ROM Outing- Sigiri

24 04 2009

In economic times like these a thrifty lady really must have a couple of good BYOB places up here sleeve. Sigiri is certainly one of these.

In our happy world of ROM we busy friends get together, catch up, shoot the breeze and get old fashioned drizzzunk. But we’re not without our inner strife. The choice of Sri Lankan cuisine turned out to be surprisingly controversial. A ROMer(who shall remain anonymous) and fancies him/herself a person of the world, connoisseur of foods and goods produced by the world’s great cultures put his/her lavender-suede shod foot down and refused to partake: something about unpalatable aromas I believe. A rift ensued. Happily, full-on civil war was avoided when the Sri hater had to leave town so a smaller than usual contingent headed to 1st & 6th to find out what Sri Lankan cuisine is all about.

Get some Kingfishers downstairs & bring 'em on up!

Get some Kingfishers downstairs & bring 'em on up!

Around the corner from what used to be called “Curry Row” (6th Street between 1st & 2nd Ave.) but is looking markedly less curry these days, Sigiri is a flight of stairs up from street level. Conveniently it is located above a deli that has an impressive array of international beers including microbrews and a badass selection of Indian beers which would pair excellently with some of the spicy and fried offerings available at Sigiri. Don’t expect a fancy interior. Small and narrow, except for a nice window table it’s pretty cramped. We’re talking about brushing-up-against-waitstaff-on-the-way-to-the-bathroom cramped.  Don’t go with anyone with whom unintentional footsie would be awkward.

Tip: bring stuff that bubbles. Sigiri is a great place for people who likes a spice. Among the B that we brought there was a prosecco and some beer, these cut through the oil and spice of the appetizer sampler nicely. This platter featured an array of fried things that were difficult to distinguish but were quite delicious. With a crispy outside and a nice heat to it, the fish spring role was my favorite. The Gothamba roti was an unmistakable hit as well. The outside was crepe-like and delightfully chewy, the inside featured a sturdy combo of spicy veggies, heavy on potatoes with or without beef. I liked the veggie one better. It’s substantial and ripe for sharing.

The service was lovely. While not super prompt, our party arrived piecemeal and it was not easy to see when we were ready to order. Our waitress, who had a touch of what sounded like a London accent, caused one diner to say, “Yo, she’s like MIA she’ll kick your ass!” although nothing about her demeanor indicated that she was considering such a thing. The entrees require a bit of navigation. Due to the relatively spicy nature of Sri Lankan food, Sigiri offers different levels of heat for many of their entrees. The curry chicken at “medium” level was just right with a kick that complemented the coconut milk in the sauce. Meanwhile, the “very spicy” prawn curry was all heat and salt with little room to distinguish the flavors. The Sri Lankan stew is a hearty mix of vegetables in coconut sauce. While it had a nice flavor it was heavy and the beef inside proved dry: it is not the kind of dish you want to let get cold since it tends to congeal. Meanwhile, the simply prepared Sri Lankan vegetable (it was lotus root that night) was well prepared with just the right amount of coconut and for $7 is one of the best dinner deals for veggies. The Kotthu Roti was a unique dish featuring a shreaded roti (the chewy crepe mentioned before) stir fried with vegetables and meat and served heaped in a ball. It comes with a spicy (or not) broth to spoon on top. After a coupla drinks it seemed like a good idea to ladle the coconut beef stew on top. It was.

Kotthu Roti, touted as a "Sri-Lankan side-street specialty" on the menu. Wonder what the main-street specialties are?

Kotthu Roti, touted as a "Sri-Lankan side-street specialty" on the menu. Wonder what the main-street specialties are?

Sigiri is small enough that it’s a great place for two old friends to catch up and eat and drink cheap. It’s also good to come with a big group and order everything on the menu so you can sample it all and not worry about cardiac arrest when the check comes . . .  unless it’s from the stew. It’s nice to be fancy once in a while. But it’s also nice rock out without breaking the bank.




2 responses

27 04 2009
Curry All the Time

This is the only ROM event I attended because it wasn’t all shee shee and shit. Plus BYOB meant I BYOB’d, hard body karate. It was a good group and the absence of an inferior team brother (the real Team Brother has their own secret handshake, step your game up) meant the place didn’t reek of cologne and caviar… John Malkovitch, Rounders, best acting ever.

5 05 2009

Yes, I too feel that John Malkovitch took the Russian accent to a whole new level in that movie.

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