Best Sri Lankan Short-Eats to try in London
In addition to the many street food carts scattered across Sri Lankan, you will also find countless street vendors selling a plethora of scrumptious treats that we call “short eats” or “bites” when we have it with Arrack or Lion Beers. These are quick snacks for when you are feeling peckish or just need a quick bite to hold you over until your next meal.
Our menu at K+K Street Food features three of our favourite short eats, but before explaining why we’ve chosen these three, we want to share the history behind these short eats, a history that captures the eclectic melting pot of cultures that defines Sri Lanka. According to a fascinating history of short eats, these were originally introduced by the many settlers that came to Sri Lanka. Rolls were most likely introduced by the Chinese. Some say that cutlets came with the British while others think they resemble Portuguese bolinhos. What’s lovely is that these dishes were brought to the island and then reshaped and made better as they collided with different cultures.
The main types of short eats are pastries and patties, vadai, cutlets, rotis and rolls and stuffed buns. But if you ask us, these are the best:
- Mutton Roll: Looking at these rolls, it’s easy to see how they are related to the original Chinese versions that they are inspired by. With a crispy shell and a soft inside, our homemade mutton rolls are made with potatoes and tender mutton mince and seasoned with freshly ground spices and herbs.
- Fish Patties: There’s a reason why Sri Lankan Tuna Patties are legendary! These patties are a blend of colonial Portuguese flavours with traditional ingredients. A slightly spicy, savoury, scrumptious tuna filling encased in a flaky and buttery crust.
- Polos Cutlets (Vegan): Our polos cutlets are made with a traditional and satisfying young Jackfruit and potato filling that is enhanced with Ceylon spices and herbs. These are then shaped by hand into round balls, battered and fried until they have a golden and crispy crust. We love splitting open a freshly made cutlet and smelling the delicious warm aroma before biting into it and hearing that lovely crunch.
Whilst not strictly a short eat, we couldn’t cheekily resist adding a personal favourite of ours to the menu, milk toffee. Almost like a crumbly fudge, this sweet, caramelised, milky concoction is popular with both adults and children, especially during the festive season.