[Colombo, Sri Lanka] Street food at Nana's Toyna, Galle Face Green

Nana’s Toyna is one of the best-known street food vendors on Galle Face Green - in 2017, Anthony Bourdain was brought to eat here by none other than Dharshan Munidasa, owner-chef of the Ministry of Crab, in Season 10 Episode 5 of Parts Unknown.

We’re not entirely sure if our stomachs can take local street food, but ordered a few items to try nonetheless:

  1. Kothu Parotta with Chicken - basically, a stir-fry of finely-cut paratha/parotta bread, chopped vegetables & onions, curry gravy and chicken pieces. Preparing the kothu parotta is a noisy, metallic-clanging affair, as the chef uses two rectangular-shaped blades to chop up the mixture atop a griddle. The version we had here was not as tasty as the one at Cafe on the 5th the previous evening - the flavours were more muted and bland-ish.

  1. Beef Shawarma - this is a local version of the Middle-eastern shawarma. I’d not recommend it at all: firstly, the meat was basically chopped and stir-fried with gravy, and seemed mushy and wet.

  2. Devilled prawns with chapati - the prawns were served shell-on, and the gravy was also pretty bland.

We’re not too sure if we ordered the wrong dishes, or whether that was the way Sri Lankan street food were supposed to taste like, but everything seemed bland and, again, we thought we were charged perhaps double what a local would have paid for this meal.

It was a 3-minute walk back to our hotel, Galle Face, which is a definite plus. I couldn’t think of any other.

Nana’s Toyna
Galle Face Green
Colombo, Sri Lanka 00200
Tel: +94 77 544 4844

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2