[Photographs: David Straight]
The Sandringham shops are a hive of activity – food, people, spice shops. Predominantly Indian in all variations, from vegetarian to Biryani specialists and the Southern focus of Satya. Our favourite, however, is 7 Tastes of Siri – not least because of the name. It’s a tiny, makeshift sort of place, with three tables and a hodgepodge of memorabilia. While Sri Lankan food is similar to South Indian cooking, it’s somewhat lighter and spicier.
We ate a Masala Dosa ($7) – the pancake light and fluffy, slightly nutty from chickpea flour and surrounded by small stainless steel bowls of various curries and sambals. The coconut chutney, a ground paste of chili, coconut and lime juice was searingly hot and utterly delicious smeared atop a gentle lentil paste. The Lump Rice ($14) is a heavy, hefty brick – a banana leaf encloses six different curries, a piece of chicken, hardboiled egg and the aforementioned chili-coconut chutney and, naturally, rice, bright yellow with saffron. Steamed, hot and hearty, it’s a perfectly tidy meal. NS
HOURS Open Monday to Sunday, for lunch and dinner until 9pm.
CONTACT DETAILS 580 Sandringham Road, ph 849-6294.
IMPORTANT DETAILS If you’re visiting early enough, pop into one of the many spice shops that line the nearby streets for cheap as chips spices, rosewater, feta and breads.