Despite being quite a small city without many foreigners, Kumamoto has a good variety of non-Japanese restaurants for you to try if you need a break from sushi and sashimi. If you like spicy food, Ruvani is the place to go!
I’d never eaten Sri Lankan food before. Spicy food is not generally something I can handle, but nevertheless we decided to check out Ruvani, the Sri Lankan restaurant in central Kumamoto. As we entered the stairwell, a passerby saw that we were heading up to Ruvani and called out to us “It’s delicious!” Before we even entered the restaurant we knew we’d made a good choice. Walking into the room, the air was subtly scented with spicy, aromatic smells that were wafting from the kitchen.
The Japanese-only menu didn’t cause problems for us gaijin as the friendly maître d’spoke English and helped us pick what we wanted. There was a lot to choose from, and the chefs were very sympathetic to the fact that I can’t eat a lot of spicy food – all the dishes were prepared with milder flavours to suit my needs.
The food was incredible. Just… incredible. To start with, my drink was the best coconut juice I’ve ever had in my life. Intensely creamy and beautifully sweet, it was delicious – I’d go there just for the coconut juice! For our main dish we ordered a fried rice curry – the rice littered with juicy bits of meat, floating in a spicy curry sauce. Even with them having toned down the spice to the minimum, it was still a little too hot for me (what a wimp!) but absolutely delicious so I ploughed ahead regardless.
We also ordered some parties (which were delicious little pastries filled with fish) and some roties.
The crowning glory of the meal was the tandori chicken. It was completely perfect – melt in your mouth texture to the meat which was so soft and tender, and the sauce it was cooked in was a cacophony of tastes – rich and flavoursome and magnificent.
Best of all was the friendly atmosphere. A clear family business, and very child-friendly. In fact, we had chosen a unique night to visit as it was also the birthday party of the proprietress’s little girl, and we very much enjoyed being part of the celebrations. We’re looking forward to our next visit.
Ruvani (Lunch 11:30 – 15:30, Dinner 17:30 – 22:00, TEL: 096-352-8660)