Monday, August 22, 2011

What a mis-steak!

That's what I thought as I cut into the piece of old shoe leather and placed the first bite in my mouth.
The nice guy in me smiled and said "lovely" to my host who was looking intently for my approval. It seems that the dubious honor of "the worst steak I have ever eaten" goes to none other than the bayleaf Colombo. I had heard that the food here was not the best but I never expected it to be this bad. Specially when you had to pay 1600 bucks for it. Even the size of the piece of meat was paltry. Maybe the chef was having a bad day because the onion soup I had as my starter felt like water from the sink once the dirty dishes had been dunked in it. Infact I think that might have tasted better. Fortunately I did not have to pay for it.
Quite a difference to my experience at the German Restaurant the other day I must say. I have had good steaks at Echo, German Restaurant and Summer Garden.
However the best steak I have ever eaten was not at a big classy restaurant with qualified chefs but a small unassuming little hotel called "Hansa Surf" in Hikkaduwa. Made by a normal Sarong clad "Koki" I wonder if it was because they made it at nearly 12 midnight for me or because I was completely stoned out of my mind when I sampled it. It was absolutely heavenly. The memories of its juicy succulence still makes my mouth water. Hmmm now I am hungry.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I want you to look at me again

with that fiery passion burning in those tender eyes

Tell me you missed me everytime I was quiet for an hour

Hug me as if there was no tomorrow

And hold me close as if you would never let me go

Like you did.... then!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A new old favourite - rediscovering German Restaurant!

Technically it is “The Bavarian”

But since time immemorial it has been known as the German Restaurant to me and I guess to all the fellow foodies in town. I still have fond memories of eating my first pork knuckle there in 1989 and having beer with shots of schnapps. Many other German food joints have come and gone including Franfurtlavinia which I personally did not like though others thought differently. But the good old GR has become a landmark in the dining landscape of the city. Guess like all land marks it just stood still as time passed by. Even after 12 years the menu hadn’t changed though the prices had. Very soon the good old GR faded away from my list of regular dining options.

But recently I got an e-mailer which fortunately did not end up in my SPAM box; talking about a new menu with some beautifully shot pictures of food. The pictures were mouthwatering. So much so I rushed to the GR for a long Friday lunch with one of my buddies.

Oh how lovely it was to walk into that all too familiar cool dark embrace and take the first sip of an icey cold lion draft beer. The sensations which were washing over my body were incredible.

The experience only got better when they brought us the menu.

Firstly it was lovely to see that they had actually reinvented the menu as promised. Some of the old favourites were still on it but the new offerings sounded amazing. They also had a great lunch deal going. Soup main and dessert for just 1100/- all inclusive. And the choice was wide. The prices had been brought down by making the portions more manageable. In the good old days it was always too big. A main course was roughly 800/- which was a very good price. I had the sausage platter which is technically a starter along with wok fried vegetables and spicey rice and it was absolutely heavenly. It was one happy bunch of people who walked out that day. Guess the beers helped too. But we had a great time and it was roughly less than 1500/- per person with drinks. Which is excellent. Since then The Bavarian has been one of our regular lunch haunts. And so far we have never been disappointed. In fact I have shared this with many people and all of them too have been raving about the great experience they had. It seems the management of the GR has been taken over by a brother and sis duo and it was their decision to revamp it. And I am glad to see they are doing a wonderful job at it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Voices (Questions) inside my head

I can...

feel the flame flickering

will it extinguish rapidly?

or die slowly?

I ask myself

what if it revives?

like flames tend to do sometimes

and burn brightly once again?

The way it was meant to be?

Isn't it better to part

while the memories are still beautiful?

Where the glow of tenderness

and the moments of intimacy and care

are still rosey and warm?

Than to wait

for the waves of bitterness and strife

to dash apart the special bond

that we once shared?

Only time will tell.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The White African American!

I know this may seem the ultimate Oxymoron. And also one might accuse me of being sensational in order to entice readers to delve further. But believe it or not my friends it is true. Not only did I have the privilege of meeting him but I had the honor of having a meal with him.

