Monday, October 13, 2008

A night in Sri Lanka

I was seriously starting to miss variety in my meals. In Manhattan, I could walk down practically any street and bump into places to get food from at least two or three completely different countries. Here, the better restaurants seem to be predominently American and Southwestern. While I can make a decent variety of Asian food—well enough to satisfy myself, at least—I am much less versed in Indian cuisine or Middle Eastern cuisine or Peruvian cuisine or many of the other things I used to crave. So when I got an email that Apartment Life was hosting a "Sri Lankan Night," with dinner included (free, no less!) I and my friend NH got right on it.

Dinner was served buffet style. Above is my first plate, which was small because I think the servers weren't sure how much food they had for the attendees. Clockwise from top: rice; a coconut milk–kissed lentil stew; salty chopped mystery veg; fish fritter (like the one I had at Choice Eats, but perfectly seasoned this time); tomatoes and beets; curried potatoes; and curried chicken. I loved the lentil stew, the potatoes, and the fish fritters, and later, when they figured out that there was a ton of food left, I went back for seconds and completely loaded up my plate.
There was also dessert, which consisted of a dense, chewy cake that tasted of dark molasses; a hard, sugary chunk that reminded me of maple candies; and a non-sweet, fried cracker that snapped pleasantly between my teeth. I don't know the names of any of these, but aside from the sugar chunk which was much too sweet, I thought they were great.

The meal was followed by a presentation on Sri Lankan culture and history, given by a Sri Lankan student, one of three total on campus. He explained that when he had first arrived to this school, he was actually the only student from Sri Lanka, and was joined later on by the other two. I may feel like a fish out of water sometimes, but I ain't got nothin' on him.