Lunch Buffet at Ceylonta
Foods from Ceylonta

2008 Feb 20
Did a take-away from the new Carling location last night, and am happy that Ceylonta (and its new location) remains on my fav. list. Had the veg Thali and another veg main, Vegetarian Kothu Rotti.

The Thali provides an excellent way to sample 5-6 different curries / dishes, prepared in the "drier" S. Indian / Sri Lankan style (a little less gravy and a bit more use of coconut and other spices).

Not quite as keen for the Kothu Rotti, but it definitely sticks to the ribs.

One thing you notice w/ take-away is the amount of oil used (visible b/c of the residue left on paper bags, etc.). Maybe they could reduce the amount a bit, but hey, it was good tasting oil.

2008 Feb 18
We took my brother-in-law to the new Carling location for his birthday lunch today. As zymurgist said, the food is as great as the Somerset location but the atmosphere is cozier and nicer. Sri Lankan food is a fantastic choice when you want something a little more interesting than the standard Northern Indian fare. I tried something new -- little salty deep-fried whole chilies. They were fairly spicy and had the flavour of whole salted sunflower seeds (without the chewy shell).

The flat bread is dense and chewy with an awesome taste. Really, all the choices are excellent, and your mouth will rejoice in the symphony of flavours. I'm really thrilled to have this place so close to where I live!

2008 Feb 12
I saw they were open yesterday evening and there were people walking in. It looks extremely cosy, aside from the gaudy flashing palm trees outside. ;-)

Can't wait to try the new location, especially now that zymurgist has given it his blessing.

2008 Feb 12
Just got back from the new location on Carling in Bayshore. The guy said it was their 2nd day open. It's my wife's birthday and this is an annual event for us, so we figured we'd try the new place.

It's smaller than the other location but much nicer. The old location is very industrial whereas this one really feels like you are being invited into someone's home. And the food is as good as the original - same great spread for the lunch buffet. Oh, they gave us complimentary mango lassies - nice touch!

2008 Jan 16
undoubtedly friendly staff at the somerset location, but completely, perhaps even blissfully, oblivious to contamination and allergy issues. Fish smelling Idlis, and a hard time understanding that someone can have a tamarind alergy misleading us to believe that they would have non-tamarind food when we phoned ahead to check.

2007 Dec 19
Fresh Foodie: Thanks for the update!!
this is awesome! love their food! can't wait to go to their new location :)

by the way, I am going to try "Little india cafe" this Sat, heard their Butter Chicken is the best in town!?

2007 Dec 18
I'm thrilled to announce that a new "Ceylonta" has sprung up on Carling Ave near the Coliseum theatre (right by Swiss Chalet). The website on the sign is the same as this one, so either Ceylonta has *moved* to Britannia (hard to believe) or they're opening a second location. Either way, it's a 3 minute drive from my place and this is good news. :-)

The website only mentions the Somerset location...

2007 Sep 25
Love, love, love! How many times have I eaten here?! I could never attempt to count. I lvoe their food, I love their prices and I love the atmostphere. It's best to go during the week because its usually very busy on friday and saturday. We usually split a veggitable tahli, and another dish (usually deviled or string hoppers) between the two of us. I'm going here tonight!

2007 Jul 10
I also loved Ceylonta's group menu. I had a very small and informal wedding and we went there (maybe 15 of us) for the "reception", and it was great. So much food that we couldn't even come close to finishing it all, and just when we were all giving up, unable to eat another bite, they brought out another round of dishes!

Great price for what you get, and it was a hit with everybody. They were even happy to accommodate my mother who is very allergic to chili peppers and made her some great custom dishes, which I can imagine must be challenging for a Sri Lankan restaurant, given their reliance on spiciness!

2007 Jun 19
Went with a group of friends and had their "group menu". Basically, if you have at least 10 people (we had 9, but they made an exception) you can opt for the group menu and it becomes an a la carte version of all-you-can-eat. We simply told the waiter our preferences and after a short wait we started receiving plate after plate of food.

The mutton rolls were great appetizers and they were matched by the excellent kothu roti, string hoppers, and parts of the vegetable thali (the spinach and lentils were particularly good). Other of the offerings were good, but not great. Dishes I'd put in this category include the devilled chicken and the beef dish we had (can't remember the name).

For drinks, the lassis were loved by everyone who had them and I had the Cheetah beer but would probably opt for Kingfisher when I return.

Price of the meal was $17 per person.

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2007 Jul 31
Oh, adding the (Goat) to the end is a great idea.

