Eating on the Edge: Staten Island Sri Lankan
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve posted an update to Eating on the Edge, our travel eating series that takes you to New York’s most far-flung restaurants. With summer in full swing, we’re back to exploring, which for us of course just means eating at new places. Today’s entry comes from NYC’s most shit-upon borough, but one that actually has its fair share of culinary surprises.
Every day, thousands of tourists ride the Staten Island ferry for the cheap-o’s version of a New York harbor tour. After taking in the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge views, almost all of them get back on the ferry and go straight back to Manhattan. I have to admit, I’d never thought about getting off and exploring in Staten Island, until I heard about the cluster of Sri Lankan restaurant and shops that have popped up there, just up the hill from the ferry terminal.
San Rasa restaurant is where we discovered the amazing-ness seen above. I never saw this dish in my travels around actual Sri Lanka, but I think it might beat anything I ate there. Lamprie is a Dutch-influenced Sri Lankan dish that takes just about everything that’s good in life, wraps it all together in giant banana leaves and steams it up. The banana leaves are peeled away tableside to reveal a circle of basmati rice topped with curried cashews, thin strands of fried eggplant, caramelized onions, fish curry, and a spicy, chili-infused sort of chutney, plus a fried fish ball on top, just for emphasis. Then you mix everything together and let the flavor party ensue.
Leave it to Staten Island to serve up a Sri Lankan dish better than anything I found on the island of Sri Lanka.