Sunday, January 20, 2013

Curry Munching @ Elephant Corridor

Sri Lankans and anyone who shares their love for a good spicy Lankan curry, are spoilt for choice in Melbourne. However, when it comes to finding somewhere fancy enough that you could take a date, there honestly isn't much on offer. But that's where Elephant Corridor comes in. It is an absolute gem of a find, it's classy, tastefully decorated and provides honest Sri Lankan cuisine.

Technically Elephant Corridor is an Indian and Sri Lankan restaurant, but I must admit that I'm yet to try their Indian fare, despite frequenting it countless times. Sri Lankan food is very different to North Indian cuisine which many people are familiar with, so for those of you that do visit Elephant Corridor, I urge you to shy away from your usual butter chicken and try some Sri Lankan food instead.

Being too lazy to cook and in the mood for string hoppers, S,W and I headed to Elephant corridor for dinner. When we arrived there, the place was packed and I was starting to wish I had thought of making a reservation. Lucky for us the waiter was able to find us a table. We were seated and a basket of pappadums and a serve each of tamarind and mint chutney were brought over promptly. The accompaniments were full of flavour, however the pappadums disappointingly were a little stale.

After browsing the menu for a couple of minutes we decided to order three serves of string hoppers ($10.90 each), kiri hothi ($4.50), Sri Lankan beef curry ($20.90), cashew curry ($14.90) and pol sambol ($6.90). I had to restrain myself from buying the devilled chicken too, as I think they do a pretty mean job of it. It goes better with rice than string hoppers, so I gave it a miss.

For those of you who haven't tried them before, string hoppers are steamed mounds of noodles made of rice flour. Each serve consisted of 15 string hoppers, half were made of red rice flour and the other half white. They were hot, fluffy and steamed to perfection. Two servings would have been plenty, because we really couldn't get through the three that we ordered. In my opinion string hoppers are not the same without a good kiri hothi. Kiri hothi is a coconut milk gravy that you are meant to pour over the string hoppers to soften them up and add flavour, what we ordered was nice but not as good as the last time I had it at Elephant Corridor. The cashew curry was by far my favourite, cooked in coconut milk and spices, it was creamy and well ... I just couldn't fault it. Likewise, the pol sambol which consisted of grated coconut and spices hit the spot, it was fresh and wasn't too spicy. The beef curry similarly delivered, it was so good we ended up trying to scrape out every last bit of gravy.


All in all we were all very satisfied with our meal and left with our tummies a little too full. My only regret was that I didn't eat my string hoppers the traditional way. I was feeling a little self conscious with all the people around me eating gracefully with their shiny cutlery, but let me let you in on a little secret, Sri Lankan food tastes a world better when you dig in with your fingers.

Elephant Corridor on Urbanspoon
My Rating 8.5/10

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