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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 16, 2024
Headline for 7 Sea-Food dishes to try out in Colombo - Eating your way through Sri Lanka's commercial capital
Joanna James Joanna James
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7 Sea-Food dishes to try out in Colombo - Eating your way through Sri Lanka's commercial capital

Being an island has many advantages, one of them being easy access to seafood. Here are seven dishes that you must try when you are in Colombo or the vicinity.


Cuttlefish white curry

Cuttlefish is similar to squid and is a local favourite. You will always find some variant of the cuttlefish in any restaurant in Wattala, Ja-Ela, and other coastal areas like Colombo as well. This particular curry is made of coconut milk and rings of cuttlefish that have been boiled in the flavoursome broth. It is a white curry, which means it is without chilli and can be handled by a mild palate.


Braised prawns

Prawns are a popular item in Sri Lanka. It makes a regular appearance at any special occasion and daily appearance at the buffets of coastal hotels like Pegasus Reef Hotel. Braised prawns is a common dish, where the prawns are seared with chilli flakes and the like before being slow cooked in a clay pot. The clay pot adds a new dimension of flavour to the dish.


Pan-fried fish fillet

There are plenty of fish and types of fish to be found in Sri Lanka. In fact, finding fish is easier than finding any other flesh. Usually made with a white fish, the pan-fried fish fillet is among the fancier dishes that are served at hotels and restaurants. It pairs very well with white wine sauce.


Grilled seafood plate

If you are a lover of anything seafood, the grilled plate is the way to go. Usually but enough to serve at least two people, it is everything amazing on one single plate. The seafood plate usually comprises of fish fillet, king prawns or tiger prawns, cuttlefish, crab, and even clams and oysters depending on where you purchase the platter. Some restaurants lean towards a bit of flair and like to torch the food while they are on the table, while some others prefer the old school way of using a charcoal grill.


Hot Butter Cuttlefish

Hot butter cuttlefish or HBC as it is commonly known in Sri Lanka is everyone's favourite pub food. No bar or pub in the country would dream of not serving HBC, which is crispy, spicy, and tangy all at the same time. It is a combination of Chinese cuisine and local flavours. A dish of HBC comes with batter-fried cuttlefish, capsicum, and onions – a flavourful combination.


Prawn white curry

Perfectly paired with some steaming hot hoppers, the prawn white curry is ideal if your palate cannot handle too much spice. With a mild coconut milk base and juicy prawns, it is a dish that you will keep coming back for.


Crab curry

Although the best crab curry is found in Jaffna, many of the smaller roadside food places in Colombo serve up a good crab curry. It is a dark broth of flavours and spice, that is perfect with a flatbread. However, eating the crab in the curry can be a messy affair, and often require you to use your hands and not resort to cutlery.

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