And, yes, the red sauce is amazing. Sauces like that are why you have to order naan or dosai or whatever bread-thing you can imagine.

I don't think it's *too* too spicy, but I may be losing my sense of taste.

2007 Jul 30
Thanks guys. You're right of course! I added a "(Goat)" to the title for clarity...

Now I'm intrigued... and that angry sauce sounds most appealing!

2007 Jul 30
I can confirm that the mutton at Ceylonta is goat :-). I think that Momomoto is right... it's common for South Asians to call goat "mutton". My favourite Sri Lankan restaurant here in Toronto, at least, does the same thing!

Because of this, for the longest time, I didn't know that mutton was sheep.

2007 Jul 28
:) It's definitely confusing, particularly for people who come here *from* India, ask for mutton, and get old sheep instead of goat!

Tough thing to standardize, for sure.

2007 Jul 28
Weird! Maybe they should call it chevron instead of mutton then. ;-) (In case you don't know french: mouton == sheep and chevre == goat. The word "mutton" comes from mouton.)

2007 Jul 28
Based on how it tasted and the shape of the pieces I'm pretty sure that it was goat. It's common in south Asia to call goat mutton, and the description they have for their mutton roll appetizer says that it's goat.

I pity the poor sheep that has to live so close to the equator! More sensible for it to have no woolen coat ;)

2007 Jul 28
Mutton is sheep not goat! The angry red curry sounds great, but can you please let me know whether it is mutton OR goat so I can correct it? Thanks :)

2007 Jul 28
I just picked up an order of this for takeout in order to stretch the rice and dal that I've been eating recently.

This type of curry sauce takes really well to the intense flavour, and slightly rough texture, of goat. It's got a dark, nutty, almost coffee-like flavour from the roasting of all the spices, as well as having that spicy kick that comes in after the fact, to clear your sinuses and remind you that life is good.

I'd definitely order this one again, particularly if I were having a sit-down meal.



2014 Mar 4
I have been a long time lurker for this awesome forum/website and actually use it once in a while... certainly a helpful tool to find Ottawa's hidden gems...

I went to Ceylona for lunch based on the amount of thumbs up it got on this website. But in all honesty and like I said below, I was not too pleased with the Ceylona lunch buffet.

I also think that SweetCookie shouldn't be criticized for comparing it to Haveli since they are both pretty similar in terms of flavors and curries.

That said, I promise to share both my BAD & GOOD experiences around town :)

2014 Mar 3
I for one have always enjoyed the Carling location buffet. Limited selection but great flavours and some damn good soups, 2 co-workers from South India commented how good the food was. They have been back many times and speaks volumes of the taste and spices. I will be back !!

2014 Mar 3
Gotta point out that Ceylonta ayce lunch buffet is far far far from their best work.

It's decent as far as a lunch buffet goes, but to really get the reason so many people love this place, I'd strongly suggest dinner.

2014 Mar 3
Thanks for the support Tajinesaucube- but I would tell you to save your 12.95$ and spend it at Haveli instead:)

2014 Mar 3
I would tend to agree with SweetCookie, not the most appetizing lunch but I mean you can't ask for much since the price is pretty cheap ($12.95) afterall...

2014 Mar 3
After reading the positive reviews on this restaurant I was excited to try Sri Lanken food for the first time.
I went there for lunch and was very disapointed with the buffet menu. Not many choices and the food did not look fresh. Quantities were so small for a buffet. For example, there were only 6 small pieces of tandoori chicken in the plate which made you feel bad to take many.

The server was nice but having the kitchen door open for customers to see what was happening in there really cut my appetite.

Also, the music playing was so bad, felt like a scratched CD that was put on repeat. I can still hear it in my head.

Overall, I would not recommend this place, food had no flavour.

At the same price, go to Haveli, amazing Indian buffet with great variety in dishes and deserts.

2014 Feb 23
Probably the most colourful lunch buffet in Ottawa! Everything is pretty tasty, although the tendency is toward the sweeter and not spicy (i.e. bland) end of the spectrum. $12.95 for AYCE lunch.

2010 Feb 22
- Lots of yummy condiments.
- Delicious rice pudding.
- Many vegetarian options. Sweet potato in coconut sauce was a standout.
- Excellent pappadam.
- Cheap & plentiful.

- Little deep-fried nugget things that were hyped up to me were way overcooked and thus unenjoyable.
- Nan was sub-par. Store-bought?
- Egg in curry sauce tasted as though it had been sitting for a long while.

