Authentic street style seafood at the ocean front
‘Nana’ means elder brother in the Sri Lankan Muslim dialect of Tamil. In 1987 a man fondly known as Nana started selling snacks. The original Nana is no more, but his small stall has since morphed into several businesses such as like ‘Rauf Nana’ and ‘Toyna Nana’. Apparently, these other Nana’s are all neighbours of the original Nana, so at least they are keeping it in the family, or in the neighbourhood.
All of the Nana’s serve the same food with the same quality, so it matters little which one you pick. The street stalls open up at 4 pm and you will find crowds up until 1 am when they close. The setup is very basic. The ‘open kitchen’ is a simple tent and the food is freshly prepared as you watch.
What Locals Like
The kottu of course, is a Sri Lankan street food staple. But Nana’s is also known for its grilled seafood. Check out the isso wadey, a flat lentil cake with prawns on top, deep fried in coconut oil, perhaps not the healthiest snack, but certainly one of the tastiest you’ll eat. The accharu, all manner of fruit pickled in all manner of spices, is also a must try. Buy some chilled water before you do that though, the chilly can have a bite! Try the devilled crab for a more conventionally spicy variant on this Sri Lankan delicacy.