Classic Destinations continues to explore the complex and mouthwatering world of Sri Lankan gastronomy.
Sri Lanka as an island if filled with an array of unique spices, and flavors, as well as a host of fresh ingredients from land and sea.
The islands various regions furthermore have their own specialties and cooking techniques which are unique themselves.
Among all of Sri Lanka’s cuisine none other has captivated the world like the famous Lagoon Crab and the multitude of preparations this crustacean is prepared in.
Many food experts, food vloggers as well as professional chef’s have visited the island such as the late Anthony Bordain, Peter Kuruvita, Nigella Lawson, Marco Pierre White and many others, and almost all of them made a point to try Sri Lanka’s famed crab.
Food vlogging shows are the latest trend in travel and have bypassed many television shows in the past few years in audience and coverage.
Among those who visited Sri Lanka in the last few years include famed personalities such as Mark Wiens, Trevor James and the latest being Sonny Side from the Best Ever Food Review Show.
Trevor James the famed food vlogger known by his alias The Food Ranger explored the many crab dishes and preparations around the island, and gave his honest rating based on several criteria.
Out of all the crab dishes that he reviewed the highest rating he gave was for the humble Negombo Rest House which is located on the Western Coast an hour drive from Colombo.
The team at Classic Destinations decided to visit this famous establishment to truly find out what made this dish so special, and they were not disappointed.
The team are foodies themselves and Sri Lankan crab curry being one of their favorites and have been savoring many versions of this curry for decades. Yet were curious to understand what made the Negombo dish truly stand out.
Located on the coastal belt of the island, Negombo is one of the biggest fishing hubs on the island, with the Lellama Fish Market being the busiest. All the day’s catch comes into this busy market where they are auctioned off and distributed throughout the island.
Furthermore, this belt consisting of the Negombo Lagoon is where the crab fisherman set their traps to catch these giant crustaceans. Sadly, many Sri Lankans do not have the opportunity to catch the largest crabs which are mostly exported to countries such as Singapore where their famous Singapore Chili Crab is made. But in the recent decade passionate foodies and afficionados in Sri Lanka have worked to save up some of the best crabs for the local market as well thus bringing the best catch to the Sri Lankan plates.
Travelling to Negombo the team visited the Negombo Rest House which is an old colonial weather-beaten mansion converted to a local restaurant and bar.
Meeting the owner of the establishment the team were escorted to the kitchen, which was clean and spacious, and they met the chef.
The process began to prepare three medium sized crabs in the famous Negombo Style preparation. The team captured the entire process in pictures, as well as asked many questions while the chef diligently prepared the dish.
The secret the team learnt was their special spice mixture which he adds at the end of the cooking process. There were two spices they used, both made inhouse and is a carefully guarded secret.
Once prepared, which took approximately 45 min to 1 hour the steaming hot crab curry was put onto a clay serving pot and brought to the table.
The types of accompaniments can vary depending on taste. Crab curry can be enjoyed with rice, or even string hoppers or hoppers, but the teams favorite was to enjoy the thick mouthwatering gravy with wood oven baked fresh bread and coconut sambol and dhal curry. Another favorite accompaniment is Kiri kos or jackfruit cooked in coconut milk.
As soon as the flavorful gravy was lapped up with the bread and the team tasted it, it was evident the flavor was unlike anything they had tasted before. Though spices were used, there was no excessive burning of chilies, but rather a barrage of unique flavors which combined with the crab creates a dish unlike any other.
At the end of the feast, the team were able to easily understand why Trevor James rated this the best crab he’s ever tasted.
We at Classic Destinations after arrangements with the establishment is ready to offer a curated behind the scenes access for our valued clients to explore the process as well as to taste the highest rated cab dish in Sri Lanka.
Travelling with Classic Destinations brings forth new and exciting curated experiences which brings the “real” Sri Lanka to life in front of you and makes your holiday in our paradise isle truly an indulgence of the sense.