You might've tried O Tama Carey's Italian fare at Surry Hills' Berta back in 2013. You might've tried her Sri Lankan hoppers at Carriageworks Farmers Markets last year. You might've even caught her one-off appearance at Delfino Aperitivo. And now, you'll be able to catch Carey six days a week when she finally throws open the doors to Lankan Filling Station this Friday, July 27.
The all-day hopper eatery, which has set up shop on 58 Riley Street, East Sydney, is one of the most highly anticipated openings of the year. Especially since Carey has kept fans on the edge of their seats since it was first announced back in January.
But, now that it's here, what's on the menu? First up: hoppers. If you're not already acquainted, they're a bowl-shaped savoury Sri Lankan crepe made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk. They're meant to be eaten with your hands — torn, ripped and dunked into one of many curries or sambols. At Lankan Filling Station you can order them one of 12 ways, including plain, with a boiled egg and filled with dhal, fish or mutton curry.
Carey suggests you start with hoppers as a base, then build up your meal by adding curries — a white potato curry with turmeric and green chilli, perhaps — sides and a range of sambols and pickles. You can also start your meal with one or two (or many) of the Sri Lankan 'short eats', featuring the likes of deep-fried crab balls and turmeric-battered cuttlefish.
Sri Lankan fare can be notoriously spicy, and Carey hasn't held back on her new menu — cue, deep-fried chillies and the fiery prawn red curry with tamarind. Luckily, she's implemented a handy heat-factor legend, ranging from one to five chillies. Speaking of the legend, there's no gluten free symbol — everything is gluten free, bar two dishes .
One of which (sorry coeliacs) is Carey's famed love cake. Spicy, sweet and syrupy, it's made using a traditional Sri Lankan recipe of semolina, cashews and rosewater. If you can't eat it, you have five other desserts to choose from, including watalappam, a baked jaggery custard with cashews and sesame seeds.
Find Lankan Filling Station at 58 Riley Street, East Sydney, from Friday, July 27. Opening hours will be Tuesday–Friday 12pm–10pm, Saturday 10am–10pm and Sunday 10am–4pm.