Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Prawns! Crabs! Calamari! Flambé and Ass burn…

Well this my friends sums up in a nut shell my recent trip to the North East. Seven days and six nights on away from home, 1500 kilo meters of driving mostly on bad roads. A delicious but tiring journey. I just wanted to share with you some of the more memorable moments and meals we had. The amazing thing about Jaffna is it’s easier to get fried rice than the authentic food which this region is famous for. Also the accommodation sucks and is expensive to boot.

The first most memorable meal was when we reached Jaffna after a long day of driving. My colleagues who we were travelling with me had found a lovely little guest house called Luxe Toille where they offered the real thing. And it was an awesome experience after a long cool Beer. The rice was kind of reddish and we had a unique prawn curry called “Prawn Mathurai” which was more like a Thai green curry which was lovely along with fried crab as well fish fry which was awesome.

What I found unique was also that they used a lot of curry leaves and had even given us two types of sambols made out of this. The meal was followed by a typical Jaffna ice cream. Oh boy I have never eaten something as grand and splendid as that. It was this huge glass full of ice cream which they make on their own and is quite good with a base of fruit salad and garnished with smarties chocolates and hundreds and thousands all for the price of 120.

We also made friends with the owner of the hotel who is actually a businessman who had been brought up in France and now has business interests over there in India and Sri Lanka. He is quite a colorful man of many careers including being a food creator as well as an author. He shared with us a joke which I have to share. His point was that there are three types of questions all wives will ask their husbands when they call on the phone.

“Where are you?”

“Have you eaten?”

“What time will you be coming?”

The most amazing thing is we realized how true this is when a couple of us got calls from our spouses.

Well the advantage of being friends with the owner was he decided to cook for us and made us a biriyani out of a traditional recipe he had learnt from his grand mother. The advantage of him being in France was that he had a great taste of wines and decided to present us with a lovely bottle of chilled wine with his compliments to go with the meal.

And then the food creator in him wanted an opportunity to shine he made us a special dessert of flambéed bananas which he soaked quite liberally with Chivas from his personal stock.
The food was wonderful and spicey but boy did I have a bad case of ass burn the next morning.

Next it was Nilavelli Beach hotel. What a relief it was to move into decent digs with properly designed rooms, proper toilets and linnen.

We went in with the expectation that the food at the buffet would be catered to the palates of the foreigners but was delighted to realize that it was actually quite nice and spicey and we liked the variety. I thought it was great value for money. Though the food was good it does not deserve a special mention because it was just like any other special buffet except for Sunday Lunch. Yes they had traditional crab curry with big lagoon crabs and didn’t we tuck into it.

The final meal which I am going to talk about was in Batti. It was a place called the Riviera which was quite famous as the only decent place in that area. We had ordered food in advance and when we sat down for drinks before they brought our bits and our hearts sank. The prawns they had fried for us were tiny and we were wondering if our dinner was going to be like this as well.

(Pics of our batter fried prawns who had an untimely death and the dinner we had laid out in food warmers which was kind of unique to say the least)

But thank goodness that was not the case the food was fabulous and the best crab we had eaten on the entire journey was in batti. Even the breakfast we had the next day at Singing Fish restaurant was quite good specially the prawn curry it had a unique flavor which makes my mouth water even now when I write about it. So after all this five of us came back home tired but fatter.

The final breakfast


Dee said...

ratei kaama nathoooo..!


Scrumps said...

I am sooooo jealous!

Sounds amazing! Especially the bananas soaked in Chivas! :$

Lady divine said...

wow...sounds like a good trip!!


and interesting details too..:) esp what Scrumps mentioned..