Tucked away in the Centennial Plaza food court near the old Motor Registry in East Central is one of the only Sri Lankan outposts known to us closer than Croydon and the enclaves in Pendle Hill and Wentworthville. Taprobana has ready to go curries in a bain-marie of love, but it is the made to order dishes that won our hearts.
Two vegetable curries and rice, from $7.50 (cheaper for the veg option). A dhal is one of the classics of a usual veg curry set in the Sri Lankan style. While the eggplant curry was on the sweet side, this was a good plate of veg and lentil.
A side order of Sinhalese pickle, with a dollop of ginger pickle underneath. Highly recommended to add some more variety if you go a plainish curry. $2 for a cup of pickles. Others look intriguing, especially the Malay pickles and a good old coconut sambal (pol sambol) that is as essential to Sri Lankan food as nahm prik nam pla is to Thai.
Chicken biryani, served with boiled egg, raita and a tandoori chicken maryland $12.50. This is a huge serve of turmeric stained rice studded with sultanas and flecks of veg. The tandoori maryland is tender, not too dried out, and makes this more likely a meal that could be shared between two.
Mango Lassi, $2.50. You gotta have some cool with the spice.
Chicken Kotthu, served with a tandoori chicken maryland $12.00. This is probably hands down a heart stopping serve of fried chopped roti with chicken pieces throughout, served with another huge piece of tandoori on top. For twelve bucks. Alison ate about half the roti and took the rest home, which we shared between us for dinner. And we are pigs, and it was enough.
While Kotthu roti is usually made on a huge iron flat plate with the clang and cling of choppers, noise restrictions from the offices nearby means Taprobana can't make it on site. But they do for their catering business.
A number of specialties can be ordered the day ahead from the store our their friendface site so you can pick up and enjoy later on at home. The one we like the look of is the classic all-in-one dish of lampries, both the mutton and veg varieties are our favourites.
Taprobana is at Shop No 4, Centennial Plaza, 280 Elizabeth Street.