Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Sri Lankan Travel Diaries- 2015!

I have shifted finally!! Months of planning and plotting later, here I am sitting with a cup of tea in front of a huge window overlooking the urban maze of Gurgaon. It’s a nice, quaint little place, but I don’t know how long would it take for me to embrace it as home. As I sit, relax and ponder about it; let me get you guys to see what I had been upto all these days, one meal at a time!

If you don’t follow me on Twitter and Instagram- AntaraZandC; you should do it right away. I had been out travelling on a road trip all around Sri Lanka, and had posted up some awesome pics that you must have missed then. I will put across a few of the highlights here and take you with me on the journey of this mythical land of masks and spices. But for future reference, do remember to click on the elusive 'follow' button on both my profiles so that you are always updated about my foodie journey! And on Facebook, you may follow the link here to like!

Sri Lanka is this clean tropical island, which took my breath out. Though people didn’t look much different than us Indians, the roads and buildings surely did. Spick and span- without a single upturned garbage can or a pothole on the road. It was truly a revelation when I realised that Indians are a class apart, even from our next door neighbours!! And that my friends, was a really unhappy thought of sorts!

Sri lankan food is quite a tasty combination of south Indian dishes, dashed with Ceylon spices. And mind you, the spices impart a really different flavour in itself! Their spices, unlike the ones of our country, is much mellow and sweeter in taste. The cinnamon really stands out, followed closely by cinnamon leaf and long cloves. However, I find the pepper and other spices better with a stronger aroma, wherein the Indian cousins should be preferred.

To start our photographic journey, we landed in Colombo with this awesome sunset, that we enjoyed while sipping through a refreshing cuppa of Ceylon tea.
Fresh and energised we left for Kandy (tea district), stopping midway to enjoy a late evening snack of Egg Hoppers, Kuttu Roti with Chicken and Sri Lankan coffee at the quaint little place called- Ceylon Hotels Corporation. This eatery falls on the way to the tea district. 
 The dinner was special. The romantic setting of Mount Havana was perfect for a moonlit, candle light dinner. And the food was equally enticing. Fresh Rawas grilled and a Sri Lankan Chicken Curry served with Rice. Pics follow...
The pretty setting!!
Sri Lankan Chicken with Rice
Rawas perfectly Grilled!
All in all, I have enjoyed pretty much all my meals down there. Their breakfast constitutes of a very spicy mutton stew called Elumas Curry and Kiri Bhat (thick glutinous rice cooked with milk). It seemed a weird combination, but tasted quite a thing of delight!
The Lunch thali looked quite similar to our Indian ones. Fried Poppadums always took a place of pride on the plate, surrounded with pork, vegetable and dal dishes.
A lunch thali, finished with Chutney and Poppadums. 
 The desserts definitely fail to impress. Somehow the ice creams I ate were all too frosty and a bit too sweet for my liking...
Frosty tamarind ice cream with Watalappam, a Sri Lankan dessert pudding made with jaggery and coconut milk.

Frosty chocolate icecream served with super sweet strawberry compote!

But all the sadness is quickly forgotten when you see this while travelling around the island. The beautiful, serene pics without any filter...

A village road, without a single pothole!

And the most pretty and serene Sunsets!

The Ceylon spices and the tea are a major shopping attractions!

And I couldn't help but lug back a load of these awesome treats for back home! 

The Most famous Ceylon Cinnamon!

Some delectable Ceylon tea!

Another major shopping attraction for me up there was fine bone china and porcelain tablewares, by Noritake. Noritake is one of the most famous companies which has a factory down in Sri Lanka, and yours truly lugged back two pretty tea sets from their certified showroom.

Another major point I noticed was the influence of Japanese cuisine on Colombo restaurants. I had the most beautiful sushi up there, coupled with these awesome Sake based cocktails at Taj Samudra, Colombo.

And a beautiful contemporary Sri Lankan meal at Kelma Sutra, about which there is a lot to write and say...

But hands down, the best meal that I had up in Sri lanka, is the one I had in Ministry of Crabs. I returned back with a huge foodie crush on Darshana Munidas (the chef and the owner), and his take on the fusion Sri Lankan fare that he wants to popularise! 

All in all, a must visit for every foodie looking for a relaxing holiday. The little island has clean big mountains and pristine beaches. Be assured you would lug a heavy tan and a brand new palette back from that country! Cheers!!

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