Ayubowan, Sinhalese for “welcome”, is a new(ish) addition to JLT and it’s certainly a welcome one with Sri Lankan cuisine so sporadically available until now.
It feels like Ayubowan has really thought about the décor and tried to make it feel like home, with dark, glossy, carved wooden doors, stone tiled floors, and staff dressed in colourful saris. It’s not themed or tacky, but an ambient touch of this island nation’s traditional aesthetics.
Staff are friendly and welcoming, but service varies depending on who you get at the table. We hope you get the waitress who guided us through every dish with helpful advice, as well as offering us samples of seasonal juice specials to try and wean us onto something more exciting and Sri Lankan than the lime juice.
From classic rice and curry to whole chilli crab, the choice is diverse. It’s also largely very authentic and really delicious. Try the mild but fragrant white curry with large, buttery chunks of fish, the creamy dahl with plump, whole lentils or the aubergine that arrives dramatically on a sizzling plate and has a sharp, garlic-packed punch in each bite.
Whether you hunger after Sri Lankan cooking or you’d like to venture into a new realm of dining, Ayubowan should be on your must list for value and flavour alike.
The bottom line Great option for authentic Sri Lankan eats.