Posts Tagged With: sri lankan food

Lakruwana – The Power of the New York Times

I don’t know anyone who reads the New York Times.  Heck, I don’t know anyone who reads newspapers.  Half of my friends don’t even read.  I just asked my kids if they even heard of the New York Times… No!!  Ok, they are 2 and 3 but still, you get the point.  With that said when a restaurant is mentioned in the NYT positively and gets at least one star, look out.  To some this is a bigger deal than a Michelin Star.  You may even argue that the verdict doesn’t matter as Guy Fieri found out.  Attention is attention

Lakruwana

On Saturday I took my wife and 4 friends to Lakruwana, a Sri Lankan spot in Staten Island that I’ve written about before here.  As soon as we entered the restaurant I suspected something was wrong.  Still waiting for water and menus, or a human 20 minutes in, that feeling slightly intensified.  Before you knew it, a ‘Godfather’ like line of locals and hipsters out the door trying to get the owner’s attention which we so desperately needed as well.  The place was packed.  but then it hit me.  I’m there for the exact same reason as everyone else.  I also read the NYT article a few days earlier about Lakruwana and felt the same urge to cancel my plans (Briskettown in Williamdburg) and go there.    

Lakruwana - HoppersEventually things settled down, the hipsters left, and we got our food, albeit all the dishes at the same time which is always fun (since there was no room at least one dish had to be held by someone).  The food for the most part was very good.  Quite an excellent Mulligatawny soup to start things off.  Good Lamprais, Hoppers, Kottu Roti (first for me) but what stole the show on this particular night was the Deviled Chicken which I couldnt get enough of. 

After the meal the owner confirmed to me that they were simply not prepared or didnt know how to prepare for this.  Still, Lakruwana, with its museum like settings and terrific cheap food is quite possibly the best reason for hipsters to take the ferry over.  Except perhaps right after a NYT mention, or during a festival in Bushwick 

Lakruwana - Lamprais

Categories: New York City, Staten Island | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sri Lankan in Staten Island – Another reason to visit

LakruwanaLets recap some of the biggest reasons to come to Staten Island…

1)  Staten Island Ferry.  Staten Island is a very unique place.  One of the biggest attractions in NYC is to get there and then get the hell out of there.

2)  To see Meerkats on a lookout at the Staten Island Zoo.  If you have never seen this, here’s an example from another zoo…  

3)  The new annual “Running of the Zebras and Ponies”.  I have a feeling this is going to be a big hit.  Here’s a footage from the last event (play the video)

4)  To see “The Yankees”.  Its the Staten Island Yankees, but most tourists will not know the difference.

5)  For the new “EYE”.  Ok, its a Ferris Wheel that hasnt actually been built yet but is in the works, and it will be bigger than the London eye.  

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-26/nyc-said-to-plan-staten-island-ferris-wheel-to-rival-london-eye.html

LakruwanaAdd Sri Lankan food to this impressive list.  Sure you have some other nice options like Vida, and the rotating nonnas of Enoteca Maria, but nothing perhaps is as unique as the wonderful Sri Lankan cuisine on the island.  Since the late 60’s Sri Lankans have been flocking the island to create the 3rd largest Sri Lankan community in the US.  Here are 2 of the better options on the island of Staten

LakruwanaLakruwana – Entering Lakruwana is like entering a Sri Lankan museum with every inch of the restaurant decorated from floor to ceiling.  We did their excellent Sunday buffet served in clay pots.  From Boiled egg with curry to Kale with coconut, to Pol and onion Sambols, and the delicious crispy pork.  Although there were only 2 meat dishes, even the carnivores will admire the different variety and the complex flavors.

Sanrasa – Here we did a saturday dinner.  Although Sanrasa has more of a homey look and feel as opposed to Lakruwana, the flavors are as spectacular.  The chef used to work for Lakruwana and also I believe for a saudi prince.  If its good enough for a Saudi price, its good enough for Ziggy.  Some dishes we tried…

Chicken with cashew curry – very good. nice and tender chicken
Lamb with black curry – lamb a little dry but the sauce more than made up for it. Couldn’t get enough of it really.
Hoppers – very nice and unique, like little spongy pancakes made with rice flour and coconut milk, with some cooked with eggs
Kottu Roti – nice. They have an array of roti and hopper specials that come with your choice of meat curries
Lamprie – This is the house special and a must IMO. All kinds of goodies including rice, meat, curry, caramelized onions, cashews, all baked wrapped in banana leaf.  An old Dutch influenced classic
Deviled Shrimp – Fantastic, Thai-like, very spicy sizzling unpeeled shrimp with veggies.
Lamb Biryani – very good
Nice Mango Lassi as well.

There you have it folks.  Another reason to come.  As if you needed any more after surviving the running of the zebras and ponies

Categories: New York City, Staten Island | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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