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.
They've also got Dutch sweets such as bolofiado - a layered pastry with fruit and nuts, fougeti - a pastry tube filled with pumpkin preserve and nuts, and olliebollen - a Dutch style donut with apple, cinnamon and raisins.
For this review, we stuck with the lamprais.
One thing we have to say from the get-go is that the pricing and portions at Big Mama's are really good. You get a much, much larger portion than you would at say, DBU, and at a similar price. So at Rs 500, it's fairly priced.
Now, let's get down to the elements.
First off, the rice. We found the rice to be too salty, although quite flavourful. This was disappointing, particularly when every other element involves a fair bit of salt, too.
The mixed meat came with a lot of pork, and not just fatty bits, but actual meat. It's super flavourful. The belachan was the best executed element of the lot, not too spicy, with the texture of pol sambol but the flavour of shrimp.
Big Mama's does promise a Sri Lankan styling of Dutch food, so the seeni sambol was justified. Then there was some brinjal and kehel muwa that was pretty good, too. The frikkadel was well done, with the mutton minced so fine it almost had the texture of fish, though the little bit of gristle confirmed that it was indeed meat.
However, all in all, when it all came together, we found it too overpowering simply because there was too much salt going on. This can be easily remedied though, so maybe inform them about your palate's sensitivity and they can cater to it.
If you don't eat pork, there's an option in which the mixed meat consists of beef, mutton and chicken. Aisha complained that she couldn't find any chicken. I can confirm that there was indeed chicken. The rice wasn't as salty on this one either.
Overall, we liked this one much better than the other. It's a solid lamprais, but it could be balanced out better.
The process of getting your lamprais is pretty simple and Big Mama herself is quite an endearing character over the phone. You can either arrange for pick-up from her home in Nawala, or you can arrange for delivery which they'll sort out via Hot Wheels. Keep in mind though that the delivery charge is Rs 300, so it makes more sense if you're buying quite a few parcels. It was said to arrive at 12 noon and arrived at 12.30, so that's not too bad.
We're really happy to see another lamprais provider entering the game, and we're always happy to find new home cooks coming into the fray. We think the saltiness of the lamprais may have just been a one-off issue. Either way, we're sure they'll make it to your liking if you tell them.
Ed Note: We also got some sweets on the house because the home cook wasn't so pleased with how they turned out! Since they were free, we can't really review them but we'd recommend you try some if you enjoy authentic Burgher dessert pastries. They are all Rs. 150 each
From Nawala Road, turn onto Koswatte Road at Koswatte Junction, then keep on the lane until you see Chandra Wettasinghe Mawatha to your right. Call up their number for more directions.