I’ve been eating fairly regularly at the Jaffna House in Tooting since being introduced to it by Mrs Johnm55’s Sri Lankan friend. We have just had lunch there (with the aforementioned Sri Lankan friend) an I feel that it is time to announce what a fine and wallet friendly place it is.
I am talking about the café / takeaway part on Tooting High Street rather than the licensed restaurant, the entrance to which is round the corner on Coverton Road. The restaurant I am sure also serves excellent food and will also be very good value for money, but I have never eaten in it so I can’t comment. The café however is in my opinion brilliant.
My starter was quite simple, just two Masala Vadai, served with red and green coconut chutneys, they were nicely crisp on the outside, but the spiced potato filling was moist and soft. The chutneys had, for me, just the right amount of chilli kick, the red being a bit more fiery than the green. I pinched a bit of Mrs johnm55’s Chana Chundal (chick peas) and they were excellent as well. The SL friend originally wasn’t going to have a starter, but changed her mind and came back with a couple of what looked like miniature deep-fried Cornish Pasties, she did say what they were, but as you get older the short-term memory goes a bit.
My main was Oothappam which is probably best described as a thick pancake with peppers, tomatoes, chillies and other veggies mixed into the batter and served with a vegetable curry and a coconut sambar. The softness, almost but not quite stodginess of the pancake batter was sharpened by the heat of the chillies. The vegetable curry added more flavour and lubrication (after I had picked out the okra – I don’t like the texture) and the sambar gave a bit more heat, if needed. I was just what was needed on a grey rainy November day.
Mrs johnm55 had a Masala Dosai as she normally does, and pronounced it as being up to the normal standard. The SL friend had three Idaly. I’m not quite sure what they are, but as she often orders them, I’ll take it on trust that they are good. I might even try them the next time I eat there. The fourth member of the party, a Canadian, had the Sunday special, Jaffna House Special Noodles, which are noodles with mixed veg, mutton, egg and prawns, which she said were rather good, just don’t turn up on Tuesday expecting them to be on the menu
If you decide to eat there remember it is a café, Sometimes all the plates do not arrive at the same time, but they do arrive within a few minutes of each other. The café is also unlicensed so no Cobra.
There were four of us, we each had starters, main courses and (soft) drinks. We all enjoyed our meal.The total bill was just under £16.00. I consider that pretty good value for money.