Serendib Northcote started almost by accident. When owner Dilip Kithulguruge introduced Sri Lankan short eats (the usually deep-fried snacks hawked by vendors across the island) at his Kingsbury fish’n’chipper Serendib, he was struck by their popularity.

As interest grew, he added more and more Sri Lankan dishes, and eventually opened a second restaurant in Northcote entirely devoted to his homeland’s cuisine. The High Street eatery (named after an early Arabic name for Sri Lanka) serves an affordable, colourful, all-you-can-eat buffet of more than 20 different dishes. The produce-driven menu rotates seasonally and features all sorts of curry, rice and noodle dishes, as well as dessert.

You might get tender and succulent Sri Lankan tempered potatoes, curried beetroot strips or brinjal moju (a sweet and sour eggplant condiment). The cashew curry, stewed with an aromatic house spice blend until the nuts are tender, has been a favourite. And with its coconut-milk base, it’s fully vegan along with about 70 per cent of the menu. Dessert is no afterthought, though: the watalappam, a rich jaggery and cardamom custard, is a must-try. Add a serve of hoppers, which you can watch the chef make in front of your eyes.

The 70-seat restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol, but you can BYO or opt for a mango lassi, made to order with fresh mango and some yoghurt (the Indian drink is also popular in Sri Lanka).

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Updated: July 11th, 2024

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