Open Time:11. 30 a.m. - 11.30 p.m.
No 65, C W W Kannangara Mawatha, Colombo 07
Right opposite the Viharamahadevi Park, when going towards Neluka Pokuna from Town Hall. A few buildings from the Caravan near Town Hall.
What we had
Upali’s has been my go-to restaurant for Sri Lankan food for ages. Whether it be a friend/colleague/cousin visiting the country or when I needed an authentic Sri Lankan fix (despite eating this cuisine all three meals, every day) my number one option would always be Upali’s. Upali’s has also turned into our go-to spot for extended family dinners as well!
I often hear the complaint that prices are too steep, but this is one place group dinners have not blown the wallet! You’ll actually find that dining at Upali’s a lot more economical than other establishments of the sort. Granted you wouldn’t want to pay LKR 300 for 15 Idi Appa, but with the ambiance and the added dining experience, that’s the price you’ve got to pay, and in my opinion, it’s very worth it.
Polos Cutlets – LKR 320
The polos cutlets, 5 a serving, were crunchy fried baby jackfruit patty loaded with potatoes, diced vegetables, onions, green chili and spices. Pulled jackfruit is a dish so easy to get wrong because if the strands are too big, then it won’t bind into a patty properly. Needless to say, this was done just right and was bustling with flavor!
Pol Sambolaya – LKR 165
Pol Sambol is a classic Sri Lankan favourite and one that is made at least every other day in a typical household. This dish is a bowl of grated coconut combined with red onions, green chilli, crushed chilli, Maldive fish and tomato. You’ll never find a Sri Lankan nodding their heads away for some spicy pol sambol.
Mutton Varuwal – LKR 800
We decided to try the Mutton Varuwal from their range of “Signature Dishes”. This is a Jaffna curry dish of fresh mutton, diced and sautéed with spices and served on a sizzling plate. This has been a personal favourite for years and hasn’t let me down since. The taste, the flavours and the dish has been ringing consistency every time I’ve ordered it.
Maalu Mirisata – LKR 395
Whenever I go to Upali’s with my grandparents, a seafood dish is always ordered. This time, we tried the Maalu Mirisata for the first time. The fish was fresh and the spices were very well balanced. You have the option of having your fish done kirata (white curry) or mirisata (spicy curry).
Kukul Mas Mirisata – LKR 395
Ordering the Kukul Mas Mirisara (AKA Sri Lankan Village Style Chicken Curry) is almost like a force of habit. To be honest, I don’t find their chicken curry amazing, but when paired with the rest of the curries, it works fine.
Parippu – LKR 290
We ended up ordering a Parippu (lentils curry) dish for our idiappa (string hoppers) because we weren’t told that the idiappa by default comes with a side of kirihodi (white curry). The dhal curry wasn’t anything spectacular, but we’ve got no complaints either.
Roast Paan – LKR 90
Although you only get one slice, not loaf, slice of roast paan for LKR 90, this is extremely worth it! The bread is light and crunchy and is the best roast paan I’ve honestly ever had!
Idi Appa – LKR 300
At 15 string hoppers a serving (which is about the average amount of string hoppers a single person would eat), you get to choose whether you want your steamed string hoppers made with wholemeal or white flour. The Idi Appa was soft and delicious when paired with the accompaniments, pol sambol and kiri hodi.
Appa – LKR 300
Ah, the classic Sri Lankan hoppers. If you haven’t been to Sri Lanka and tried a hopper and some road side kottu, you haven’t lived! At LKR 300, you are served 4 hoppers in total, 1 egg and 3 plain with a side of spicy lunu miris. You can actually choose between this or katta sambol.
Pol Roti – LKR 305
Pol Roti is my mom’s first love and no matter where we are, if she sees this on a menu, she will order it. At Upali’s they serve 4 rotis, 1 big and the others smaller in size. The big one is a pretty sizeable and filling pol roti and could be shared among two people even if this is all you’re having. Pol Roti is another Sri Lankan classic where flour is kneaded in with grated coconut, chilli, onions and curry leaves.
Kottu Roti: Chicken – LKR 625
When you want to have kottu in Sri Lanka, you’d always opt to a roadside joint cause they get it best, but Upali’s kottu is right up there in the rankings. Filled with veges and in my case, chicken, this kottu serving is enough to fill 2 people up and make your heart and tummy sing!
Watalappan – LKR 275
Wattalppan is a cultural dessert made with jaggery, coconut milk and topped with nuts, turned comfort food for some of us. The one here is by far one of the yummiest I’ve had.
Have you been to Upali’s yet? Let us know what you think of it in the comments below! Is there anything we’ve missed?
Tip: The Sri Lankan taste palate is geared towards spice and our dishes reflect this. The waiters are very accommodating and will explain the dishes to you when requested, you can always ask them to prepare it to the spice preference of your choice!
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