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Aliyaa

Sometimes you need to explore a menu fully before deciding what you want. At Aliyaa, the decision is easy: go for the cutlets to start.

by / Published: 8 May 2014

Aliyaa

Sometimes you need to explore a menu fully before deciding what you want. At Aliyaa, the decision is easy: go for the cutlets to start. And opt for the mixed platter, combining the potatoes and peas, fish, lamb and crab offerings on a plate that won’t stay full for long. 

You could compare the cutlets, in look and texture at least, to fish cakes—dense, but not overly so, and packed full of meaty (or potato-y) flavour.

The perfect accompaniments to the cutlets have to be the rotti rolls. Combining meat and onions in bread wraps that are dry fried, they are more moreish than any finger foods we’ve tried for a while, and again should be ordered as a mixed platter.
 
Mains at Aliyaa means dishes for sharing, and it’s hard to go wrong with the selection of curries.
Pick your meat from chicken, mutton, beef, fish, prawns, calamari or crab and ask for the waiter’s recommendation based on your preference for spice.
 
We did just that, ending up with fish sothi, mutton curry and Colombo crab with vegetable sides of brinjol moju and jackfruit curry. The richness of the dishes was to be offset by plain string hoppers—a Sri Lankan classic of steamed rice flour ‘strings’ that look like delicate baskets of dried noodles.
 
All three curries were intentionally different—the fish creamy and coconutty, the mutton sharp and spicy and the crab rich and messy—and when mixed on one plate, the dishes made for a fantastic combination.
 
 
The mutton certainly packs a punch but push through the initial heat and you’re rewarded with intense flavour from a blend of traditional Sri Lankan spices. If you’re after a milder dish, opt for the fish sothi, a coconut-based curry that at Aliyaa is packed with big chunks of white fish.
 
The crab here is the signature, though, and lovers of hands-on dining will enjoy getting stuck in to the mix of sweet crab meat and spicy Colombo-style gravy.
 
As with the appetisers, dessert is an easy decision. Ask for a sweet appam each and sit back and savour the delicious thin pancake filled with creamy, sugary, coconutty goodness. You’ll leave Aliyaa with a whole new appreciation for Sri Lankan dining.
 
48 G&M, Jalan Medan Setia 2, Bukit Damansara, KL
Tel: 03–2092 5378
 
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