I am on a mission to eat all of the Sri Lankan curries available in the CBD. All of them. Zombimato (a walking dead website if ever I saw one) tells me there are six Sri Lankan restaurants in the CBD. I’m already familiar with Sheni’s Curries and Chef Lanka. I’ve known about Jolly J’s for some time but circumstances have not pushed me in their direction before.
There’s still a couple of reviews still online from back in the day when food blogging was happening, and I don’t think much has changed at Jolly J’s since then. Port Phillip Arcade is shabby and yet bustling. I enjoyed my $10 plate of lamb and three vegetable curries (pumpkin, potato and eggplant), rice, papadum and sambol. I love seeing and tasting the herbs and aromatics in a curry, and at Jolly J’s big pieces of cinnamon and pandan leaf are evident.
Jolly J’s is unusual in that it is a generic cafe where you can get a parma and chips or a traditional curry. Why you’d want to eat a parma when you can have curry is beyond me, and why you’d go somewhere like that for a parma is another mystery. So, while it looks unremarkable this place makes good curry, perhaps not quite as good as Sheni’s but very enjoyable nonetheless.