According Dr. Lionel Mandy, American Race laws created by the white supremacists dictate that you are considered an African American if one of your ancestors in the past five generation happen to be one. And there he is a white guy with a pony tail wearing John Lennon glasses looking me straight in the eye and telling me he is an African American.

I met Lionel completely by accident. Through RC whose opinions I really respect. She called me quite excited one day and said that I met this guy who is quite amazing and I think you should meet him too. Sadly the word “Amazing” does not do justice in describing the profound impact Lionel had on me.

Lionel is a professor in the University of California in the African Studies Department. But he has over 9 qualifications under his belt including a Doctorate in Meta Physics, a MBA as well as a degree in English literature. He was down in Sri Lanka for a period of nine months on a full bright scholarship as a lecturer to the University of Colombo. He is also a healer in his spare time and that is what gives him the most joy and a sense of purpose. Somehow once he stepped into Sri Lanka he has realized that this country is going to be his new home.

He has some amazing opinions and theories which he mesmerized me with for nearly two full hours when we met for the first time.

He introduced me to the theory of “Light Skin Advantage” by which he means that even in Dark skinned societies people with the lighter colored skin get preferential treatment over the others. I think this is quite evident in Sri Lanka. He also stated that one reason why most of us are feeling quite stressed and lacking in balance is because we are trying to fit ourselves into a culture and work life model which is alien, with values which were developed in the West. Where we are brainwashed to believe that if its Western (White) it is better. He also was telling me that a lot of stress ultimately comes out as weight around the tummy area and that’s how the word gut feel originated.

He did some healing work with me as well as my friend RC. The affect on her was amazing. She is buzzing with energy and success. In my case I feel a positive difference too but due to my religious beliefs I am still wondering if I did the right thing by getting a healer to do some work within me.

But even as I work through my confusion one thing is for sure he is one interesting character and I cant wait till I meet him once more again. And I am sure I will because according to Lionel “Nothing happens by chance and everything has a purpose”.

Amazingly Delicious! Amazingly Cheap! Himsara - Kirula Road.

Three little words! Yes just three itsy bitsy tiny little words on Drama Queens FB wall - which will make me grateful to her for an eternity - saying “Himsara lunch rocks”. This in turn released a flood of pleasant memories of a drunken lazy Sunday evening at my friend Dinkys house where we were tucking into a pork curry from the same shop. With apologies to KFC now that curry my friends was finger licking good. After a little investigating I was delighted to realize that this shop was just a couple of hundred meters from where I work. And from that moment onwards all my lunch time woes were over.

You see I am what you would call a “Buth Gulla”. I would be quite happy to eat rice for all three meals and be quite contented with it. Though where I work is surrounded by all sorts of restaurants there was a dying need to find a place which sold a decent lunch packet that had red rice and enough spices to placate my taste buds. In other words what I needed was a truckers lunch instead of something served at these namby pamby restaurants such as sen saal and Tasty. Till I found Himsara I had to send someone all the way to Mihiri Buth kade in Borella for a decent lunch.

But now I am glad to say this little hotel serves up the most delicious lunch packets with lots of traditional vegetables. Not only is it hot, tasty and spicy but it is also amazingly cheap. For instance a fish packet is only a 100 bucks and a pork lunch with a generous serving of pork in it costs only 150/-

If you want to sample what they have to offer drive down “Kirula” Road (the road which the old asiri hospital is situated) from the Thimbirigasyaya end and it is the second shop on the left. But you better keep your eyes peeled because it is so easy to miss. There is another bigger and better Himsara outlet just a few hundred feel past Asiri but it does not serve pork but does have rice for dinner while the other shop has rice but no rice (other than fried rice) for dinner. Personally I prefer the smaller shop to the bigger one for no particular reason. Anyway all this writing about food has made me hungry yet again to sample the delights of Himsara. Its dinner time and I need my pork curry and rice. I know what I will do. I will get a portion of pork from the small shop and my good old Buth packet from the big one and enjoy the best of both worlds.