[Colombo, Sri Lanka] Street food at Galle Face Green

Since the time it was laid out in 1859 by the-then Ceylonese Governor Sir Henry George Ward, Galle Face Green has been Colombo’s hub for leisure activities - a striking, lively beach-fronting promenade, stretching half a kilometre alongside the Indian Ocean in the heart of the city. It’s a hive of activity from dawn till dusk: with early morning joggers, strolling families in the evenings, and Colombo denizens seeking street food late into the night.

In the late-afternoons, kites take to the air, buffeted by the strong winds blowing in from the ocean the same winds giving white caps to the strong waves which made the seas off Colombo too dangerous for swimming.

We couldn’t resist the stall selling Indian fritters - very similar to what we get in Singapore called “vadai”. We were informed that these were called “Isso wade” in Sinhalese.

We ordered 3 types of seafood fritters from one of the vendors, who proceeded to deep-fry the items we chose off the display trays, twice-cooking them. He then slathered the fried items with a chili-based sauce, and sprinkled some chopped onions & bits of carrots on top.

We found out that the “batter” was actually ground yellow lentils (“kadalai parippu”), and the whole concoction was much saltier than what we were used to.

People-watching was as much an attraction as the street food stands. Each day, at sunset, there was also a flag-lowering ceremony. The Sri Lankan flag was beautiful - almost Arthurian in its medieval design and vibrant colours. The colours were replicated in the dyed, grated coconut filling offered by this betel-leaf/paan man nearby.

Galle Face Green stretched from Galle Face Hotel (Est. 1864) where we stayed on one end all the way to the the Old Parliament House at the other end.

Definitely a must-not-miss when one is visiting Colombo.