Adchaya, SW19 1AZ
- 020 8540 8192
- 164 Merton High Street, SW19 1AZ
Small Sri Lankan canteen-style restaurant and takeaway serving cheap and very tasty food near South Wimbledon Station. They also do some South Indian dishes.
- "Rice and curry" is available every day (listed simply as "Non-Vegetable" and "Vegetable" in the "Sri Lankan specials" section of the menu) — this is a big plate of rice with mutton, chicken, or fish curry plus three small vegetable dishes, or the vegetarian option of four vegetable dishes plus rasam;
- A vegetarian thali is available on Fridays — rice with five vegetarian curry dishes plus rasam, deep-fried chilli, vadai, poppadom, and payasam (a sort of rice pudding with nuts and sultanas).
- Sunday's special is spinach pittu with fish curry, fried fish, and sambal.
Alternatively, if you're with a group, the best thing to do is to order a lot of different things and share them. The staff are very helpful and can advise on the quantity to order. Some Sri Lankan specialities to try are the string hoppers (rice noodles steamed in a flat patty, served with sambal (coconut with lime juice and spices) and sothi (onions and chillis infused in coconut milk)); plain hoppers (a sort of rice flour pancake, cooked in a domed pan so the edges are crispy and the centre is thick, soft and fluffy); the "fried fish" starter (infused with spices and wonderfully tender); the kothu dishes (cooked with torn up roti); and the "Ceylon" dishes (hot and sour curries with coconut milk).
The South Indian dishes on the menu are also very good. A masala dosai is big enough as a lunch in its own right.
The starters and snacks are all under the counter at the back, so you can go and have a look, and point out ones you like the look of, even if you don't know what they're called! A selection of a few of these makes a good meal.
If you prefer your food milder, be aware that much Sri Lankan food is significantly hotter than you may be used to.
Vegetarians should find plenty to interest them here (much South Indian food is vegetarian, and the vegetarian rice and curry is always available). The situation for vegans is unclear.
bob and Martin visited in May 2008 and had quite a lot of food photo for about £12.50. A mango lassi was £1.50. They will provide tap water (in fact, they bring a jug of chilled tap water without being asked). All of it was very good, although bob didn't like the deep-fried fish as much as Martin did. Most of the Sri Lankan starters are reheated in the microwave, which probably didn't help the fish. The mutton ceylon was very good though.
The Watch Me is another Sri Lankan restaurant nearby, which (unlike Adchaya) also serves beer. Martin has a (slight) preference for the food at Adchaya, if you can live without the beer. If you're going for a curry after a night in the pub, go to the Watch Me rather than here - they're rather more used to it.