Staten Island, the city’s hot spot for Sri Lankan food, has at least one don’t-miss dish, Chowhounds report: the lamprais at San Rasa (here spelled lamprie). In this house special—a legacy of Dutch colonizers, who called it lampijst—curried meats, vegetables, nuts, caramelized onion, and basmati rice are steamed in a banana leaf. “This is a must,” Ziggy41 writes. Other winning dishes include fiery deviled shrimp, stir-fried with chiles, ginger, and garlic; roti (flatbreads) and the delicate rice-flour pancakes called hoppers, served with a choice of meat, seafood, and vegetable curries; and lamb in an addictive black curry sauce.
San Rasa occupies a space that was once home to another Sri Lankan restaurant, Lakruwana, which is now farther south on Bay Street. Both places deliver robust flavors, says comestible, who recommends that newcomers to the cuisine start at the buffet: “You are sure to be impressed by the panoply of flavors. On a later visit, it would…repay you to sample some individual curries, rice dishes, etc. As good as the buffet is, I’ve tasted remarkable spices in the à la carte items that don’t make it into the buffet.”
San Rasa [Staten Island]
226 Bay Street (near Minthorne Street), Staten Island
Lakruwana [Staten Island]
668 Bay Street (between Broad and Thompson streets), Staten Island