A classic Sri Lankan rice and curry at Upali’s by Nawaloka

A classic Sri Lankan rice and curry at Upali’s by Nawaloka

Every now and then I get asked by people how I live on a plant based diet. Better yet, they say that without fish or meat, food is just meh!, or that being vegan in Sri Lanka is difficult, expensive, or doesn’t offer enough options.

Today Ramesh and I decided to do our review at Upali’s by Nawaloka on some of the completely plant based classics in Sri Lankan cuisine. It was right around lunch time when we got there and Upali’s had its usual busy and bustling atmosphere. 

Despite this, Ramesh and I were escorted to a table for two by a host and handed the menus. They had vegetarian and vegan items marked separately with symbols next to each item which makes ordering much easier. While scanning the menu I asked the waiter if the polos cutlets have an egg wash before frying, and he said that all of their starters have an egg wash. Which was unfortunate for me as a vegan.

So Ramesh and I decided to start off with a soup and then go for the mains. We ordered a Mulligatawny soup and a Thambun Hodi Rasam. Both soups originate from the South Indian cuisine.

For the mains we ordered Themparadu Bath (tempered rice), Kaju Sudata Uyala (a cashew curry), Kos Ata Kalu Pol Maluwa (a spicy curry made with jackfruit seeds), and a Bimmal Baduma (a mushroom fry).

To cool it down, we ordered a Karapincha (curry leaves) with lime drink and a passion fruit drink which were served first. 

Drinks

Karapincha with Lime Juice: 240

I was blown away on my first sip of the karapincha drink. It gave a strong karapincha flavour but was nicely blended with a sweet lime juice. Karapincha is so overrated since we use it in almost all our curries and fried food. But I believe this is another great way to incorporate Karapincha into your meals because it’s known for its benefits in reducing cholesterol. 

Passion Fruit Juice: Rs. 275

The passion fruit juice gave the whole exotic tropical fruit vibe as it had a sweet and strong tart flavour. Growing up it was one of my favorite fruits. I remember that my aunt had a passion vine and I always got fresh passionfruit from that. This drink just took me back to childhood. Come to think of it, we don’t often find them in supermarkets anymore unless we go to a weekly pola. I think Ramesh made a great choice with the passion fruit drink!

Both drinks were served with paper straws which are better than plastic straws but still single use. Maybe Upali’s could consider using reusable metal or bamboo straws in future.

Soups:

Then came the soups we ordered, and they were like nothing I’ve tasted before.

Thambun Hodi Rasam: Rs. 325

The thambun hodi rasam was SPICY! Yes, I wrote that in caps because it really was. But us Sri Lankans love spicy food, don’t we? As a spicy food lover, this was the best Rasam I’ve had so far. 

Mulligatawny Soup: Rs. 325

We were quite curious to try this one because it was the first time both were going to have it. The menu listed the ingredients: a combination of tamarind, lemon juice, red lentils, and coconut milk.

It certainly took us by surprise. It was fragrant and insanely delicious with a bit more texture and crumbliness than the rasam.

Both soups were served with two pieces of soft mini roast paan. 

Food

Temparadu Bath:  Rs. 325

The Themparadu Bath was tempered in vegetable ghee with onions and curry leaves. It was soft and tender because of the vegetable ghee. One potion of it was suffice to fill both our hungry tummies. 🙂

Kos Ata Kalu Pol Maluwa Rs. 550

The curry was literally black as the name suggests. 🙂 The curry was made with boiled jackfruit seeds with grated coconut and a black curry sauce that made it spicy and delicious. It had a nice authentic Sri Lankan taste to it that satisfied all our taste buds. 

Kaju Sudata Uyala: Rs. 710

This is hands down one of the best cashew curries I’ve had in a long time. Most of the time I find them either spicy or oily. This curry had just the right amount of spices to make it delightful. It blended well with the other curries we ordered and evened out the spiciness of the Kos Ata Kalu Pol Maluwa.

