Ahinsa is one of the handful of brightly lit restaurants lining the road leading to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. They've got your typical touristy open seating arrangements, fairy lights, and wooden interior all scribbled on with marker pens from visitors.
Tired, starving, sweaty, and thirsty, four of us walked in and noticed a blackboard with their specials up. It was with relief that we saw hoppers and kottu on the list, so we seated ourselves and ordered.
The lady who greeted us at the entrance was friendly and nice, but the girl who came to take our order was a bit confusing. She was polite, yes, but we had a bit of a communication issue. We switched to Sinhala so it would be go faster, but the girl just gave us a deadpan look and repeated (rather confusedly) our orders in English and tried to explain what the Banana Rotti was. For the record, it was a pancake (but we were told it was a chappati).
Food arrived about 20-30 minutes after ordering it, but it was worth the wait. Not your classical kottus, our Vegetable Kottu (Rs. 250) and Chicken Kottu (Rs. 300) were pretty much identical except for bits of chicken added to the latter. The cut was different, with the kottu being diced rather squarely, and fried (or tossed in oil and salt a lot). I enjoyed the flavour because of how strong it was, but Kavindu's veggie kottu had too much salt going on.
We also got a Banana Rotti Plate (Rs. 250) which was a local pancake (ie, the type of pancake you get with polpani) which looked like this.
I would say draw your own conclusions, but if I'm to elaborate it is something I'd strongly not recommend. It's a bit of a mess to eat, and a rather unattractive combination of elements.
We tried a few of their fruit juices and a fruit lassi as well. The juices were priced at Rs. 200 and the lassi (we opted for a pineapple lassi) was Rs. 250.
Breakdown? The Lemon with Carrot was refreshing and light, but it had too much carrot pulp in it. It was a bit like eating finely grated carrots. We liked the pineapple lassi and it wasn't too acidic or slimy — sometimes pineapple drinks have an unpleasant texture, which this thankfully lacked. Kavindu's lime juice was a tad too sweet but quite well prepared. The mango juice wasn't too flavoursome, but it was alright. Overall, they were a bit too watery despite being authentic fruitjuices that weren't spiked with too much sugar.
With takarang floors and wooden pillars, plenty of colourful lights and scribbles decorating the walls, Ahinsa is just a few steps away from reaching the levels of the chilled eateries of Ella. It's clean and well kept, and maybe a bit shabby.
With pretty decent food (not the best, yes, but still good nonetheless) at very reasonable prices, we think Ahinsa is worth checking out when you're there.
It seems to be a family run restaurant, and the girls managing it are quite nice. Just speak in English throughout with the younger one.
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