Talalla House Food & Cuisine
Imagine a tropical breakfast overlooking the pool and beach. A light, refreshing lunch in the shade by the pool. A three-course gourmet dinner or barbecue all prepared by your private Chef, Anthony. From sensational Sri Lankan rice and curry banquet to Western dishes that you’ll remember long after your stay. Sri Lanka has one of the most varied cuisines in the world with an abundance of spices, fresh fruits, vegetables, and last but not least, world class seafood.
Chef Anthony will accommodate any special dietary requirements or specific requests, from kids, vegans or vegetarians and can provide cooking classes for guests interested in learning the secrets of Sri Lankan cuisine. Talalla House’s beach location means fresh fish and seafood is abundant, and Anthony is an expert at how about a seafood BBQ at pool?
Let your private Chef Anthony show you the great diversity of Sri Lankan cuisine.
We serve a tropical breakfast, a two course lunch and a three course dinner, every day during your stay. All meals are served at our dining table by the pool, that seats 14 guests facing the setting sun and the warm Indian ocean. A vegetarian menu is available and we have a separate menu for the kids. Go here for full board prices and booking information.
Chef Anthony, and his team has more than 30 years’ experience in Sri Lankan and international dishes, and we spent years perfecting our menu to offer you the most varied experience when staying with us. Whether you are into spicy Sri Lankan curries, mild island dishes, a vegetarian or vegan feasts, we will serve food that you will have a hard time forgetting.
Chef Anthony is heading to the fresh markets in the morning to select the ingredients for the day. Do please accompany him, if you wish to experience these bustling markets and see the variety of fruits, vegetables and sea food available. You may also join him for a cooking session, and learn about the Sri Lankan cuisine, its herbs, spices, curries, and the art of coconut pressing. Whilst this can be fun, it is by no means necessary and if you wish to just sit back, relax and enjoy your meals. Chef Anthony will create delicious international dishes and Sri Lankan curries for you
You are more than welcome to bring your own liquor; no corkage will be applied. A small selection of wine and international liquor can be bought locally. If you have a favourite brand, we recommend you purchase them from Duty Free on arrival at the airport. We offer espresso at an extra price, and local, filtered coffee is available in plentiful supply. We get some delicious fruits from our local market, and Anthony is an expert in whipping up refreshing, healthy juices and shakes from the fresh tropical fruit. Just let him know.
Sri Lankan curries and dishes date back thousands of years, with a greater diversity than any other food in the Asian region. This is due to the influence of recipes and spices brought to the island by Indians, Arabs, Malays, Portuguese, Dutch, and English. You can experience the spices up close in our garden and when the cook starts preparing your dinner in the big open kitchen. The Talalla House dishes are not overly spicy.
Sri Lanka is ideal for vegetarians as well as seafood lovers. Our beach location means that seafood and fish are fresh and abundant. Every morning, outrigger canoes offload their catch of fish (prawns, crab, tuna, mullet, snapper, shark, grouper, and mahi mahi) on the beach just a few hundred meters from Talalla House. Tossed on the BBQ in the tropics, our seafood makes for an unforgettable meal.
It was the spices that drove Western merchants across the oceans and made Sri Lanka the famous center for the spice trade. Even today Sri Lanka is a major exporter of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, and turmeric. It’s these spices, roasted or freshly ground and combined with always fresh fruits, vegetables, and greens, that give Sri Lankan food its character. You’ll never forget the slightly toasted note from the curry leaves, the vanilla-like pandan, the ultra creamy coconut milk, and the cinnamon.
Meet the true living legend of the Sri Lankan kitchen, Dr. Publis Silva from the illustrious Mt. Lavinia Hotel, and see how he makes Fish Ambul Thiyal, a dish unique to the island’s southern coast. It’s a slightly sour fish curry, mixed by hand and cooked inside a clay pot.
We visit the Dutch Burgher Union and have their signature dish, the Lamprais, prepared with samba rice cooked in stock, eggplant, malay prawn paste and a beef cutlet. It is a savory delight, wrapped inside a banana leaf. Kottu Rotti is a popular street food in Sri Lankan, made from chopped rotti (lavash bread) that comes together with beef, fish, chicken and lamb and a mixture of veggies and eggs.
Finally we visit Upali’s, and try their Jaffna Fish Head Curry. Made with pandan leaves, curry leaves, garlic, ginger and chillies over a hot pan, then blend with a bit of coconut milk to create a rich, aromatic paste.
We visit to the Horathapola Estate, a fine villa north of Colombo. The villa chef takes us on a tour of the grounds. On the menu tonight, a rich and hearty Black Pork Curry and Jackfruit Curry. Then we make our way to the paddy fields along the island’s southern coast, where we do Mackerel Fritter. We then move on to Colombo to The Ministry Of Crab where Chef Darshan, a luminary of Sri Lankan cuisine, is preparing the restaurant’s namesake dish, Black Pepper Crab. Very little frills in this recipe, but the product is truly an explosion of taste. In a village on the west coast we encounter another mainstay in the Sri Lankan cookbook, the Kiri Baath. A rice pudding made in homes all across the island. We visit the Foundation Of Goodness, a NGO helping develop local communities, to learn how to make String Hoppers. Our last meal of the journey is Egg Hoppers. Egg hoppers are perfect for wrapping around your assortment of curries and sambols.