3.284 Lamprais

-Cycle 3, Item 284-
15 (Mon) October 2012

-Sri Lankan-


at Sri Lankan (Crescat Shopping Centre Food Court)



44th APACPH Conference, Day 3 (see previously 3.283 Seerfish White Curry Meal).

Essentially, lamprais is a Sri Lankan hodgepodge.  It consists of variously seasoned rice/meats/vegetables that are wrapped/baked/served in a banana leaf.  Likely Dutch in origin.  Rather than foolishly attempt to explain the specifics myself after a single go, I'll defer to more reliable sources, one for general background (see The Sunday Times's article "That Burgher delicacy wrapped up in a banana leaf") and another for a recipe to provide an idea of what's involved (see Food Corner's entry on lamprais (lump rice)).

My first impression of lamprais, alas, wasn't so great.  For starters, the form was foreign to me, so I didn't know whether I was supposed to eat everything individually or mixed together.  The flavors were also foreign--at once spicy and sweet and fragrant and funky--totally unlike anything that I've ever encountered anywhere.  Overall, I didn't find it very pleasant.

Most likely, the lamprais here had simply failed to realize the dish's true potential.  On my own for dinner, I walked down the road from the hotel in search of eats and came upon a residential/commercial complex comprising the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, the Crescat Residences, and the Crescat Shopping Centre, which has a food court in the basement.  With the other meals during my stay already scheduled at relatively fancier venues, I figured the food court would be the closest that I could get to what the locals eat on a daily basis, even if a poor representative thereof.  The stall Sri Lankan was the only one that appeared ostensibly local.  Despite the range of choices, I fell for the sign promoting the lamprais as "Mouth Watering."  Oh well.  At least it was just 400 rupees (about US$3).

 For lunch earlier in the day at the hotel, I had chicken in the distinctly nonblack "black" curry, so-called because of the black pepper, another example of the hot and spicy nature of Sri Lankan cuisine.


  1. Thanks for the mentioning about the recipe...& as a Sri Lankan, I love to read about travel experiences of others in Sri Lanka.Though this is not much pleasant to you, I guess you found some other interesting dishes from Sri Lanka.
    Oh! anyway, both links go to the other site which describes about Lamprais. Here is the link for the recipe….

  2. thanks amy!

    i hope that i was clear in explaining that it was probably not a very good example of lamprais that i sampled. someday, i hope to try a really good one, which i'm sure that i'll enjoy.