In August, Saffron Spice Kitchen was opened up at 459 Queen Street West by the family that runs Esther's Soup Kitchen (Queen of Soups) at Cumberland Terrace at Yonge & Bloor. It's a venture run in part by Esther, a Tamil woman hailing originally from Colombo, and her nephew Jacob.
There are several soups of the day available of course, including a mulligatawny soup, an Anglo-Indian spiced classic served with hefty chunks of chicken, carrot and celery.
Kottu roti was supposedly created in Batticaloa, a coastal town in eastern Sri Lanka that was cut off during the civil war, a situation that Jacob says sparked some creative cooking. "During the civil war, Tamils had to make due with any food they could find, as supplies were cut off and they couldn't get food at the store," explains Jacob.
Saffron Spice Kitchen's version of kottu roti is true to what you'll sample in the island nation. It's hefty, intensely flavourful and punched up with a mouth-warming amount of chili.
Soon they plan on introducing Queen Street patrons to some new Sri Lankan flavours. They'll be offering egg hoppers—wonderful, golden rice flour crepes with eggs cooked into them—as well as string hoppers—a noodle type dish served with dahl or curry.
Saffron Spice Kitchen is located at 459 Queen Street West just west of Spadina. Telephone is 416 203 0222. Hours are Monday to Friday 11am to 10pm. Saturday and Sunday 11am to 9pm. There are a few seats at the counter to eat but the restaurant focuses mostly on take-out.
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