Yaal vs Yarl (they both mean Jaffna)
Another day another crab. Today I hit up Yaal Restaurant the cleaner, brighter better ventilated rival of my beloved Yarl Eat House
for my fix. Now I don't generally believe that scrupulous hygiene adds too much to food. Passable hygiene, solid customer demand and fresh food is usually enough for me. If you do like your tables gleaming, your waiters unstained and your food in a fancy metal thali and not plonked straight onto a banana leaf Yaal Restaurant is the place for you. It offers Jaffna food in Wellawatte without Yarl or Maiyuri's er... authentic? atmosphere.
The food is actually quite good - the set mutton lunch Rs. 450 was tasty but again not necessarily better than the same at a more street Wellawatte eatery. You're paying for the cleanliness and view of the sea but with good service and a fair amount of variety on the menu I didnt begrudge them their extra rupees. The prawn curry was actually very good but the real test was always going to be the crab. Would it really compare with my Yarl Eat House archetype?
A single specimen slathered in a rich and piping hot gravy was produced. Once it cooled to a finger friendly temperature I set to work and actually it was pretty yummy. Sweet flesh and perhaps a better sauce than Yarl however the crab just didnt have the succulence of the Eat House on a good day- and no roe. Why don't more people understand the indispensable tastiness of those delicious eggs? Still it was a respectable effort though at Rs 450 somewhat more expensive than the Eat House. However you do sweat less during a lunch time meal (when Yarl turns into a sauna) so I'm going to note this as a worthy lunch time crab stop.
The quality of the other dishes was also pretty high so I'd say definitely worth a visit for more than the crab.
The prawn string-hopper biriyani is fantastic. So are their lunchtime thalis.