The Sri Lanken Curry Bowl Location:Tkalčićeva 44 Zagreb, Croatia written by James B. Mac Donald
If you have been traveling to Zagreb you might of know already a lot has changed. When visiting for the first time this year one would expect it to have the same culinary food like the rest of Croatia. But here is the twist Zagreb being the capital has attracted many visitors from around the world. I was lucky enough to stumble on a great place called the Sri Lankan Curry Bowl. It was by complete accident but I was able to discover something that reminds me of home Toronto Canada. The only difference is that it’s actually in Croatia. Sri Lankan Curry Bowl has been officially now opened for 1 year and is doing great job filling the need for Spicy Curry food as there is nothing else like it in Croatia. (Opened December 4 2016)
I meet Clement at his temporary location in the Advent festival. It was really great to talk to him, as I found he has also another location just five minutes down the street. He said that his restaurant can accommodate any palate as he knows that some Croatian people have different levels of how hot and spicy they like there food. He was a bit shocked to learn that I had some knowledge of roti and the different spices and ingrediants that can be added. In discussion I said “I really like Curry Roti and the other thing is I don’t like eggs (allergies)”. Clements said with a smile “don’t worry if there is something that you don’t like they will make it just the way you like.”
Is it Difficult to open a Restaurant? “It was a bit difficult at first as the paper work was all in Croatian and needed to be translated. Once you get passed the mounds of many documents and plenty of paper forms to be filled out. They ask a lot of questions as with every business. They want to know how much experience you have, a bit about the background and how the business is going to run. The inspectors check that everything is complete and signed.”’
Where is the Main Restaurant? “In the main part of the city this is where we wanted to be and just by chance the location had been previously a restaurant and the former tenants left the place pretty much ready to go. The Curry Bowl opened the restaurant in the perfect place about a year ago. There were just a few minor adjustments getting the kitchen setup. This first year response has been great. The location is just five minutes from the center on the side alley way not more than a few blocks. Zagreb has become an incredible place for restaurants especially seeing the rise in toursism. Every year people come back to see Zagreb and the word is getting out.” What about the food? Croatia is a place that has tradition of being known mostly about for Sausages, Prosciutto, Cullen and other salami, and cheese. There was not much choice of food until the tourism industry really started to get more people from around the world visiting. We quickly found out that not all Croatians are used to spicy foods even though they use Paprika in there dishes. We like to let the customer know how hot it can be. So with that in mind we tell them the about the dishes. They can adjust the level of spiciness based on what the customer wants. What is the specialty? The Curry Bowl is known for its main Sri Lankan dish Kotthu that is served with the choice of Beef, Pork, Chicken, or egg. The one thing many people like is the choice of how it is made, the food is served hot from the kitchen. The food is prepared in front of you as this is the way to go and seeing how it is made is a great treat. Along with the main dish you get a salad that is called Pol-Sambol (Coconut salad). Everything is made fresh and even the roti is hand made. Their recipe is a secret but I bet there is a long list of key ingredients like garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, curry, soy sauce, homemade chili powder (mix of different peppers), pandan, tomato, red onion, mixed vegetables, and coconut milk. Just to name a few. There are many great dishes as well to explore, so I won’t wreck the surprise as you gotta eat here. What has happened in a year? In a year they have done an amazing job being able to support many local events and being part of the biggest music venue in Croatia. The Ultra Dance in split catered to the local crowd and international crowds that love music and fantastic food. The Sir Lankan Curry Bowl has grabbed lots of media attention and making a great impression that it even got aired on Dubro Jutro Morning news show in Zagreb ( The equivalent of Breakfast Television in Toronto Canada) The list goes on with the success of the start-up business of providing which many call great street food. The two brothers Clement and Brian have made Zagreb City their home. Together as a team they cornered a market that was missing in Croatia. With the world recognizing Zagreb as a new trendy place to be. The next move that any Restaurant would love to have is expansion with the possibility of Franchising. Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheSriLankanCurryBowl
The choice of food is great with the best of both worlds in one place in Zagreb. Citizens of Croatia before would have to travel far to find exotic Gastronomy. Croatia is moving forward and becoming more diverse and educated in the world of gastronomy. They are realizing the relationship between food and culture. It is an art in itself of serving rich and authentic food from around the world. While carefully balancing cultural heritage with new and the old world tradition.