Monday, August 13, 2007


You could be forgiven for assuming Sigiri was an Indian restaurant, being just around the corner from Curry Lane (or Spice Alley) on E6th St. where at last twelve Indian restaurants (an unscientific count I made while strolling along that block) via for your business. Sigiri, however, is the only restaurant in Manhattan specializing in hot and spicy Singhalese cuisine, or Sri Lankan food, if you prefer. Don't feel bad - I wasn't familiar with the term either, nor had I tried the cuisine before until a week ago. Did I mention the words "hot and spicy?". Well, if hot and spicy food is present, then you can be sure that the Pepperheads are not far away!

The management of Sigiri was nice enough to close down the restaurant to accommodate our group of 28 die-hard Pepperheads. David, our head Chili chief, worked with them to come up with a multi-course menu that guaranteed a hot, steamy night for everyone. Things started off with the appetizer sampler (dhal vade, fish cutlets, vegetable spring rolls, and fish spring rolls) which whetted our appetites for the stronger stuff. Then, the floodgates opened. In quick succession arrived the fish curry, beef curry, chicken curry, pork devilled grill, and dhal curry (lentils) - all fiery yet flavorful dishes that reduced the Pepperheads to a silent bunch concentrating intently on wiping our perspiring foreheads (and teary eyes), unbuttoning our top collar buttons, whining about the A/C, and gulping down glasses of water to put out the fires inside our mouths, which turned out to be quite ineffective. (Tip: the Sri Lankan mango cordials will do the trick). Some of the more genial Pepperheads were seen laughing and trying their best to cope with the stratospheric spice level, while others just sat shell-shocked waiting to regain sensation on their overwhelmed tongues.

At the end of the night, everyone agreed that this was the hottest meal (and biggest challenge) the Pepperheads had ever experienced, and Sigiri was an amazing discovery worth sharing and returning to.

Sigiri in New York