Bimmal Baduma: Rs. 475

They had used the oyster mushrooms which are quite common in Sri Lanka. It was batter fried with capsicalms, onion rings and dried chillies. It was great with rice and curry but I believe it would also be a good (and vegan!) appetizer. Ramesh and I enjoyed the remaining mushrooms even after finishing our meals.

The mains were served with a complimentary plate of papadam and fried chillies. At the end of the meal both of us were full and satisfied. We were happy and our tummies were happy, too.

Dessert:

Unfortunately, we couldn’t spot anything vegan in the dessert menu other than a fruit platter. As much as we love fruits, it’s not the thing we want to buy at a restaurant. It would have been ideal if they had some Sri Lankan sweets such as pani walalu, aluwa etc.

Final Remarks:

The staff were helpful and knew the menu thoroughly which was great to clarify all our doubts. Whenever I go out to dine, I have a habit of questioning the waiter about the menu to make sure I get vegan food. But most of the time I find that they either lack knowledge about it or are not happy to clarify things. But at Upali’s, we found it easy as they have well trained staff who know the menu well and are happy to help out. 

Upali’s has a variety of vegan and vegetarian options that have been cooked just the right way to satisfy our cravings for Sri Lankan food.

See you soon with our next review! Eat mindfully, live sustainably!

Sajani Kapukotuwa

Ramesh Warallegama

Harpo’s Vegan Pizza

Harpo’s Vegan Pizza

Harpo’s Vegan Pizza

Meatless Monday Sri Lanka food reviews have been slow lately because of the current situation of the country. Like most people, we also have limited our hangouts and dine outs with friends outside. But that doesn’t stop us from indulging some meatless goodness.

Harpo’s has recently added a vegan pizza to their menu. We thought of trying it out by ordering it to office on Uber eats. We ordered the 9” regular (6 piece) pizza which was Rs.1,023.02.

When we got the pizza, the aroma of baked vegetables and the slowly simmered sauce filled the room leaving us all hungry again even after a heavy lunch. The pizza had several vegetables baked; yellow and green peppers, little bit of button mushrooms, olives eggplant and zucchini on the tomato-based pizza sauce layer.  We found the tomato sauce later to be a bit dry, maybe with the time it took for delivery it was dried off.

While we really appreciate them adding a vegan pizza to their menu, we felt like something was missing in terms of taste and what makes it a pizza. The cheese! Many vegan pizzas have their own inhouse cheese these days or other vegan branded cheese. We hope in future Harpo’s would try to improve the pizza by adding vegan cheese to it. If not, another alternative would be to have spicy tofu or baby jackfruit to make it more fitting to the Asian taste buds.

This is our honest opinion, but maybe you could be one of those vegans who would like the pizza without cheese 😊

That’s wrap for today and we will come to you with another review soon!

Sajani Kapukotuwa/ Ramesh Warallegama

Jetwing Colombo Seven

Jetwing Colombo Seven

On a Monday afternoon, Iyanthi, Ramesh and myself from Meatless Monday Sri Lanka headed to Jetwing Colombo Seven for a late lunch. We headed straight to the restaurant on the ground floor. Since it was past lunch time, the restaurant was empty and we could taste their delicious meatless food in a relaxing ambiance. The dining area has both indoor and outdoor spaces, and we selected a table next to a window. Even though the hotel is located in the middle of bustling Colombo, the restaurant makes you forget all about it. The use of clay pots and clay tiles (ulu) on the walls is astonishing and certainly helped bringing a sense of calm.

Soon after getting seated, we were served with the menu, including a some vegetarian dishes and a separate vegan menu. Compared to the vegan menus at other Jetwing Hotels, this only had a few options. Out of the three mains on the vegan menu, we ordered the savoury couscous pittu and the vegetable tagine, plus one vegetarian dish, fried udon noodles, from the main menu.

As for the drinks, there were not many vegan options except for fruit juices, and so we requested one of the drinks to be veganized. We ordered a strawberry milkshake, a mango smoothie and a banana smoothie with coconut milk replacing the dairy.

Food

Fried Udon Noodles with an assortment of mushrooms (Vegetarian)

Udon noodles are thick wheat flour noodles that have been fried with a medley of vegetables and a black bean sauce. The dish included vegetables such as beans, cabbage and carrots that were nicely cooked and fried and garnished with mint leaves. The black bean sauce was nestled underneath all the vegetables and noodles, which means that the dish benefits from a proper stir-up and mix-up. The sauce gave the whole dish a nice salty flavour, and the freshness of the mint leaves balanced everything out.

But while digging into the dish we realised that the dish was missing one of the key ingredients. Mushrooms!! We notified the waiter and were offered a new dish, but since we were in a hurry and already halfway through the dish, we opted to have the mushrooms brought out separately. The restaurant staff promptly presented us with a side dish of boiled and fried button mushrooms which gave the dish good texture and an extra bite.

The portion was normal for fine dining at a hotel restaurant and very filling regardless of its size.

Savoury Couscous Pittu (Vegan)

The menu described that the dish would be served with “Kalu Hodi” (a gravy made with Sri Lankan spices), pol sambol (coconut sambal) and cutlets. However, when it was served it came with Sri Lankan style lentil curry instead of coconut sambol and only one cutlet. 😀

Couscous being a North African food made as Sri Lankan “pittu” with Sri Lankan curries created a perfect fusion dish! The couscous pittu was delicious. It had grated coconut and capsicums of all three colours cut into very small pieces. The combination of kalu hodi and lentil curry was incredible and supplied the couscous pittu with gravy. The cutlet was crispy and fresh. It had a mixture of mashed vegetables with spices and was perfect when mixed with the lentil curry and the kalu hodi. We thought the lentil curry was a great replacement for coconut sambal because of the dry nature of pittu, but we wish they had served more than one cutlet (as stated in the menu).

Vegetable Tagine (Vegan)

The spicy saffron couscous was served with a tomato-based curry (tagine) with chickpeas and a couple of varieties of muskmelon, pumpkin and capsicums topped with some corrender leaves. It was sided with some pita bread as well. Tagine is known to be a slow cooked North African dish named after the clay pot it is prepared in. It had a mild sour and salty taste mixed to the main base of tomato sauce. Having it with the spicy saffron couscous only made it better. Every bite was very flavourful and satisfying.

Drinks

Mango Smoothie (Vegetarian)

The mango smoothie was nice and creamy, with the mango flavour seeping through the smoothie. It wasn’t overly sweet which made it a refreshing and flavourful drink on a hot Colombo afternoon.

Strawberry Milkshake (Vegetarian)

The strawberry milkshake had a perfect blend of strawberry flavour, ice cream and milk. It was certainly a delicious drink to clear the with a very flavourful vegetable tagine to clear the palate.

Banana Smoothie (Veganized)

This is not a vegan drink in their menu, but we requested to have the dairy milk replaced with coconut milk to make it vegan. They were happy to accommodate this request. It was a perfect combination and replacing dairy with coconut milk gave it a perfect tropical flavour where we could feel the coconut taste seeping through the thick smoothie. The coconut milk flavor didn’t overpower the taste of banana as some might expect.

All drinks were served with biodegradable paper straws which is a sustainable choice. As the Meatless Monday team promotes sustainable consumption, we’d like to appreciate even the smallest difference any restaurant or cafe can make towards the cause.

Dessert

Baked Pears

There were three deserts in the vegan menu, fruit platter, baked pears and mango coconut chia pudding. Chia pudding definitely seemed to be vegan as per its description, but we wanted to try the baked pears. The description said walnuts, honey with pineapple sorbet. Although honey is not considered a vegan food, this was in the vegan menu.

We checked with the lady who served us and requested them to avoid using honey in it so it would be a vegan dessert. In our mind, we expected a few pieces of baked pears topped with walnuts and pineapple sorbet.

But to our surprise, the baked pear was on top of a cake which definitely had eggs in it. When we inquired about it, they informed us that the cake had no eggs or animal products, but the explanation seemed less than sure, which is why we are going to categorize this as vegetarian even though it was in the vegan menu. If you are a vegan and want to give this a try, you could check with the chef themselves or opt for the chia pudding.

Overall, the food at Jetwing Colombo Seven tasted delicious and satisfying. If you are looking for a quiet place to have a late lunch or spend an evening with work colleagues, drop in here and give their meatless options a try to contribute to a sustainable future.

Iyanthi Kulathilaka

Ramesh Warallegoda

Sajani Kapukotuwa

Black Cat Cafe

Black Cat Cafe

For this week’s review, we thought of trying the meatless food at Black Cat Cafe. Located at Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7, it is a great place to drop by, plug your laptop and attend to your work with peace of mind or have chat with your friends.

From the Meatless Monday team, myself and Ramesh paid a visit to Black Cat Cafe for lunch. As usual, we wanted to order a mix of vegan and vegetarian food. I looked at the menu on their wall and could immediately see a lot of dishes with a “V” for vegetarian. However, except for the Grilled Vegetable Salad, there didn’t seem to be any vegan items on the menu. I decided to go with the salad while Ramesh ordered the Creamy Mushroom Spaghetti, one of the vegetarian items with dairy products (cheese and cream).

When placing the order, I double-checked with the cashier and found out that they top the salad with parmesan cheese, something to take note of if you are a vegan. As for the drinks, we ordered a berry smoothie and an iced mocha with soy milk.

The food preparation took about 15-20 minutes while the drinks came within ten minutes.

Food

Creamy Mushroom Spaghetti (Vegetarian)

The spaghetti were made with white sauce and mushrooms, topped with parmesan cheese and basil oil. Ramesh tasted it and enjoyed every bit of it. The creaminess of the white sauce and mushroom with the salty taste of parmesan cheese combined into a perfect mix of taste. The dish was great and did not require additional salt or any sauces. It was quite filling dish and definitely a fit for lunch.

Grilled Vegetable Salad (Veganized by excluding parmesan cheese)

Definitely eye candy! The salad had a mix of red, green and yellow capsicums, eggplant, couscous and a lot of lettuce. They could have cut down on lettuce leaves and added a greater variety of vegetables and fruits like olives, tomato and potatoes. Out of all the vegetables in it, the eggplant was the most flavourful. But I felt as if something was lacking. I asked if they could give me some sort of a sauce and they served me a soft salsa. I think when mixed to the salad, it made up the taste.

Tacos

While enjoying the food, I noticed they have a spinoff called Taco Cat inside the same cafe! Being a huge fan of mexican food, I couldn’t resist. 🙂  So I ended up buying two tacos for myself and Ramesh. And the good news: they have a special promotion called Taco Tuesday where they give single tacos at Rs. 250 (compared to the usual price of Rs.400). As Ramesh had given me full freedom to select the toppings, I veganized both tacos by excluding cheddar cheese and a particular sauce which had mayonnaise.

For tacos, you get to choose a protein base out of three options, three toppings out of eight options and a choice of sauce out of four. On another note, they also have burritos and “nude box” (burritos without the wrap).

For my taco, I added kidney beans as the protein base (the only vegetarian choice  of the three) and purple slaw (purple cabbage), coriander and jalapenos as the toppings. For the choice of sauce, I went with Kochchi!

For Ramesh I ordered the same protein bases and as the toppings tomato salsa, pineapple and jalapenos topped with tomato sauce.

With a dash of lime on the tacos, our taste buds were on a roll! We loved the mix of all these different tastes. They were very flavourful and mine was extremely spicy because of the kochchi sauce which was just what I needed!

Drinks

The Berry Smoothie (Vegetarian)

The cashier explained that they use blueberries, blackberries and raspberries with dairy. As they keep this drink prepared, it can’t be veganized with soy milk. I didn’t taste it because it’s got dairy but Ramesh certainly enjoyed the chilled berry smoothie. It was a great thirst quenching drink in the hot weather in Colombo.

Iced Mocha with Soy Milk (Veganized)

I am not much of a coffee person, and everytime I go to a coffee shop I usually order the cappuccino with soy milk. But this time, I tried the mocha. So I asked the cashier what goes into it, and he said it’s expresso, milk and ice. Perfect! Since I can replace the milk with soy milk I ordered that. I noticed they were using soy fresh soy milk as do most of the coffee shops in Sri Lanka.

When the drink was served I found it refreshing from the first sip. The taste of coffee because of the perfect blend of espresso and soy milk. I asked Ramesh to try it and he said he couldn’t tell it was made with soymilk. But he said it’s also got a chocolatey taste to it. So I did the next obvious thing, google what goes into making mocha! And voilà! It’s got chocolate! However, when I inquired, they confirmed they use a dark chocolate with no dairy in it.

The drinks were served with paper straws which are not reusable but 100% biodegradable. As citizens who are concerned about our environment, we always appreciate these small changes to reduce plastic.

The staff is extremely helpful and patient. And the cashier was responsible enough to check with the chef and respond whenever he didn’t know the answer. However, it would be great if they could even out the vegetarian items in the menu by including some vegan options.

Signing off for this week, Sajani Kapukotuwa and Ramesh Warallegama.

Cafe Kumbuk

Cafe Kumbuk

Located at Horton Place Colombo, Cafe Kumbuk is known for their healthy and nutritious meals. Apart from offering fresh, authentic and healthy meals, they are committed to avoiding refined sugar and artificial flavor enhancers in their dishes.  

Meatless Monday decided to pay a visit, try some of their vegan and vegetarian items on the menu, and write this review from a vegetarian and from a vegan perspective!

The menu didn’t include any starters, so we went straight to the mains. We ordered their Jackfruit Sloppy Burger, the Vegan Breakfast Wrap and the Naked Burrito Bowl (vegetarian version) for food and the Ceylon Punch and Mango-Go for beverages.

Their food preparation takes around 30 minutes but the drinks are served sooner while they prepare your food.

Food

Vegetarian:

Naked Burrito Bowl (Rs. 1,000):

I ordered the naked Burrito Bowl which gets you a huge bowl of all the things you would find inside a normal burrito, sans the tortilla wrap. This usually comes with a chicken carnita, but since I ordered the vegetarian version they added tofu instead. The dish was a huge bowl where all the ingredients were placed separately inside. The cumin and rice were at the bottom of the bowl with the kidney beans, and on top they had placed the tomato salsa, fried tofu with a splash of sriracha sauce, a dollop of buffalo curd and guacamole, pickled onion, jalapenos, feta cheese, grilled corn, lots of fresh lettuce and some tortilla chips.

The tortilla chips are from a store-bought brand so they have an artificial flavour profile. Nevertheless it was perfectly paired with the fresh and smooth guacamole. For the sake of the review I first tried each element individually, savouring its separate flavours and textures. The long grain rice was well cooked and seasoned properly with cumin. The tofu was chopped finely and scrambled with spices which blended well with the rice. But the best way to enjoy this bowl is to mix all the elements together, which is exactly what I did next. The buffalo curd and guacamole made the mixture really creamy and smooth but the freshness of the tomato salsa and the lettuce helped cut through the smooth texture. The jalapenos added much needed heat to the dish while the kidney beans and baby corn helped make the bowl more interesting.

The dish was extremely filling, but we didn’t want to throw away a single bite as it was delicious!

Vegan:

The Jackfruit Sloppy Burger (Rs. 850):

Now don’t get confused, they use the small jackfruit (polos) for this, not kos! 😀

The burger was pretty stuffed with pulled jackfruit, coleslaw and spicy bell pepper sauce. When I ordered it, I had the natural Sri Lankan assumption that it would be spicy because that’s the way we eat polos! However, it wasn’t as spicy as I thought–maybe I had my spiciness expectations too high for a cafe that serves healthy food. That being said, the burger tasted just fine and the pulled jackfruit was very juicy which can get a little messy when you eat it. The potato wedges served with the burger also complemented it well with a nice salty taste to it.

