best crab curry but I don't have any right now, i'll make you something hot tho".
As he pottered around in the kitchen and was harangued by a customer who popped in to ask if they did Kebabs, "No, Sri Lankan food", "How much is it?", "109kr for big plate of food", "Can I get a discount", "No this is not an auction".
Jesus, the fucking nerve of some people.
Pots clanged and clammered on hot flames as we tried to maintain a conversation across the dividing wall about India, Sri Lanka, travel and the yearnings of the heart. After a fifteen minute kitchen escapade I was presented with a plate adorned with a banana leaf, holding a host of cherubim and seraphim in the shape of Sri Lankan comfort food. Dhal, drumsticks, rice, sweet potato curry, chicken curry hidden under an egg-enveloping roti and some form of protein in the shape of small balls.
First off, this was tasty, authentic Sri Lankan food. The portion size for a shade over 100kr was gigantic and I struggled to finish it. Every seperate curry had its own distinct flavour and didn't vy for the limelight. My personal favourite was the chicken, but everything worked in it's own way.
I noticed I had eaten it far too quickly, which is a good sign of my enjoyment. If I was to offer one small tip to make my next visit even better, I felt that every element of the dish; especially the roti, was underseasoned. Salt, such an overlooked yet essential gatecrasher at every party.
This meal was one decent pinch of salt away from being addictive. The lack of a salt shaker on the table left me feeling awkward as to request it from someone who had been so kind and cheerful in explaining his heritage and passion for cooking. I can live with that.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"