Some of Fitzroy’s less hyped restaurants offer exceptional food and experiences and when I occasionally find my expectations exceeded I am pleased to be able to share it. I’ve previously enjoyed the Sri Lankan food at Pavlov’s Duck on Smith St in the form of their breakfast hoppers, but had long meant to try their Friday and Saturday night street food banquet.

pavlovs-duck-1 Sri Lankan dinner at Pavlov's Duck on Smith St

It begins with short eats – one each of savoury lentil donut, spicy fish cutlet, veggie pan roll and chicken dumpling – with four sauces: red chilli, green chilli, tomato and sweet chilli. The latter two are obviously not ‘authentic’ but it’s all very tasty. I started with a Lion Sri Lankan lager and later had a Matso’s mango beer, which is an inspired match with spicy food.

pavlovs-duck-2 Sri Lankan dinner at Pavlov's Duck on Smith St

Next comes chicken and beef curries and sambols with hoppers. Then red rice noodle cakes with turmeric and coconut curry. By this point my dining companion and I were comfortable full, but more was to come: blue swimmer crab with kottu, which is a favourite of mine.

pavlovs-duck-3 Sri Lankan dinner at Pavlov's Duck on Smith St

After this I was close to exploding and when we were offered desserts as well we had to decline. We were given more delicious food than we could reasonably eat for only $35 per person. This must be one of the best value dinners in Fitzroy.

pavlovs-duck-4 Sri Lankan dinner at Pavlov's Duck on Smith St

With several marge apartment building going up around the northern end of Smith St, Pavlov’s Duck may find itself in the middle of a new emerging shopping and dining precinct. Red Sparrow vegan pizza recently opened across the road, the excellent Carryology backpack shop is near there too and more is sure to come as gentrification slowly moves northwards. I wish them well and will return to enjoy more of their fantastic food.

pavlovs-duck-5 Sri Lankan dinner at Pavlov's Duck on Smith St

Sri Lankan dinner at Pavlov’s Duck on Smith St

4 thoughts on “Sri Lankan dinner at Pavlov’s Duck on Smith St

  • 10 April 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I’ve previously only been for breakfast, but dinner looks like great value and delicious. As for authenticity, tomato/sweet chilli sauce is very commonly served with that sort of snack in the subcontinent.

    • 10 April 2017 at 6:14 pm

      Hence the air quotes, considering that chilli is not native to the subcontinent.

  • 10 April 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Haha, after 500 years I’d consider them assimilated.

  • 15 April 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I went to their Good Friday Seafood night. The place was packed and had a few teething problems trying to run out of both kitchens and have two sittings (6.30 and 8.30 I think) but our food came quickly and was really good.
    They had swimmer crab on the menu, which seemed popular, but we had the lentil donuts followed by prawn curry, dahl, and beef brisket curry. They were all really good. The fish curry (barramundi) wasn’t as good and the fish was quite dry
    I think they may be adding the prawns and crab to their standard friday/ saturday evening menu
    They were busy again this morning, and the srilankan food seems to be very popular for breakfast


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