An amazing culinary experience!
Posted on 04 / 24 / 2012
If you are based in Melbourne or you are travelling to the popular holiday spot of Phillip Island near Melbourne, I recommend making a stop on your way to this unusual establishment. The restaurant is in a building next to the owner's house, which feels like it is in the middle of nowhere! We were starting to doubt our GPS instructions when all of a sudden we saw the sign of the Claypot Curry House looming out of the darkness. We were greeted by one of the owners, who invited us to park in their carport. There were no other cars there and it turned out we were their only guests for the evening, and we felt like we had been invited over for dinner, it was that personable. However, I believe it is usually busier than when we were there and the restaurant seats up to about 30 people.
We had called to make a reservation earlier in the day - something I would recommend you do if you can. Shirani, the owner and cook, had double checked that we were vegetarian/vegan when we made the call, and we could tell why when we arrived - she had made the food especially for us, she said. She went on to explain that she is a 'strict vegetarian' herself, and she knows how important it is to eat a substantial meal when travelling, and how hard it can be to get a good veg*n meal when travelling. She said how much she loves cooking for vegetarians and vegans, and most of the ingredients come from her own garden.
The food: we received about six of seven dishes. I cant say I have ever eaten food exactly like this, and some of the flavours/textures were totally new to me! Shirani explained that she learned to cook from her grandmother in a country area of Sri Lanka, and she mainly uses her grandmother's recipes, so the food is unique. One of the dishes was made from ground coconut and lime and other ingredients, and was simply amazing to sprinkle on the other dishes. Another was a curry made with jack fruit, which bears a remarkable resemblance to stewed beef. We were hesitant at first but Sharini showed us a photo of jackfruit and explained that jackfruit was traditionally used in Sri Lanka as a "poor man's beef". It doesn't taste at all like beef (we had a meat eater in our group). There were two eggplant dishes that were to die for!
Each dish was an experience in itself and I would highly recommend a visit to Claypot Curry House. Drive slowly there and away if you are there at night as there is a lot of wildlife about.
Unique, great food., Personable, friendly service., Food made especially for us.
Venue not close to anything else., May be considered expensive by some.