Peter Kuruvita’s Sri Lankan food hot spots

Behind the scenes of Sri Lanka's culinary delights
Behind the scenes of Sri Lanka's culinary delights

Home to an array of aromatic spices, exotic fruits and the celebrated seafood cuisines, Sri Lanka’s culinary scene can be overwhelming. What should you try first? Where is the best string hopper?

From a best-kept food secret in Kandy’s foothills to must-try street eats, celebrity chef, Peter Kuruvita, shares his top tips and foodie hot spots when navigating Sri Lanka’s food trails.

Just arrived in Colombo? Here’s where to find a nice cuppa to relax

“I think a cup of tea is probably best enjoyed at the Galle Face Hotel on the grass or by the seafront," suggests Peter.

"If you're there around 5:30, there's a quirky ceremony where they lower the Sri Lankan flag to the sound of a bagpipe, because the Gardiners, who own it, have Scottish heritage. It's the oldest hotel in Asia, so it's been going for four, five hundred years, and that tradition goes on every day. So, a cup of tea or a gin and tonic on the grass there is always a beautiful way to end the day, looking at the Indian Ocean.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Galle Face Hotel (@gallefacehotel) on

Hitting the fruit markets? Try these local produce

“If you're there [around] October: mangosteen. The mangoes are just starting to come out.”

Fresh local Mangosteen at the Pettah Market in Colombo. Photo: Sophie Panton.

“Wood apple's another very interesting fruit. It looks a cricket ball, smells like an old rag, but inside when you crack it open is this knotted, brown, stringy mass, which you mix with coconut cream and make a drink or ice cream out of it, which is amazing.”

“[Also try] one of the 38 varieties of bananas, guavas... and rambutan,” he adds.

Go-to street food?

For Peter, it’s a godamba roti first thing in the morning.

“It’s like a paper roti, and I just have it with egg. Find any street-side stall that's making it fresh and get them to put two eggs into it. They fry it, chop it up, and then give it to you with some gravy and a little bit of coconut sambal. It's just amazing!”

Also give dodol a try - it's a popular sweet in Sri Lanka made from coconut cream and cashews and cooked for hours. Photo: @whoislexiconnors

A restaurant Peter Kuruvita always sees himself returning to...

Ministry of Crab. He recommends the black pepper mud crab, jumbo prawns and kottu roti as some must-try menu items.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ministry Of Crab (@ministryofcrab) on

“It's modern Sri Lankan, and that's kind of very close to my heart and they use the freshest ingredients, so it's a great way for people to see and taste Sri Lankan food cooked in a modern way, but still keeping to the tradition.”

Stopping over at Kandy? Check out this best-kept food secret

“Kandy has a large Muslim population, and Muslims love their biryani… Pillawoos restaurant does a cracking biryani!”

READ MORE: Peter Kuruvita's Sri Lankan Ridged Gourd Curry recipe

From street stalls to some of Sri Lanka's best restaurants, where’s the best place to experience Northern cuisine?

World Expeditions' Sri Lankan culinary experience escorted by award-winning chef and restaurateur, Peter Kuruvita, is your best bet to get the most out of your Sri Lanka food adventure. Yes, you read correctly; Peter himself will be on the tour with you every step of the way for a culinary exploration of the island's remote regions.

“People are going to learn a lot, and they're going to think about Sri Lankan food in a totally different way... The first thing people say to me is when they put something in their mouth, is ‘Wow! I thought it'd taste like Indian, and it doesn't at all.’ So, get ready for a really amazing experience,” he says.

Learning traditional recipes is a feature of our culinary trips to Sri Lanka with celebrated chef Peter Kuruvita.

The new tour combines Sri Lanka's must-see highlights, exciting culinary experiences and hands-on cooking classes, where you learn to cook authentic Jaffna crab curry from the locals; make tea infused drinks; and grill up your catch of the day at a special beach BBQ prepared by Peter!

“We're a small group. It's very personal... [and] I'm with the tour 24/7. I'm actually sitting in the bus, totally engaged, telling stories and chatting with everyone. And at the front of the bus is Jeremy, who is highly knowledgeable, who can answer 99% of any questions that are thrown at him. Between the two of us, we ensure the comfort, the safety, the happiness, and all the rest of it,” adds Peter.

Enjoy your catch of the day on the exclusive culinary tour of Northern Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita.

The bottom line: try everything!

The last thing you want to be is over-cautious and miss out on heaps of great food as a result. So, if you’re wary about approaching some street food vendors, Peter suggests checking that the oil they are using is clean, looking for stalls that use fresh ingredients, have a look at the person who's making it and make sure their hands are clean. Peter stresses that Sri Lanka is a very clean country and hygiene is taken seriously.

A snapshot of some traditional starters for breakfast. Photo: @whoislexiconnors

“As long as you can see it being made, it's great. Go into the tea houses and have the curry of the day. In the morning, have a string hopper. In the evening, have an egg hopper. Try a Kottu roti. In the afternoon, all you have to do is just follow the sound of the clanging on the griddle.”

So, be adventurous, explore flavours you haven’t thought of trying and dive in!

Peter's culinary adventures regularly book out, so secure your place today.

culinary tour, food adventures, food lover's, food trails, foodie, hopper, indian, kandy, peter kuruvita, roti, Sri Lanka, string hopper

Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips