Instagram Post 1/2/2020

There’s some tasty ethnic cuisine to be found on Staten Island although it doesn’t always make the front page; the borough has its share of international communities and I’m guessing that when the subject is food, the Sri Lankan population gets the most ink (outside of Italian). The spicy cuisine is shaped by Indian, Indonesian and Dutch influences with some Southeast Asian touches and if you include a few markets along with some restaurant hopping (no hoppers pun intended), you could spend the day exploring it.

Randiwa, located at 1405 Richmond Ave, is a little less than an hour’s bus ride from the St. George Ferry Terminal, so getting there is a bit of a commitment (unless you’re already in the neighborhood). We gathered for their AYCE Sunday buffet. Note that IMO this (and others like it) is not intended to be a representative cross-section of the cuisine – order from the menu if that’s your quest – but it does provide the pleasant prospect of sampling many dishes.

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Second photo is the annotated plate comprising:
• Palak Paneer, the spinach and squeaky cheese dish you probably know from Indian cuisine, was great
• Kale Mallung, kale and coconut, also top notch
• Lunu Miris, a spicy sambal with notes of orange
• Eggplant Moju, surprisingly flavorful
• Pork Black Curry, tender and somewhat chewy
• Soyameat, the nondescript name notwithstanding, this one was spicy and delicious
• Vegetable Noodles, deeper flavor than I had anticipated
• Deviled Chicken, wicked good
• Coconut Sambal, a Sri Lankan standby

…and the rest, here on Staten Isle.


Instagram Post 8/24/2018

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When it comes to Staten Island’s Sri Lankan enclave, the only thing I like more than visiting it is revealing it to someone who’s unaware of it. On a recent excursion, we went to Sagara, the new Sri Lankan restaurant at 98 Victory Blvd, to scope out their lunch buffet.

[1] Dishes included red and white rice, dal curry, and coconut sambal…
[2] …yuca, deviled chick peas, kale salad, papadam…
[3] …deviled chicken (the best dish in terms of flavor but tricky to eat because of bone shards in every bite), vegetable fried rice, vegetable chop suey, noodles with egg…
[4] …an assortment of breads including plain dosa, uthappam, dal vada and urad dal vada, along with chutney and sambar…
[5] …and fresh fruits and ice cream for dessert. But props for the most interesting dessert go to lavaria (also spelled lewariya), coconut stuffed string hoppers.