YAALU YAALU hailed as London’s best Sri Lankan restaurant
Crowned as the No. 1 Sri Lankan restaurant at the recent ‘London Asian Food Awards 2019’, Yaalu Yaalu celebrated its success by launching a new Dinner Menu and I was invited along to try it with my husband.
The menu caters for everyone, vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians and meat eaters alike. As someone who hates long menus (it’s the Libran in me – so indecisive) I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to choose. But I needn’t have concerned myself as the food offer was small and perfectly formed; it even provided “Perfect Pairings” if I still couldn’t make up my mind.
We opted for a couple each of starters, mains and sides; spicing is generally mild so we turned up the heat a little. The food was served together with accompanying boards lined with banana leaves to spoon our food onto. The crab & potato cake starter, Eight or Ten, was a combination of tangy/zesty/piquant flavours, deep-fried in golden breadcrumbs and served with a chilli salsa dip. The portions were generous with two large cakes and whilst lovely we both felt we have preferred to see four smaller ones on the plate. The other starter, Yaalu’s Punch, was a mango and papaya salad combined with red onions, beetroot, sweet gherkins garnished with coconut meat and dressed with coconut vinaigrette. The combination of sweet and sharp was delicious and whilst I could happily have scoffed the lot in one go, I found it also worked well as a palate cleanser between the different dishes.
If you put the two curry dishes side by side you’d be forgiven for thinking “same sauce different content”; however you’d also be very, very wrong. The Malwana dish featured subtly spiced cashew nuts with green beans; the sauce was infused with the chef’s secret spices and resulted in a light and creamy sauce packed with taste. In comparison, the Ornamented Lagoon curry was thickly unctuous with an amazing depth of flavour which I imagine only comes from steeping the flavours for a long time. The king prawns were flavoursome and cooked to perfection allowing you to cut through them with ease. The coconut roti was perfect for scooping up the last of the sauce and there was a bit of a standoff when it got to the last slice (I won of course). Whilst on the subject of the roti, I must mark out the coconut chutney, Pol Sambal, that accompanied it. A simple combination of grated coconut blended with onion, tomato and a pinch of green chilli, seasoned with salt and lime – truly inspirational!
Despite all manner of gorgeousness in front of us, a special mention must go to the humble rice dish which had been elevated to something above and beyond rice. Simply called Herby yellow rice it was just that and much more; I’m trying to figure out what it was cooked with, but in the absence of ideas feel it imperative I return to Yaalu Yaalu for further tasting.
The drinks menu offered an array of Sri Lankan soft drinks and cocktails, together a short wine and beer list. It also suggested drink and food combos for those still in need of guidance.
If you’re big into Asian food, you would certainly enjoy visiting Yaalu Yaalu to enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan experience. You’ll be blown away by the deliciousness of the food, the beautiful presentation and the team’s super-friendly hospitality. Yaalu Yaalu has gone from being one of the biggest up and coming Asian restaurant brands in London to being THE best Sri Lankan restaurant in London this year. The food and flavours are widely acknowledged as modern and healthy with an Asian and Sri Lankan fusion touch. If you have any interest in Asian cuisine, then you are in for a treat!
429 Green Lanes, London N4 1HA