Vegan Breakfast Wrap (Rs. 800):

This was listed under the all day breakfast section of the menu and caught my eye with its interesting combination of ingredients; scrambled tofu, avocado!, tomato salsa, tofu aioli (similar to mayonnaise in terms of consistency) and red pepper sauce.

The breakfast wrap was served in a tortilla wrap with some lettuce leaves sprinkled with lime or lemon. The tofu scramble had a nice consistency but I thought adding a bit of tabasco sauce and pepper would make it even better – so that’s what I did. As I reached the middle of the wrap, the good stuff was there: tomato salsa and avocado, with a really nice mix of taste and creaminess. However, I couldn’t distinctively taste the tofu aioli in it and thought that the tortilla wrap didn’t complement it in terms of taste. But the lettuce leaves drizzled with lime were a perfect touch!

Drinks (both vegan)

Ceylon Punch (Rs. 450):

It was a hot Colombo afternoon so I went for something light and refreshing. The Ceylon punch looked promising on the menu and lived up to its name! A mixture of narang, mint, sea salt, coconut water and lime helped me cool down on the outside terrace of the café while waiting for our food. The drink was acidic and tangy from the narang and lime but the sea salt gave it a nice balance.

The Mango-Go! (Rs. 500):

This was hands down amazing! It didn’t contain sugar but the sweetness of mango and the creaminess of coconut milk complemented each other very well. Even better was the taste the ginger after every sip! It was topped with some coconut flakes and a natural sweetener which I believe was kithul treacle.

Fun fact – no single-use plastic is being used inside the premises so be ready to for the drinks to be presented with steel straws. 🙂

Dessert

The Vegan Chocolate Cake! (Rs. 500):

Whenever I go out to dine, nothing excites me like a place that has vegan dessert options! Cafe Kumbuk had vegan chocolate cake and vegan chocolate mousse out of which we picked the cake. It looked very gooey and soft when it was served. Although it tasted really good, we found the outer sides of the cake to be dry. As you dig in, the moistness and the flavor were great though. It also had a bit of a nutty flavor to it and we found a couple of pieces of nuts (peanuts probably)! So if you are allergic to nuts, make sure to check with them before ordering.

Something I found special in this place is the fact that their staff knows their menu in and out. They are very helpful, and you can raise any concern you have about their food and they will explain you what’s in it.

The Good Market Shop – A Meatless Monday Review

The Good Market Shop – A Meatless Monday Review


The Good Market has been a general favourite since its initiation at Diyatha Uyana in 2012. By bringing together local vendors from far corners of the island, it quickly became popular because of the fresh and organic produce on display and the vibrant atmosphere surrounding it. Now the Good Market can be found every Saturday at the Nuga Tree car park behind the Ministry of Sports, and it continues to draw large numbers of customers who are conscious about consuming healthy and organic fresh produce. With the opening of the Good Market shop, customers don’t even have to wait till Saturday anymore to get their fresh and organic food but can purchase it every day from the shop, located on Lakpahana premises, opposite the race course grounds.

The Meatless Monday Sri Lanka team paid a visit to the Good Market shop at lunchtime to check out the produce and the community deli. The café at the back of the shop was operated by a single vendor in the past but has now been transitioned into a community deli where a wide range of vendors sell their healthy and affordable foods and drinks.

Range of Goods

The shop is stocked with shelves full of completely organic products, which is guaranteed by their  extensive screening.

One main feature of the Good Market shop is that it offers the vegan alternatives to dairy from the good market vendors all week long. You can get your supply of vegan cashew cheese, vegan coconut yogurt, soy milk, almond milk and cashew milk without having to wait for Saturday.

Besides dairy products, you can find dried fruit chips such as watermelon, mango and pineapple, as well as a wide range of organic nuts or fruit spreads such as marmalades, jams and all-natural peanut butter.

There is a range of organic fruits and vegetables and free-range eggs that are brought in fresh every day from various farms around the country. You find organic flours (kurakkan, rice, coconut, gram, buckwheat, atta) and organic seeds and grains (pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, basil seeds, quinoa, oats), as well as baking products and natural sweeteners. The shop also sells a variety of organic spices and herbs, home, pet and garden care products, and personal care products made from all-natural ingredients.