Overall, pretty good value. I would like to go back and try the dinner menu.

2010 Feb 21
i went just for the dosa and now i quickly understand the comments from schtickyrice (nov 6).

first off, i don't want to say it was a bad meal; everything was fine and tasty, but it stops there. nothing special... considering so many delicious options at that price range (12.95$ sunday brunch), there's other places to go to.

the "unlimited dosa" was quickly disappointing as it was quite soft (not so fresh), and the filling didn't excite enough to make up for the deficiencies.

saffron rice - looks the part, but doesn't quite taste or smell so much
naan - a bit dry; sitting out too long.
curried green beans - blackened?
curry chicken - tomato-based? REALLY tender

everything else is on their website and is good, but enough to write about.

i'm just disappointed because my stomach is only so big, so going for Indian food is a commitment!

i'm definitely aware that buffet food is a grade lower than ordering from the menu, but i reckon basic items like rice and naan could be cared for better, since the saucy curries can sit around with no real detriments.

in the end, the food was good, but the value wasn't there. for a 13$ to fill you up all day, does that equate good value?

(does anyone have recent comments about dosa during dinner hours?)

2009 Nov 5
Went for the lunch buffet and was underwhelmed. I've been for dinner and enjoyed the food, but didn't find the lunch particularly appealing.



2008 Sep 6
i love the masala dosa (or dosai?) from Ceylonta. When i go there, i make sure to also get Shrimp curry, because the shrimp curry sauce goes perfectly with the Masala dosa.


2007 Mar 17
Their lunch-time buffet usually has excelletn tandoori chicken.


2009 Jul 28
I love the expression on my girlfriends face when she gets the "rogue chili" coughs, haks and tears come from her eyes but can't remember which "thali" was hot. I love the veg at this place!

2009 Feb 19
I would reccomend this to anyone going to this resturant as a solid choice, as the seafood here is cooked for far too long. Ive had this 5 times and its great everytime!

2006 Nov 1
I didn't try everything that came with this, and I don't know the names of what I tried, but it was good! There is enough variety in this dish that it's good for sharing and every part will be liked by someone.



2006 Nov 1
This was OK. It seemed that it was store-bought and heated. It wasn't the best I've ever had, but not the worst eiher.



2009 Feb 19
Ive had this on three different occasions and the shrimp is absolutely hammered every time! Sauce is really good though, too bad. :(

2006 Nov 1
This was outstanding. The flavours were rich yet not overpowering and the shrimp was perfectly cooked.


2009 Jul 28
had the pleasure of being introduced to the chef one night when i was there w/ a bunch of friends (inc. people fr. other restaurants) -- they also ordered and thoroughly enjoyed this dish.

The manager (great guy) brought Chef out to introduce us and to swap restaurant stories (no other customers left). The man is past official retirement age, but on that question, his response is that he'd rather stay busy working in his kitchen than retire. Very modest, but friendly and energetic ... sort of a walking / breathing endorsement for the benefits of Sri Lankan / S. Indian food.

2009 Jul 28
This dish is great! I asked the chef to make how he would have it for himself.. Then make it twice that hot! Sooo good. So many chilis it rocked my world. The chef at the carling location is really great and has picked it up alot since last winter.

2006 Nov 1
This dish was just ok. It wasn't bad but it didn't "wow" me either. The chicken was extremely lean which I really admire.



2008 Feb 13
String Hoppers is one of my favourite traditional foods from Sri Lanka. It is delicious with curry chicken or mutton. My husband and the two sons love it too. I am a good cook, but I could not get the proper consistency when I make string hoppers myself, but, hey, I have no trouble getting my supply when I need it, I call CEYLONTA RESTAURANT, it is just a phone call away. I am loving it. Noeline, Ottawa.

2006 Nov 10
Frozen 'mixed vegetables'...! Peas, corn, diced carrot, a couple of green beans.

I'm not so snobby as to write off everything made with once-frozen veg, but it's always a letdown when it's that ubiquitous, blah blend where the carrots are invariably mush, the corn dry, the peas shrivelled and the beans blah.

Okay if you ignored the veg, but...

2006 Nov 1
[This review is for Vegetable String Hoppers Kothu]
This was a very great dish. There was no sauce but the flavours were great and it soaked up sauce from other dishes and complimented everything.


2011 Jul 24
Very tasty sauce. I reminds me of mexican mole. Quite complex and a nice bit of heat. I'm thinking beef holds out better with this sauce rather than chicken, but I haven't tried the chicken yet.