Nalapaham is a super affordable place for a quick biriyani, kottu – and especially, for crab. I’m a big fan of crab, and the crab here was pretty satisfying, especially since I only had to pay 300 bucks for it.

The Food

We dropped in for lunch, so unfortunately we couldn’t try the biriyani and kottu here – those are only reserved for 5PM onwards. So we asked for a plate of chicken fried rice (Rs. 150), cooked up fresh in the kitchen behind our seats. It’s an epic portion, enough for 2-3 people, and it tasted okay, not the best we’ve had and we wish there was more chicken.

We also got a side of cuttlefish (Rs. 230). These are thick tough pieces, well seasoned and spicy, would probably go great with a plate of biriyani.

The Rs. 300 crab finally arrived and it was pretty tasty. I love the gravy that crab usually comes in, and this time was no exception – it packs a spicy punch. The meat inside was softer than crab meat usually is, spicy as well and plenty – a good quick solution to random mid-day crab cravings, though personally I prefer the crab at Yaal which is sweeter and comes with more crab curry.

Service & Ambience

The place doesn’t do much for ambience. It’s a clean little kade, but the smoke from the cooking and the general smell of stored seafood isn’t all that pleasant. Also the place has got the typical kade male-to-female ratio of 10:1. The staff is small and attentive, and the food generally got to our tables soon, except for the crab which we had to remind them about half an hour later.


The paayaasam (sago) is super sweet and makes a great dessert

Nalapaham is another one of Colombo’s easily accessible fast-meal little restaurants. It’s easy on the wallet (Rs. 900 for two of us, rice, crab, cuttlefish and dessert included), and it’s a simple fix if you’re in the mood for a bit of crab meat.

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