Restaurant review: Yaalu Yalu, South Croydon


By - Monday 7th March, 2016

Anne Giles finds a new Sri Lankan restaurant is definitely worth the journey


164 Addington Rd, South Croydon, CR2 8LB

Time from East Croydon:  20 minutes 64

Salmon fillet served on a banana leaf.
Photo author’s own.

My husband Steve and I had heard that a restaurant describing itself as ‘Asian fusion’ owned by Sri Lankans had opened up last year in South Croydon, so we thought we would give it a try. We booked a table at Yaalu Yalu on Saturday 13th February, the day before Valentine’s Day. We were delighted to see, as we walked in, two large groups of Sri Lankan families, some of whom had traveled all the way from Cambridge! This suggested the food would be both authentic and good.

I had been informed by a local that the dishes were generally very hot and spicy so I asked the lady serving us for advice on each dish. Only a few were too hot; others were less so, some were even bordering on the mild. We both decided on the same first course, marinated stir fried beef strips with salad, which I was warned would be hot but the chef kindly added a small pot of yogurt to cool it down.

We were automatically supplied with a large carafe of cold water, and we then asked for a small glass each of their Australian Shiraz, which was reasonably good and at £4 a glass, good value as well.

Photo by Yaalu Yalu, used with permission.

For the main course, I opted for the oven baked salmon fillet in Yaalu Yalu spices served with cumin mash and green beans, and this dish was fairly mild. Steve chose the corn-fed chicken cooked in Sri Lankan five spice sauce, served with yellow rice and clot roti.

For dessert there was a selection of kulfi ice creams and I went for the pistacchio and coconut, while Steve favoured the pistacchio and vanilla.

We would certainly eat there again

 We both decided not to have coffee afterwards, as they do not serve espresso. The bill came to £48.35, which was very reasonable. We had already been informed beforehand that they were only accepting cash payments, as their card reader was not working.

All in all, I would thoroughly recommend this restaurant. The food is excellent and we found the staff to be very friendly and helpful at all times. We would certainly eat there again.

Anne Giles

Anne Giles

I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the daughter of an Anglo-Argentine mother and English father. I went to an English school and worked for a British company out there before coming to live in the U.K. I spent many years teaching Spanish in adult education in various centres in Croydon Borough and have got to know so many different areas – North and South. We have been living in Selsdon since 1989 and I love it. I feel passionately about Croydon and have spent many years writing blogs – firstly for the Croydon Advertiser, then the Croydon Guardian, and eventually my own blog entitled “The Good Life in Croydon”. I am very much involved in the community, attending regular meetings with the Croydon Community Police Consultative Group and am also a member of the British Transport Police PACT (Police & Community Together) Team.

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  • Anne Giles

    Apologies for my typo. “Traveled” should have read “travelled”.