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7 Foods to Try on a Night Out

Are you planning a night out in Colombo with your friends? What awaits you is an escapade for the ages. There’s a lot to see and do in Colombo, especially on a weekend night. Therefore, it’s perfectly reasonable to get late-night cravings, and the best part is that there are plenty of fulfilling food options in Colombo to satisfy even the most ravenous of appetites.

Though there are a few high-end restaurants that are open till about midnight, the smaller restaurants⁠—locally referred to as ‘hotels’⁠—are where you can find Sri Lankan classics, most of them perfect for a hungry group to share.

Here are a few such dishes that you wouldn’t want to miss.

1. Kottu rotti

Kottu a dish traditionally made from godamba roti (a type of Sri Lankan flatbread), gravy, spices, and sauteed vegetables. There are many variations to this classic recipe though, such as masala, pallandy, and more.

Kottu is usually eaten in the evenings, and is a dish that is much-loved by most Sri Lankans. If you wish to opt for something lighter but equally delicious, ask for ‘String hopper kottu’ instead. It’s got all the flavours, but is easier on the stomach.

2. Cheese roti/Cheese paratha

Paratha is another type of roti, or flatbread, that is thicker than godamba. Cheese paratha is usually either a fried sandwich of sorts with a layer of cheese sandwiched between two rotis, or a wrap.

It makes for an excellent snack on the go, but we’d recommend sitting down to enjoy them while you dip them in some chicken gravy.

3. Hoppers/Appa

The best way to describe hoppers to somebody who is not familiar with the food item is to call it a cross between traditional fluffy pancakes and crepes. The outer edges are thin and crispy whereas the middle is soft, yet dense and fluffy.

You can either have a plain hopper or an egg hopper, which includes an egg (either beaten or bullseye) right at the centre. There is a sweet version of this called kiri appa, but this is usually only available during the daytime.

4. Devilled maggi

Instant noodles are at the very top of the list of easy foods to make, but even then, there are tons of unique recipes that sauce it up. Devilled maggi is one such recipe that takes classic instant noodles and adds a Sri Lankan twist.

If you can’t handle spice, then unfortunately, this is not for you. The ‘devil’ process in Sri Lanka includes adding tons of chili to a dish, so devilled maggi is great for those with good spice tolerance. It also gives you a bit of a kick that will keep you energised throughout the night.

5. Roast chicken

Sri Lankan roast chicken is a bit tougher and crispier than its western equivalent, but the best part is that it’s got a lot of flavour and makes for a great post-drink bite. Roast chicken with paratha and gravy is a popular combination, but if you’d rather have something a bit drier, then roast chicken works just fine on its own.

6. Devilled beef

Sri Lankan devilled beef, like devilled maggi, is quite spicy. The dish usually includes an abundance sauteed banana peppers, chili peppers, tomatoes and onions, with thin strips of fried beef.

For beef fans with a reasonable spice tolerance, this would be the right dish. It’s often had with pittu (granules of wheat or rice flour in a cylindrical form, steamed), roti, or string hoppers (otherwise known as ‘iddi appa’, rice flour noodles pressed and steamed), and milk gravy.

7. Prawn wade

The closest western equivalent to wade is fritter. There are many types of wades, but this one is made from lentils and deep fried. It’s a disk, usually the size of one’s palm, and comes with two to three deep-fried prawns embedded on top.

Prawn wades are most commonly found by the beaches at the little food stalls that set up shop along the coast. They’re perfect for those who just want to relax by the beach while having a light snack at night.