Food and Drinks

In the back of the shop you can find the small kitchen counter from where the community deli is operated. It hosts different vendors each day of the week and as a result offers a wide range of food and drinks. Listed below are some of the options available in the deli.

  • Breakfast and lunch options from Jeewas (rice and curry, string hoppers, manioc and kiribath)
  • Quiches, tarts and baked goods from the Milk and Honey Café
  • Organic soup from Ma’s Kitchen
  • A variety of hoppers from Gami Gedara
  • Vegan brownies and vegan ice creams from Smokey’s
  • Fruit popsicles from Fruitful Popsicles
  • Medicinal juices, energy drinks, smoothies and fresh juices from Gami Gedara
  • Local coffee and tea from Hansa and Organic Life

Since one of the driving initiatives of the Good Market is to promote healthy living, the Meatless Monday Sri Lanka team decided to honour that idea and ordered a few items of the menu that sounded healthy.

For drinks we ordered the Karapincha juice (Rs.260), the Healthy Up energy drink (Rs. 350) and the Passion and Banana smoothie (Rs.350) from Gami Gedara. To keep true to the Meatless Monday message we asked the milk for the smoothie to be substituted with king coconut water which is offered as a dairy-free option.

The Karapincha juice is a blend of karapincha, narang and king coconut water. Despite there being no sugar added to the juice, the narang and king coconut water gave it a pleasant sweet taste that matched well with the karapincha in the juice. If you are looking for a healthy refresher after a hot day in the sun, this is a definite must try.

The Healthy Up drink can be found under the energy drink section of Gemi gedara. It is a blend of soursop, banana, wel penela, spinach, gotukola, narang and king coconut water. Because of the soursop and banana combination, the juice was thick in consistency but definitely sweeter than the Karapincha juice.

(Right: Karapincha juice; Left: Healthy Up energy drink)

The Passion and Banana smoothie comprised passion fruit, banana and coconut water blended together. This was a refreshing drink that was sweet and a bit sour at the same time. The occasional crunch of the blended passion fruit seeds gave it a nice texture and tartness that cut well with the sweetness of the banana.

(Pineapple and banana smoothie)

All three drinks were rich in consistency and very filling as a result. If you want to enjoy a refreshing and healthy drink, these are recommended choices by us.

For lunch we ordered the vegetarian rice and curry from Jeewas (Rs.350). The basmati rice was served in a banana leaf with amberella curry, drumstick curry (murunga), mukunuwenna sambol, seeni sambol (deep fried onions) and pol sambol (spiced coconut sambol). The curries were well seasoned with nicely balanced spices. It was a hearty lunch free of any animal-based products: so if you are on the lookout for a vegan meal, the vegetarian rice and curry from Jeewas is a good option.

There were a variety of hoppers available from Gemi Gedara and we were curious to try out the karapincha hopper (curry leaf) (Rs. 100). The hopper was served hot and straight off the pan. It was delicious and well-seasoned with the right amount of coconut milk and a subtle flavour of karapincha coming through. Hoppers from Gami Gedara are usually served with a katta sambol, which for some reason we did not get.

For dessert, we ordered two fruit popsicles from Fruitful Popsicles and the vegan chocolate ice cream (Rs. 200 per scoop) from Smokey’s. The vegan ice cream was rich in chocolate and had a subtle flavour of coconut milk. The vegan ice cream melts really fast so better consume it as soon as it is out of the fridge. The popsicles are called Mingo Mango and Passion Love and both priced at Rs. 200. The mango and passion flavours came through in both popsicles and made them a refreshing end to a hot day.

Mingo Mango Passion Love

Conclusion

The Good Market shop is the go-to place if you need organic and natural fresh produce and products under one roof. The products are roughly within the range of Rs.200 to Rs.1000, since they are locally manufactured.

The shop has a zero waste policy so you won’t find any plastic straws and cutlery or any single-use packaging here. Instead of plastics, they have stainless steel straws, wooden cutlery and compostable takeaway containers.