Thilani Catering is located in the cul-de-sac of Jindalee amongst a string of shops on Curragundi Road.
It’s a modest establishment, the owners very friendly and happy to share stories of their homeland. They were thrilled that we had travelled half way across the city to dine with them. We’d suddenly had a hankering for Sri Lankan cuisine, my friend having recently learned she would be travelling there, and not having had Sri Lankan before we made the trek to Jindalee to find out for ourselves what it was all about.
The owner explained that the menu was predominantly Indian with a Sri Lankan spin on it. Foods cross boundaries freely and that was the best way to explain to us what to expect. Wanting something entirely different to what we were accustomed to, we settled on two main dishes and some sides.
I ordered the Ceylon Sour Fish Curry, also known as Fish Ambulthiyal. It is chunks of tuna slow-cooked in a clay pot with spices, black pepper, and goraka paste. Goraka is a type of tamarind known as Garcinia Gummi-gutta, but also known as Indian Tamarind or even Brindleberry. It is what adds the sourness to this dish. The fish becomes blackened by marinating in the goraka paste, and there’s a strong citrus-like kick to this dish even though there’s no citrus in it. I think that is the blend of spices used. It’s an amazing dish!
This set me back $24.00, but it was worth it. What’s more, it was big enough to make two meals of (though reheating the fish later makes it saltier, so try and eat it all in one sitting and fresh from the pot). I’d certainly like to try this dish at a fancier Sri Lankan restaurant for comparison.
My friend ordered the Green Jackfruit Curry. It looked deceptively meaty, the fruit cut in chunks and stewed for four hours in a clay pot with various spices. You’ve probably seen jackfruit at your local supermarket as part of the growing trend to embrace more South-East Asian fruits and vegetables. It is bulbous like a melon, scaled skin. Like a less-spiky durian, if you like. In any case, this was another delicious dish and a great one for vegetarians looking for a good curry with some substance.
It was $18.50, and again, enough in the serve to take home and make a second meal from.
We couldn’t resist ordering a few smaller items from the menu to satisfy our curiosity. We ordered an Egg Roll (on the left of the top-most picture), which was tuna and a cooked egg wrapped in a pancake-like dough, for $2.75. We also grabbed a Lamb Roll (pictured below). We joked that it was like a Chikko roll, and in some respects the comparison fits. Again, it is a pancake batter made to wrap around a stuffing of soft lamb meat, and the whole thing is rolled in bread crumbs and deep-fried. It was absolutely delicious. The outer wrapping was soft and pulled apart like a pancake.
If you’d like to know more about he Sri Lankan treats on offer at Thilani Catering, you can visit their Facebook page.
Thilani Catering is open:
(07) 3715 6928
0413 604 120
Address: 66 Curragundi Rd, Jindalee QLD 4074