25 May, 2008


338 High St, Northcote; 03 9482 6114

The Yak was too full to squeeze in two more momo-hunting dinner goers. Just a few doors up the road is Sigiri, whose vacant tables and relatively calmer atmosphere (in comparison to not just Wild Yak but much of High St that night) lured us in. Part of its calm atmosphere was created by notably muted lighting, much of which seeped through red light shades, conditions that were well beyond standard-issue camera equipment. Since it was Eurovision Weekend, however, I've dotted the post with pictures of some of the acts instead :)

Sigiri have an interesting set-up. Each night they run a buffet for $25 per head ($22 on Thursday). This features two entrees (eg crumbed tuna and potato balls), beef, chicken and vegetable curries, side dishes, at least half a dozen types of bread, including hoppers, and dessert. Customers can also dine a-la-carte, though on this Saturday night it was off a limited selection of the normal menu.

Some menu items, including the stir fries (baduma) would take a while to cook, and I was on my way to a movie ('Pudor', at the Spanish Film Festival) so we went with two very straightforward dishes: harakmas (seasoned beef in curry sauce) and kukulmas (boneless chicken in spicy sauce) and a serve of eddi appa, or 'string hoppers'. These are made from a combination of rice flour, water and salt, which is forced through a mould to create the squiggly, latticed effect.

In some ways a combination of the two choices would have made a great dish. The chicken meat was tender and swimming in sauce, whereas the beef was a little (only a little) tough and the dish could have used some more moisture overall. The texture of both sauces seemed to borrow from a gravy style, in that they were somewhat grainy. The beef curry sauce was loaded with cardamon, and the chicken sauce was strongly spiced without being too hot. Neither, happily, seemed overloaded with oil or ghee so while we were both quite full without finishing our serves, it wasn't an uncomfortably heavy feeling.


  1. The original owners still have their Sri Lankan lunch bar in the city (shenies curries?) in Russell St, next door to yak bar. It is a modest place and the choices are from a bain marie - but the curries are superb and the vegetarian ones change daily. Great value and worth a visit if you liked what you tried at sigri.

  2. Hey AOF: I hadn't known that Sigiri and Shenis were connected. It's a bit of a coincidence cos I ate at Shenis just recently, and despite all the positive reviews I've read I wasn't that impressed, and I felt a bit the same with Sigiri. I think it would be worth giving Shenis, in particular, a second run, however. With so many good reviews we must have hit a bad day. It is good value and I like their daily special set-up. The eggplant dish is worth going back for.