I'm eating around the world without leaving London and this week I had Sri Lankan food at Ale and Spice in Balham. I decided to stay near home and support the local community businesses. Ale and Spice is located on the quiet side of Bedford Hill, which might explain why it was so quiet. Not sure if it gets busier on the weekends, but on this Wednesday evening, we were the only eaters there.
We settled for the poppadums with mango chutney as a starter leaving all the more space to pig out on mains. According to the menu thali is the typical Sri Lankan way to enjoy food as it is a great way to try out a few different dishes. Kind of like Sri Lankan tapas, I suppose.
I went for a fried aubergine salad tossed with onions and tomato pieces and masala spices. I also had the kanavai which were little pieces of fried squid, marinated in a rich and very spicy sauce. My third thali dish was a beef stew with a yogurt based gravy spiced up wth garlic, ginger, chilli, cashew, raisins and finished with crème fraiche.
The three little pots the food came in, didn’t look like much at first, but I wasn’t able to finish mine and ended up taking a doggy bag home. Keeping the Sri Lankan foodie experience going till the next day lunch.
I thought the food was amazing and slightly different from your regular curry house. I guess the spices used in Sri Lankan dishes are what make them authentic. It do hope this place gets enough punters to stay around, as they do know how to cook awesome food.
We didn’t stay on for dessert, but headed to the (in)famous Bedford Pub where things were slightly more lively.
Next week: Bangladesh!