I have to admit: I’m not an expert on Sri Lankan food. So before I go straight into today’s restaurant review, I’d just like to point out that my opinion here does not cover the authenticity of this restaurant’s cuisine, but rather how it stimulated my taste buds and brought me through the whole dining experience.
Araliya is situated on Glenferrie Road, a short walk away from the corner of Burwood Road. The decor pleasant and intimate. The service was friendly and helpful from the minute I stepped through the door, and very happy to explain to you what each and every of their dish was.
We started with the entrées menu and picked out almost immediately the one thing that screamed “try me” on the menu.
Coconut Crumbed Lamb Brains
Creamy lamb brains delicately flavoured with a savoury mint filling covered with coconut flakes served with a chilli mayonnaise.
This was my first time trying Lamb Brains, and it wasn’t a bad experience. However, it wasn’t very exciting either, so I’m not sure if I’d order that again. The Chilli Mayonnaise however was heavenly and brought out the minty flavours beautifully.
For mains, we went with a few different dishes and a serve of rice:
Curried “Mt Leura” Lamb
Cubes of tender lamb cooked in a fragrant spice infusion
Tasty, but not very spicy. Lamb was slightly too tough for my liking.
My personal highlight of the meal. Simple yet beautifully roasted and incredibly tasty with the addition of well balanced spices and herbs.
Fish Roasted in Banana Leaves
This is an adaptation of an ancient Sri Lankan cooking style of wrapping food in banana leaves with aromatic spices to seal the flavours
My next favourite dish from the meal. Bursting with flavour, fresh and beautifully soft and tender.
Basmati rice cooked in Saffron
And to finish up the meal: Dessert.
Light warm crepes drowned in coconut liqueur, filled with coconut cooked with Kitul treacle, served with a creamy cinnamon.
My only complaint about this was the tiny portion of it! One bite and the crepe roll was gone. At 13 dollars per pop, I’m not sure if I’d be happy to order it again, pretty and tasty as it is. It really reminded me of the Malay snack rolls we get in Malaysia that’s filled with coconut. Taste very similar, and heaps cheaper.
Overall, it was a pleasant dining experience. Definitely upmarket, with our little dinner for two costing us 60 dollars per person. The portions were small, but I found that they were sufficient. You will not roll out of the place bursting at the seams, but you definitely won’t walk out hungry either.
Would I go back? Not unless I have a really good reason to. While the food was delicious and the service absolutely fantastic, I don’t feel the magnetic pull to rush back to the Araliya in a heartbeat. Perhaps the ideal place to bring a first date if you are aiming to impress though the music was too loud to enable a nice quiet intimate conversation.
629 Glenferrie Road
(03) 9818 5120
Open 7 nights and Lunch on Thursdays and Fridays.