Kottu roti. Sambol. Kiribath. Hoppers. Lamprais. Pittu. Dodol. Undu Walalu. In Colombo, I was cuisine-confounded. I was rolling my tongue to get the inflexion right; I was digging hard to spot the difference between dodol and walalu. I was curious and confused. I knew nothing about Lankan food. Thankfully, Rukmankan Sivaloganathan, a banker turned entrepreneur, came to my cuisine-rescue. Rukman knows all about Lankan cuisine. Not only is he the CEO and co-founder of Trekurious, a high-end travel marketplace, he is also writing a book on old pubs in Colombo. From ritzy 5-star options to bustling pubs and food on the beach, Colombo has an array of food choices. Sri Lankan traditional fare is absolutely fabulous. Dig in.     

1) Ministry of Crab
Type: Fine dining
Cuisine: It is all about crabs.
Description: What happens when you bring together crabs and cricketers? You get Ministry of Crab, the hippest eatery in Colombo. Owned by Sri Lankan cricketers Kumar Sangakarra and Mahela Jayawardena, foodies swarm for butter/garlic/baked crabs served with stone-baked traditional bread. The Ministry is completely 'crab'by, but there are a few vegetarian options.        
Recommended dish: OMG (Oh My God) crabs that weigh more than 1.5 kilos. Vegetarians try leek rice and kankun garlic.  
Price range: 500-gram for 2500 LKR; OMG 9000 LKR upwards
Address: Old Dutch Hospital
Contact details: 2372722

2) Nuga Gama
Type: Village setting in 5-star Cinnamon Grand Hotel
Cuisine: Authentic Sri Lankan
Description: If you want to experience Sri Lankan in its typical rural setting, but do not want to go streetsy, book a buffet in Nuga Gama. Step into this recreated village, sit under the 200-year old banyan tree, and savour traditional made-there hoppers and coconut rotis with an upscale touch.  
Recommended dish: Buffet.  Hoppers and tring hoppers and  
Price range: 1950 LKR for a buffet dinner
Address: Cinnamon Grand Colombo, 77 Galle Road
Contact details: 2437437

3) Gallery Cafe
Type: Mid-range
Cuisine: Sri Lankan Fusion
Description: At Gallery Café, food mingles with art and stories about Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka's most famous architect. What is now the haunt for the arty and the aesthete was once Bawa's office. While you wait for the famed desserts, look around for framed art on the walls and sculptures stacked in corners.  
Recommended dish: Champagne risotto for vegetarians. Café is famed for its desserts.    
Price range: 2500 LKR for starter-mains-dessert
Address: 2 Alfred House Road
Contact details: 2582162

4) HVN
Type: Boutique
Cuisine: Mixed
Description: In the 200-year old Moorish mansion, Heaven is spelt as HVN and food is, well, heavenly. You can pick from Continental, Mediterranean, Sri Lankan food. Order a silver tip (white) tea. And do not miss out on the two-blade 18-ft wing span fan. It is the most unusual fan you'd ever see.      
Recommended dish: Kottu Roti for vegetarians; braised slow-marinated beef for non-vegetarians
Price range: Mains from 600 LKR onwards
Address: Casa Colombo Hotel,  231 Galle Road
Contact details: 4520130

5) 1864
Type: Fine dining
Cuisine: Fusion of Italian, Indian and Japanese
Description: When you step into 1864 in Galle Face Hotel, watch your steps. For emperors, heads of states, legends and even astronaut Yuri Gagarin have dug their fork into the sumptuous food here. Go down the staircase into the Wine Cellar for perhaps the best wine collection in town.   
Recommended dish: Mushroom polenta.
Price range: 3000 LKR onwards for starters-mains-dessert
Address: Galle Face Hotel, 2 Galle Road
Contact details: 2541010

6) Loon Tao
Type: Mid-range
Cuisine: Chinese seafood
Description: It is seafood on the beach. That is Loon Tao's tagline. The food is organic, the master chef Chinese, the ingredients handpicked and imported from China. The menu is large and all asterisked dishes are the Master Chef  Ye Zhou's signature dishes. The vegetarians have as many options as the meat eaters.   
Recommended dish: Schezuwan-style brinjal in chilli sauce; caramel biscuit pudding
Price range: Mains from 500 LKR onwards;
Address: 43/12 College Avenue, Mount Lavinia
Contact details:  272223

7) Shanmugas
Type: Mid-range
Cuisine: Indian vegetarian
Description: Purely vegetarian. Shanmugas is the favourite haunt of all vegetarians. Nothing fancy about this decade-old eatery, but the choice of North and South Indian food is as close to home as you can imagine. Take your pick from idli, vada, samosa, utthapam, chole bhature, chapatti etc.    
 Recommended dish: Thali
Price range: LKR 1000 per person
Address: 53/3 Ramakrishna Road
Contact details: 2361384

8) Tintagel
Type: Fine dining
Cuisine: International
Description: Tintagel is oh so colonia! Think history. Think Sri Lankan politics. Former Prime Minster Sirimavo Bandaranaike lived in Tintagel. Now it is a boutique hotel dressed in black and white. Get into your glam finery and order squid-ink risotto with calamari, soft-poached egg and pickled ginger mayonnaise. This is the place to be seen!    
Recommended dish: Squid-ink risotto
Price range: LKR 3000 per person
Address: 65 Rosemead Place
Contact details: 4602060

9) Heladiv Tea Club
Type: Mid-range
Cuisine: Tea House
Description: Sri Lanka is a tea country. And you cannot step out without stepping into a tea club. Housed in the Old Dutch Hospital Heladiv Tea Club is the prefect place to spend an evening. Sit in the cobbled courtyard and order tea/coffee with a sandwich. The tea options are mind-boggling.     
Recommended dish: Tea.
Price range: 1000 LKR onwards
Address: Old Dutch Hospital
Contact details: 5753377

10) Galle Face beach
Type: Streetsy
Cuisine: Barbecued, grilled
Description: Want to stick your toe into the silken Sri Lankan sand? Head to Galle Fce Beach. When the afternoon starts melding with the evening, the beach gets laden with the aroma of barbecued and grilled prawns, crabs, sausages, corn. It is crowded, streetsy and very light on the wallet. And choices galore.       
Recommended dish: Grilled prawn
Price range: Cheap
Address: Shacks on the Galle Face beach  

(All prices in Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). 1 Indian Rupee = 2.37 LKR)