food in sri lanka

Food is the main problem of Sri Lanka!


Sri Lanka is a country of big, hearty and delicious breakfasts. Nowhere else have we been so fed in the morning! They spoil you with everything: toast with butter and jam, freshly squeezed juice, fruit, pancakes with coconut filling, spicy pies, omelet’s, sandwiches with potatoes (they know how to surprise!), and tea/coffee, of course.

Usually everything is delicious, only in one guest house the hostess did not go well – every morning the entire corridor was buried in smoke, like the Caucasus Mountains in fog. Eggs burned, sausages burned like sinners in hell, in the already terrible palm oil. Fortunately, other Sri Lankan housewives are much more successful in culinary skills, and breakfast is always our little holiday.

Gastronomic hole

The main disappointment from Sri Lanka for us and many other travelers is the food. Alas, this is a big problem here. But trouble doesn’t come alone—you’ll get five at once!

Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and other Asians are obsessed with delicious food. Yes, they just have a cult of food! In Southeast Asia there are cafes, eateries, and pop-up shops at every turn. In Ceylon, everything is different: there is no tradition of street food; locals eat mostly at home.

Food is very expensive

As I already said, there are no local eateries, only tourist ones, and food in them is expensive. Sri Lankans harshly raise the price tag for tourists (they generally brutally raise prices for foreigners – especially for attractions).

It is almost impossible to eat modestly for two people for less than $10. Moreover, for this money you will get simple dishes: rice/noodles and juice. Don’t even expect meat, seafood or even chicken! Such luxury will cost even more. 10 bucks for one meal is a lot for a poor Asian country. In Vietnam, for example, our budget for food for the whole day was even less than $10, despite the fact that we got more meat and freshly squeezed juices there.

Two kottus with avocado + two juices – such a simple lunch (without meat) costs about 1,700 rupees, that is, $10. For Asia this is very expensive! In Vietnam, it’s easy to buy a serving of rice with a large piece of chicken for $1.

They don’t know how to cook here at all.

I have never met such culinary mediocrities anywhere! Going to a new café is always a lottery, in which luck is usually not on your side. Often the food we cooked was so tasteless that we had to leave the grub on the plate almost untouched. This is very upsetting: you come hungry, tired, and here is such a setup! Moreover, let me remind you that food in Sri Lanka is expensive. As a result, my hunger was not satisfied, and my money was wasted.

The main problem with local cooking is the disgusting oil (palm?) they fry in. The stench throughout the entire area is incredible, and the food itself gets a disgusting aftertaste.

We are waiting for an order in a café near the station in Ella. We don’t yet know that they will bring us very tasteless rice and noodles cooked in palm oil. So we’ll leave hungry.
The situation with juices is better, but you’re also not always lucky: once we ordered orange juice and they brought us a terrible badly, with at least 95% water, and only a hint of orange.

That’s not all! The products in the stores are also of low quality. The worst thing is the sausages. Don’t even think about buying them. We didn’t take it ourselves, but the owner of one guesthouse “spoiled us” with them every morning – it’s a terrible thing.

there’s definitely no meat there, and it’s even scary to imagine what there is. Soft drinks are also all disgusting, and packaged juices are very expensive (from $2 per liter) and are very criticized in reviews – we did not try. So you have to drink only water.

To be fair, I note that sometimes you can find a café where the food is very tasty. Once you have found such a place, hold on to it tightly – don’t look for new ones, don’t take risks! For example, in our guesthouse in Ella, the hostess cooked fantastic rice and curry. Breakfasts in guest houses are almost always tasty and filling.

They feed you the same thing

When God was distributing delicious and original national dishes to the people, Sri Lanka apparently went out to smoke. For the whole country, for all the thousands of cafes and restaurants in Ceylon, there are only five dishes: rice and curry, fried rice.

fried noodles, kottu (chopped flatbread with vegetables) and roti (flatbread). Moreover, all these dishes are not even Sri Lankan, but borrowed from India and other Asian countries. It’s both funny and sad: day after day you travel through the cities of the island, you go to a new café and every time they give you a menu that you already know by heart, as if they have one for the whole country.

And the final blow!

A knife strike to the heart! Lankan coffee is a pain and a nightmare for a lover of this divine drink.

The problem with local coffee is extremely simple – Sri Lankans are greedy and brew very little of it. I’m not saying that real coffee should only be the freshest grind, the right varieties or mixture, properly brewed with good water – I’m ready to forget about all my strict requirements, if only it was poured three or four times more per serving.

But, alas, every time they bring me not coffee, but light brown water, only lightly flavored with coffee dust particles, as rare as snow in Ceylon (yes, very rarely, but it happens). A terrible torture for a person who is ready to declare coffee the cause of causes, the second incarnation of Christ, the meaning of life, heaven on earth and utopia turned into life!

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