Dining at Sri Lanka’s best: Upali’s by Nawaloka

Dining at Upali’s by Nawaloka is a gastronomic delight.

Upali’s by Nawaloka is a posh dining spot hailed as the best Sri Lankan restaurant located in the heart of Colombo.

Upali’s takes the effort to stand out. From the way the restaurant is elegantly decorated to the little special touches to its recipes, it is dedicated to bringing its patrons the best of Ceylonese hospitality and cuisine.

Incidentally, Upali’s by Nawaloka was also named winner of Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence from 2015 to 2019.

The restaurant in Colombo is run by David Cruse and Upali Dharmadasa – both high-profile individuals in the Sri Lankan business community as well as veterans in the hospitality industry.

This restaurant cooks traditional, authentic Sri Lankan food, but since it caters to mostly expats and curious travellers, the chefs are careful when adjusting the hotness and spiciness of the dishes.

If you are one who loves your food hot and spicy, remember to tell the waiter your preference to avoid being disappointed.

The tastefully designed interior at Upali’s by Nawaloka in Sri Lanka.

The following are the chef’s recommendations:

Organic homemade ginger beer is sweet and spicy, and a perfect palate cleanser.

Concocted using ginger and aromatic lemongrass, this organic homemade ginger beer is sweet and spicy but not overly gassy. The flavour is perfect as a palate cleanser between dishes.

Mutton Varuwal, a Jaffna-style dish of meat sauteed with spices and served on a sizzling plate.
Thora Maalu is a fish stew that is creamy although some may find it somewhat bland. 

This dish is creamy but rather bland. This is a dish of seer fish cooked in mustard cream, onions, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, green chilli, coconut milk, potatoes, capsicum, tomatoes and spices.

The mouthwatering vegetarian dish of Hathmaluwa.

This is a traditional seven-in-one vegetable curry recipe that dates back 2,000 years. It is brimming with flavours from the spices and is great for health.

Roti parata served with chicken gravy.
Themparadu Bath is steamed white rice with onions and curry leaves tempered in ghee.
Sandhya’s Wiskothu Pudima.

A recipe by Upali’s wife, this mouthwatering dessert is essentially a baked biscuit pudding layered with chocolate sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream.

Watalappan is a pudding made using jaggery and coconut milk, topped with nuts.

Upali’s by Nawaloka
65 Dr C W W Kannangara Mawatha
Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka

Tel: +94 112 695 812
Opening hours: 11.30am-10.30pm

This article first appeared in rollinggrace.com

Grace Ng is a serial wanderluster, solo female traveler, award-winning recipe developer and travel writer.