Bahi Sivalingam had a real brainwave when he decided to open a casual venue serving pungently authentic Sri Lankan food (that's the 'spice') together with a full menu of specialist world beers (that's the 'hop'). It's a novel idea that turns the 'curry and lager' cliché on its head.
Among specialities on offer, it's worth trying spicy tuna fish cakes with coriander, marinated curried squid with lime juice and coconut cream and traditional kottu rotti (strips of rotti bread stir-fried with egg, curry leaves, chilli and marinated lamb or seafood). Thalis offer the full works on one tray, while desserts are quirky westernised creations like sticky brownie with cinnamon-spiced clotted cream or Kandy Mess (a take on the Eton version using passion fruit and mango).
The line-up of beers spans everything from Sri Lankan Lion lager (the house brew) to Paulaner wheat beer from Germany, and they are a near-perfect match for the food. Alternatively, drink mango lassi, tea or one of the workaday wines.
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