So maybe it’s an overly dramatic title for taking the Staten Island Ferry to a Sri Lankan hole-in-the-wall, but for me it was a day of firsts. I had never been on the ferry before, and while it isn’t exactly a Caribbean cruise, it is a free ride with the lower Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. Again, this is a FREE boat ride off of Manhattan – that’s pretty amazing in the land of $8 bridge tolls and $65 parking tickets. Plus you can enjoy a Corona on the ride, which we did, with our friends Pam & Melissa. The mile walk from the ferry terminal to the restaurant wasn’t so scenic, but it was well worth it. Since this was my first visit to Staten Island in 20 years, it was interesting to see a slice of a borough that is all residential.

New Asha Sri Lankan Restaurant
322 Victory Blvd, Staten Island

When we reached New Asha Sri Lakan Restaurant we were greeted by a really friendly woman behind the counter. “Restaurant” may be too generous of a word for this little place with 3 tables and all the atmosphere of a pizza joint. The adjoining Sri Lankan grocery/video store is worth a gander. Like any authentic eatery, it’s all about the food here. We were all pretty hungry and ordered 2 delicious starters: these little fried lentil cakes and long, skinny burrito-type things, which were doughy and delicious. All 4 of us got vegetarian plates of a mash-up of 5 dishes and rice. I could try to identify the ingredients, but I’d fail miserably. All I know is that it was a cross between Indian and Thai flavors, and it was delicious. All the 5 tastes (yes, even umami), jumped off the plate. Plus, it was only $11, including drinks, and we all had enough leftovers for a whole other meal! Beat that Manhattan!

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