I love to watch cooking shows and My Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita is one of my all time favorites. It’s a 10 part series where the namesake chef travels around Sri Lanka cooking a unique dish at every location he visits. I highly recommend you to check it out because it has sparked my interest in the beautiful country, culture and its colourful cuisine.
It’s unfortunate that Sri Lankan restaurants are not abundant in KL, but you should have no problem looking for one if you know how to Google. We found Aliyaa at Bukit Damansara and the reviews were very praiseful about the place.
Aliyaa’s menu is kept simple and consists of crab, beef, chicken, mutton, fish, prawn and vege – each offered in a handful of different cooking styles. So even for first timers, especially those who are already accustomed to having Indian food, you shouldn’t have any problem ordering here.
Fish Curry @ RM32 is a signature dish here. As you can see it’s rich and creamy contributed by the liberal use of coconut milk. The fish was cooked just right and had an enjoyable flaky texture.
Heat wise, it’s actually quite mild and I think even kids could handle it. So if you want something spicier, better let the staff know beforehand.
For meat we opted for Mutton Paal Poriyal @ RM32 which was recommended by our waiter. While the rest of the dishes we had that night felt a tad underwhelming in portion size for the price, it wasn’t the case for this as it’s surprisingly quite large and could be easily shared among 3-4 adults.
Although it might look like any other Indian dried mutton curry, the flavor is distinctively deeper with a stronger emphasis on aroma.
We were told that their Jaffna Prawn Curry is really good but we didn’t get it because it’d clash with the fish curry since both are cooked similarly.
So we had the Prawn Masala @ RM34 instead. It comes with 4 pieces of large larger than usual prawns, sea fresh in a lip-smacking masala gravy. However, it tasted like any masala you’d find in KL; a good one that is.
In Sri Lanka, sambal is not a chili paste but an onion relish. There’s some backstory of how it’s related to our sambal but that’s for you to research if you’re interested.
The Eggplant Sambal @ RM12 is a truly unique dish and nothing I have eaten so far comes close to this. The dish incorporates layers of thinly sliced onion and eggplant tossed in a salted lime juice for an appetizing flavor. It’s so good that you can eat it on its own.
To be honest, I have no idea if the food we had was authentic, and I am not going to pretend that I am an expert and say anything. But for what it’s worth, I think the food here is great albeit slightly higher on the price. The service level we experienced was personal, excellent and worth noting.
Aliyaa Island Restaurant & Bar
48 G & M, Jalan Medan Setia 2
Bukit Damansara, 50490 KL
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2092 5378
Business hours: 11am – 11pm