FOR those who think they have tried every cuisine in Winchester, here’s something new and unusual.
Normally the Forte Tea Rooms in Parchment Street only opens during the day, but it is going nocturnal thanks to Sri Lankan Cuisine.
The family-run catering firm already provides a delivery service of dishes cooked at the family home in Pantheon Road, Chandler’s Ford.
But now the Salih family are spreading their wings and running Sri Lankan Cuisine evenings at the tea rooms.
The first was held on Saturday, October 16. Given that all the tables were taken and there were many satisfied customers, there are plans to make it a regular event.
My wife and I were lucky enough to attend the opening night and the food was excellent.
We have tried Bangladeshi, Indian and Nepalese cuisine before, but Sri Lankan was a gap in our gastronomic atlas.
Speaking to Haleema Salih, she told me that their dishes are a touch milder, which suited my better half.
She added that they try to keep the oil in their curries to a minimum, which made me an instant convert to Sri Lankan food.
The rice on the buffet was good, the vegetables tasty and the chicken curry was fresh and flavoursome.
But the outstanding dish was the lamb curry with spices and coconut milk, which was so good I was tempted to steal the lot.
A less greedy and more legal option was to have second helpings, so I contented myself with another serving.
That did not leave much room for dessert, but the chocolate almond tart sounded too delicious to resist.
Mrs Payne and I both ordered it and loved it, and then left the Forte Tea Rooms feeling rather full.
Sri Lankan Cuisine will return to the Forte Tea Rooms on Saturday, November 13, from 7 to 9pm and tickets cost £15 including a drink.
Call the venue on 01962 856840 to book, and for more details about the family firm and its delivery service, call 023 8026 0397.
Warwick Payne The Forte Tea Rooms, 78 Parchment Street, Winchester, SO23 8AT. Tel: 01962 856840