Trinco Bay

8 Village Way East, Rayners Lane, London, HA2 7LU, United Kingdom

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Trinco Bay is a family-run Sri Lankan restaurant in Rayners Lane, an area that, along with Wembley, has a large Sri Lankan community and several Sri Lankan restaurants. I am reliably informed that this is the best of them, serving assorted Sri Lankan specialities including hoppers, a rice batter pancake, kothu (or kottu), a dish of chopped roti (flatbread) stir-fried together with various accompaniments that might include onions, spices and either meat or vegetables.

The restaurant name is a reference to Trincomalee bay in eastern Sri Lanka. The dining room has a semi-open kitchen visible at the back. The décor is limited but there was an old-fashioned coconut shredding device displayed on the wall just by our table, and a mural of Sri Lanka. There were just ten wines on offer, omitting not only vintages but growers e.g. “Shiraz“ and “Pinot Grigio”, with Lion beer as an alternative.

Mutton rolls comprised fried spicy minced lamb cylinders encased in breadcrumbs and accompanied by chutney. These were excellent, with plenty of meat flavour, boldly spiced and with a crisp exterior (14/20). Kingfish “devil” was also good, pieces of fish stir fried with peppers, onions, chillies and spices, The fish was nicely cooked and the spices were lively (13/20).

A mixed biryani was less good, the rice acceptable but a world away from the delicate aromatic rice of a Hyderabad biryani. The mutton within was a little overcooked, though pieces of mixed seafood inside the rice were fine (11/20). Chicken kottu was better, with fried pieces of chicken mixed with chopped roti. This was simple but enjoyable (12/20). Mutton curry had reasonably tender meat and quite lively spices (12/20). Both aubergine and okra side dishes were quite good, with plenty of flavour and fairly bold spicing (13/20). We tried a couple of different hoppers, the rice pancakes freshly made to order, and also a thin, fluffy roti flatbread (13/20).

Service was friendly and the dishes arrived in rapid succession. The dining room was packed on a Sunday night, full of Sri Lankan families. The bill, which included much more food than the greediest person could contemplate finishing, came to £23 a head. That is not a typo - £23 a head, an amount for a complete meal, including drinks, that would scarcely buy you a “small plate” in central London. Trinco Bay is the kind of place that I love to come across, great value and serving authentic food to the local community.

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