Sri Lanka's reputation for producing the finest crabs in South/South East coastline is seriously brag-worthy. Our lagoons play home to fleshy crabs, and the better part of that is being sent off to the kitchens of our neighbours – Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Dubai.
For some reason, crab-centric restaurants are hard to come across in Colombo. However, there are a few places around here that you can get your crab fix.
Upscale or streetside, here's our rendition of the best servings of our favourite crustacean in the city.
Singapore Chilli Crab – Fat Panda
Fat Panda's Singapore Chilli Crab is a massive, fiery concoction of crispy sweet-chilli batter, succulent medium shell crab, and chunks of flavour-soaked fresh crab meat. This is one of the spiciest crab curries we've encountered. At Rs. 1650, it's a brilliant treat!
Crab in Garlic Chili Sauce – Ministry of Crab
Ministry of Crab is probably the best place to get crab in the city, that is, if you're looking for export quality crab and you're cool with paying a bit more than your average crab place. Anywho, Here, we have the Colossal Crab in Garlic Chili sauce (Rs. 8500 for 1.2 kg). The crab itself was succulent and delicious and the sauce was pretty great too.
Crab Curry – Mayura Hotel
The definite underdog of this blog post is the crab at Mayura Hotel. A beautifully spiced up, ordinary-sized crab with a whole load of meat, the Jaffna crab at the Mayura Hotel blew us away. Not only does the whole thing cost you Rs. 300, but, they serve a side of dynamite crab curry to go with it. While the process of actually getting to Pettah can be a bit irksome, we guarantee that this'll make it all worth it.
Crab Curry – Yaal Restaurant
Served on a giant silver tray, the Crab Curry at Yaal Restaurant is another one of our favourite crab curries in CMB. The process of cracking it open can be a pain in the butt, but slathering the meat and the curry in the portion of biriyani (which you should order on the side) will make all things fall beautifully into perspective.
Jaffna Crab Curry – Black Pepper
This Jaffna Crab Curry wasn't the ideal JCC we're used to. Why? because despite the murunga leaves, the curry itself was pretty insipid. However, as one of the few places in Colombo that does crab, we couldn't help but include this to the list as well.
Chili Crab – Curry Leaf – Hilton
Curry Leaf is the Hilton's Sri Lankan restaurant, and they do an amazing spread of fresh seafood and local cuisine. We came across their Chili Crab when we went to try out this spread and we were flabbergasted at how good it was. Deliciously presented in a coating of red sauce and green chillies, this plate was loaded with soft, sweet meat in an easy-to-tackle shell.
Spicy Negombo Devilled Crab – The Fat Crab
The Fat Crab is an option when it comes to satisfying your crab cravings without breaking your bank. Their Spicy Negombo Devilled Crab is one of our favourites in the city. A brilliant concoction of spice, sweet and sour elements, and a subtle sourness running through, it's not overly sweetened by a ton of sauces as one would normally expect.
Apart from that, we should also mention the Sri Lankan Murunga Leaf Crab Curry and the Garlic Butter Crab at the Fat Crab for being pretty damn good too.
So what's your go-to crab dish in Colombo? Do let us know in the comments.