Fred Van Eijk

Discovering great food isn’t hard when you live in the heart of Amsterdam, like Travel Counsellors‘ Fred van Eijk. But it can be tough finding food that meets the same taste standards elsewhere in the world. Unless, you’re in Sri Lanka.

A day in Sri Lanka starts with a picture-perfect breakfast of coconut pancakes, string hoppers and appas.

String hoppers, for those yet to visit the island country, are steamed rice noodles, plated in a spiral and served with a coconut relish and dhal, a lentil curry. An appa, is a pleasantly light pancake with coconut milk and palm wine, it pairs deliciously with a fried egg. This type of pancake is soft but crispy at the edges.


Once each crumb of this delicious starter is consumed (and trust me, you’ll be picking each piece off the plate), it’s on to street food, which is available everywhere. I mean everywhere, and all day long.

Travellers can taste everything on the streets from roti, samosa, refreshing coconuts, fresh fruit, smoothies and heavenly curries.

Not a fan of spicy food? Good news, restaurants will allow you to choose how hot you like your food.

FYI, spicy is referred to as “devilled” in Sri Lanka.


Another ‘hot’ tip is, DON’T avoid the eateries that might appear all too cheap to our sensibilities.

For $10, I had the most delicious and diverse five-course dish for two people at Matey Hut in Ella, a popular destination in the mountains. And, the service was friendly.

With that in mind, in Sri Lanka, it’s natural that you might have to wait in line and potentially share a table with other guests enjoying their meals. For example, we shared curries with pumpkin, sambol (a mix of grated coconut, onion, garlic, chilli, lime and other things), and more.


And finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. Sri Lanka is a true culinary pleasure and, what’s more, a Walhalla for vegetarians.

Keep an eye out on KARRYON for more on eating your way around Sri Lanka, or click here to check out Fred’s favourite food spots in New York City.