If you are after some seriously hot curry at an affordable price, Indo Lankan Food Bar in Seven Hills is the place to go. Though the restaurant is not too fancy or large in space, the quality of the food they serve is unquestionable. As the name Indo Lankan suggests, the bar serves popular dishes from both India and Sri Lanka.
My introduction to this little place full of flavour was quite by chance. It was when I was expressing my displeasure for a restaurant that served reheated Rottis and Naans, that my friend shared information about this place where the food is regarded as excellent.
So off I went with cravings for all sorts of hot and spicy food. The place is not as compacted as I was led to believe. There was enough space to seat our group of five, even without a reservation on a Saturday night.
The staff are quite young, and therefore it takes them a little time to get comfortable with new customers. Once they are familiar with you, its easy to communicate as they don't try to dash off as before.
The menu is quite extensive, offering all the familiar dishes from the subcontinent. If you like that sort of food, you will surely love the Indo Lankan Food Bar.
Please note that they do go to extra lengths to make their food as hot and spicy as possible; in fact the food could be as hot as street food in India or Sri Lanka. Having tasted extremely hot food in those two countries, I think it is a fair warning that I even had to take into account. Being careful, I ordered medium hotness for my dishes, but even that was rather hard for me to handle. For those who aren't used to too much spicy food, I would advice you to request the food to be extra mild. The mildness does not in anyway take away the flavour, it just means they would use less chillies in the dish; specifically that dynamite green chilli they use... seeds and all would be added in small quantities.
The food that was served to our table was clean and full of authenticity. Coming from the region, I would have known if they did not deliver the promised authentic food. Everything they served was as I was led to believe; authentic and great in flavour.
The Lamb String Hopper Kotthu ($11.50) I ordered was a dish full of taste and heat. String Hopper Kotthu, a noodle like dish has been my favourite when growing up in Sri Lanka.The taste of the Kotthu served at the bar was so authentic in taste, that it brought back fond memories from my child hood.
If you are not a one dish meal person, I suggest you try rice with several curries like my son did. His order of Curried Chicken ($9.90), Fried Eggplant curry ($7.90) and the vegetable option went absolutely well together creating harmony in the mouth. Rice and curry would definitely be my choice for the next visit. The menu offers a range of meat curry options to choose from, and also quite a number of seafood and vegetable options to go with your rice. A portion of rice and curry is large enough to be shared between two.
Another one of my recommendations as a main would be the Chicken or Lamb Mince Masala Dosai ($7.50). A large paper thin pancake like dosai is rolled with a generous amount of a dry mince curry in the centre. This is served with smabal and a thick gravy. If you are up for it, the best way to eat it is mixed with your fingers. However, even if you don't do it the authentic way, the dosai dish is still an absolute delight.
The Briyani at the bar is another meal that should be tried. Briyani at the food bar comes with a couple of meat options, but my favourite would have to be the Chicken Briyani. Briyani, a one pot dish, made by cooking rice, spices and meat together, served with egg and mint chutney creates so much flavour in your mouth, you are sure to want more.
I was glad I found the Indo Lankan Food Bar, for I know now that this is one place I could come when I get that craving for hot, spicy and authentic food.
Where: 59/61 Boomerang Plaza Seven Hills NSW.
Why: For food with a lot of flavour and heat.
Cost: Mains from $7.50 onwards.
When: Lunch. Dinner.