I disagree with the way people use the term "crabby". Rather than "irritable", the mention of the word crabs, especially when associated with the word "curry", sparks joy and compels your tastebuds to writhe into a state of eager anticipation.
Here's our list of some of the top places to grab a solid crab curry which you can pair up with some unu unu paan.
The crown jewel of Cafe Albero: the Negombo Crab with Kade Paan (Rs. 1500). With a price tag to match, the crab curry and roast paan at Cafe Albero was everything and a bit more than we had hoped it would be. With a giant bowl of thick, onioned up gravy and lots of midway cut crabs just chilling inside the bowl, it's horrendously thick in the best way possible with a perfect symphony of spices. There was an abundance of crab meat and far too little bread to finish up the entire dish. Plus, with the salty, tangy pol sambol they serve on the side, it's a dream come true.
Big Daddy's BBQ
Paired with an almost fairy-tail-like ambience, the Crab Curry and Roast Paan (Rs. 900), a near-perfect match, was a combination of relishing flavours that hit the spot perfectly. A tinge of nai miris spicing things up, just the thought of digging in is getting us all revved up.
The name Banana Leaf is quite conspicuous as a place to grab a meal for a decent price. They are a streetside biriyani joint that evolved into a respectable well-known name at this point. Their Crab Curry comes with an enormous portion of meaty crab and ranks amongst our bests and has a piece of Jaffna in it.
New Banana Leaf
New Banana Leaf is a restaurant that specialises in a localised Biriyani that's pretty solid, and amongst their top dishes reside the crab curry. It's quite a solid bargain, and totally worth it. The portion might not be as large, but the taste is on a whole other level.
Admittedly a smaller portion of crab, but the symphony of spices is mindblowing. Spicy, suitable to the Sri Lankan palate, a solid pairing.
Taste of Asia
A solid place if you're craving Jaffna cuisine, Taste of Asia does a crab curry that is top-notch. Thick, spicy and meaty, it's to die for, and you can pair it up with a satisfying portion of string hoppers, pittu or even hoppers
My Sister's Kitchen
My Sister's Kitchen does bulk orders of Jaffna style curries, and it's definitely not for those with weak tastebuds. Chilli-ridden in Jaffna style, with a large bowlful of thick red hot curry this had plenty of sea crabs in them and parts of the crab body as opposed to the whole thing.
Look at this fat guy. Whether at the centre or at the claws, there was plenty of meat for a proper satisfying filling meal. The meat was extremely soft, spicy, and as authentic as Jaffna crab curry gets. Zero complaints about this meal, absolutely worth the trip. Plus, being so excellently prepared, you don't have to sell your soul for a bazillion bucks to pay for the meal.
The Fat Crab
Fleshy, succulent and absolutely flavoursome, The Fat Crab uses export quality lagoon (mud) crabs which are grown in numerous lagoons in our island. Therefore, you actually get a very good amount of crab meat, instead of just shell. Oozing with a strong spicy hit from a blend of pepper and chilli flakes, the seasoning in this dish was a sublime experience of pleasure for our taste buds. There was a proper balance between spicy and sweet elements, and a subtle sour kick running through, while the added capsicum and carrots were flavorful components in the overall flavour.
Well, what are you still waiting for? Drown yourself in that warm, delicious crab.