91 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Sigiri, the Sri Lankan restaurant near and dear to my heart since my early days in NYC remains a hot spot for yours truly, even with the little one in tow. In fact, he's so much of a regular that even his photo was on the wall at one stage (okay so it was a Christmas card, but I digress).
The great thing about Sigiri is that the atmosphere is very casual, the staff is super nice, and the food... well that's the real reason you go. The food is phenomenal, period. Even the Sri Lankan Ambassador think so! (Full menu here).
- Sigiri is not for the faint-hearted. Sure you can order mild, but why bother? Personally, I always go all the way (I.e., everything "Sri Lankan spicy"), but I can compromise on medium for hubs and friends
- The dhal (made of chickpeas) is incredibly flavorful and great for kids
- Kotthu Roti (chopped roti mixed with vegetables and your choice of protein, I recommend chicken) is truly out of this world. I call it my “desert food” (I.e., if I had to consumer a single type of food for all eternity, this would be it)
- Deviled beef and pork curry are fantastic. For those, you can go either medium or spicy.
- The Hoppers aka Aappa (a sort of "Sri Lankan crepe") is always crowd pleaser. Only one comes with an egg inside, and we always have fun guessing who will get the golden egg.
- Along those lines, try and get the Pol Roti too (with freshly grated coconut). It's like a Sri Lankan version of scallion pancakes – with onion sambol.
- Lastly, I'm always a sucker for the Sri Lankan Crab Curry. I don't always order it because it can get messy (the crab comes in the shell, Asian style). However, I've never had a crab curry I didn't like.
- It's BYOB (woot!). There's a great little South Asian deli right downstairs. I sense some serious business synergy going on here, and I think it's brilliant!
- Peak time for Sigiri is dinner around 7pm and beyond, so we recommend heading there for lunch or early din dins. They also do a mean buffet-style brunch.
- No high chairs, but you can bring your own wiggler, like we did!
- Bathroom is teeny tiny, just FYI. I have actually changed my son in Sigiri, but I did it over a set of chairs near the back.
- Staff is very accommodating, but this is definitely one of those instances where you "make it work" because the food is worth it, at least for this spice-chasing mamma!