Spice and Rice: In Sri Lanka with “The Amazing Race” and Chowhound

Nobody knows global travel like CBS’s The Amazing Race, just like nobody knows food adventures like Chowhound. To celebrate great food and great travel, CHOW has teamed up with Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan for the new season of The Amazing Race: All-Stars. Here on CHOW, Phil will document his food adventures throughout the journey, as we share Chowhound favorites from the same locales. Think of it as your Express Pass to amazing food-adventure Pit Stops!

Since Sri Lanka shares maritime borders with India and the Maldives, it’s no surprise that the food takes cues from its neighbors. But it doesn’t stop there. Sri Lanka’s long history of colonization by Portugal, the Netherlands, and Great Britain also shaped the character of the country's food, in dishes such as bolo fiado (layer cake with stewed pineapple) and lamprais (curried rice in banana leaves), both favorites on the Chowhound boards. It’s hard to go wrong in the capital city of Colombo—even guesthouses offer consistently good food. Still, a common piece of advice from Chowhounds for dining out in Sri Lanka: Don’t waste your time at restaurants that don’t specialize in Sri Lankan food.

Thanks to Colombo’s coastal location, it’s hard to avoid great seafood. Several 'hounds agree that the Ministry of Crab is one of the best places in town, even if it is slightly more expensive than other restaurants serving crustaceans. One Chowhound, LMAshton notes that one spot in particular has remained good over the years: The Sizzle. If you’re still craving fish, the seafood dinner buffet at the Curry Leaf Restaurant in the Hilton Colombo Hotel gets a thumbs-up from intrepidgourmand.

Looking for a lighter meal? h2o suggests checking out the “artsy crowd” at the Barefoot Café, set in a frangipani garden and known to have live jazz on Sunday afternoons.

To find out more top picks in Sri Lanka, read about Chowhounds’ great food adventures there, and remember to tune in to The Amazing Race on CBS this Sunday, March 23, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT.

Photo by Flickr member Jérôme Decq under Creative Commons