Nick Cave is reportedly a regular at this, the only Sri Lankan restaurant on the South Coast, offering a huge selection of vegetarian options as well as fish and meat. OK Sri Lanka is not India, but its cooking is similar, offering variations on familiar themes. This is a good place to explore the subtle differences. The chefs are from the mother island – and so are the spices sent over specially by the owners’ family. It all gets even more specific; the focus is on the food of the south of the island with sweet and sour flavours, lashings of coconut and testimonials to the dishes’ healthy Ayurvedic properties. As an introduction, we’d recommend ordering a bargain Taster Menu for Two People. If you order the Lentil Curry as your choice of main it will cost just £13.98. For that in addition you’ll get Sini Sambol, Coconut Sambol, Cabbage Mallum, Aubergine Ratatouille Sweet Beetroot Pickle
and Plain Rice. This menu is available every day except Friday and Saturday and costs an extra two quid in the evening. Stray further into the a la Carte and you start to get the real feel of Sri Lanka, the spice island. The chutneys and pickles are a heady accompaniment. Noodles feature and, among the breads, String Hoppers, which are fine strings of rice flour dough, spiraled into circles and steamed. Finish with Wattalappan, which sounds like a Sri Lankan spin bowler but is a traditional sweet pudding made with egg, treacle, coconut and a sprinkle of cardamom. All this is served up in a warm family ambience.