Related to Malaysian roti canai, Sri Lanka’s godamba roti — pancake-like griddled flatbread — enjoys a certain status among street food fiends. Chopped and stir-fried with proteins and vegetables, it forms the base of the eponymous dish at Kottu House (250 Broome Street, 646-781-9222) on the Lower East Side. From a cozy storefront, mother/son team Sandya De Silva and Chelaka Gunamuni serve takeout boxes of filling and fiery Sri Lankan fare, including briny salmon croquettes and french fries jazzed up with chili powder.
And while their lineup of kottu — from black curry chicken to seawater fish — is worth the trip alone, we can never resist an order of the house beef rolls filled with a coarse mix of ground meat, shredded vegetables, and curry powder blooming with explosive spice. Godamba roti forms a texturally appealing shell around the beef hash. It crisps up like an egg roll when fried, at once shatteringly crisp and chewy. Find the rolls listed under the menu’s “short eats” section. They’re two for $5, and come with cups of sriracha hot sauce for dipping, but we like to splurge on De Silva’s insanely flavorful sambals. The coconut and green chili one in particular, while the least spicy, still delivers a cooling, creamy tingle that works wonders on the beef.
The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York Cityissue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10. To read about previous dishes, browse our 100 Favorite Dishes page.