Sri Lanka is in a strategic location in the Indian Ocean, influenced by the both the Eastern and Western traditions and cultures. In no place is this more apparent than in Sri Lanka cuisine, which is rich in flavour as well as spices. The advantage of being a small island, however, is that you need to venture too far from where you are to indulge yourself. All you have to do is walk into any restaurant. Colombo, the commercial capital, has plenty to spare.

A favourite among the locals and something you must not miss is the kottu. A blend of roti, shredded vegetables and pieces of different meats jumbled together with numerous spices and soy sauce, kottu was initially a way to make something tasty out of leftovers. Now, it has become quite a staple, with additions such as cheese to make it all the more delicious. You would not have known what true Sri Lankan food is until you have dipped a piece of bread in a dhal curry – a concoction of dhal, coconut milk, curry leaves and numerous spices, which is rather low in chilli. This is a local staple, and a must try for you.

Portraying the extent to which western invasions have penetrated the cuisine is lamprais, which literally means a packet of food. Originated from the Dutch, this is now made by Sri Lankan Burgher community, and is a rice packet that is cooked with cloves, cardamom and cinnamon, served wrapped in a banana leaf with eggplant, frikkadels, sambol and a boiled egg. If you are looking for a light dinner or an evening snack, look no further than the local egg hopper. They are thin pancakes with crispy edges, made of flour, coconut milk and yeast. Delicious and fun to eat, these are popular among street food stalls. If you are feeling brave, however, there are recent establishments popping up in Colombo such as Rare at Residence, which experiment with different blends of traditional Sri Lankan with traditional Western. You can always try your hand at these dishes for a gastronomical adventure you are unlikely to forget.