One of the last remaining traces of the Dutch empire's imprint on our nation, lamprais is a delicacy that refuses to budge from our viciously patriotic hearts. Why? Maybe it's the slow preparation, maybe it's the variety of ingredients, maybe we're all secretly colonial sympathizers, who knows?
Here's our list of Colombo's top lamprais! Go wild.
Note that we're not including home cooks that undertake mass-catering for lamprais. You can add your favorities in the comments, but this list is places where you can walk in and get a lamprais immediately/place a minimum order of 2 parcels to get lamprais delivered.
The VOC, tucked inside the Dutch Burgher Union, is a very popular stop around the area, best known for its lamprais. So if you're a big lamprais fan, this is still one of the best places in town to get yours. Just make sure you get there early at about 11 AM before it's all gone.
Price: Rs. 545
The folks at office seem to really like The Fab's lamprais. The rice is tasty and you'll have a better chance of actually snagging a parcel for yourself since we have a lot of Fab outlets scattered about in the city.
Price: Rs. 400
Don't let the apparently small portion size put you off, because the serving is perfect. You can expect lamprais regulars here: blanchan, frikadels, ash plaintain, brinjal pahe, and chicken-stock cooked samba rice. This had the Sri Lankan addition of seeni sambol as well, and the vegetarian packet had an ala baduma and soya meat to boot.
Price: Rs. 375
Big Mama's is a home cook specializing in Dutch food, particularly lamprais. We're pretty serious about our lamprais, so we were very intrigued to see where Big Mama's offering would stand amongst the stalwarts of DBU and the like. You can get either pick up or delivery, as long as you order at least a day in advance.
Price: Rs. 500 but delivery is extra.
For 500 bucks, we don't think the lamprais was worth it because the flavours didn't really come through. The main ingredients (well, most of) checked out, with there being a decent frikkadel, ash-plaintain curry, a somewhat okay brinjal pahe, and a very flavoursome blanchan, along with a boiled and fried egg, and dry chicken curry within. However it was rather underwhelming, and we've tasted better.
Price: Rs. 500
We found their lamprais to be far better with most of the key elements - frikkadel, blachan, a good piece of chicken, plus a tasty dollop of seeni sambol which though isn't in your typical lamprais was still welcome.
Price: Rs. 350
Pol Sambolaya serves up an amazing lamprais. The rice was far less oily with the proper light yellow colour and the flavour of the ghee coming through well. The blachan was also added which made it a bit more authentic. The chicken was cooked well and the flavour was top-notch.
Price: Rs. 350
The lamprais from P&S didn'y really deliver in terms of flavour, It was more of a biriyani than an actual lamprais. A few of the key elements were missing, but that's okay. It's been a while, so they might have improved. If you like taking chances then head over to your nearest Perera and Sons outlet and let us know how it went.
Price: Rs. 320
The lamprais at Don's Deli is a pretty satisfying meal, especially if the meat in your lamprais is important to you. Just make sure you get here by about noon because as with all big lamprais contenders, the packets are quick to disappear.
Price: Rs. 475
If you choose to ignore the ridiculous price tag on Sugar's lamprais, you can enjoy a blissfull meal without having a coronary. The rice was pretty good, and the ash plantains were quite tasty. The letdown here was that the meat which, while cooked well, lacked balance of flavour and tasted a bit too peppery.
Price: Rs. 920
Check out our Lamprais taste-off for a second opinion. Bon appetit!
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