If you caught Anthony Bourdain’s Outer Borough New York show last week, he visited New Asha Restaurant located at 322 Victory Boulevard in Tompkinsville, just a few blocks from the ferry. Unfortunately, his conversation was more about David Johanssen than the curry, though he did say he liked the food here better than the food in Sri Lanka. I chuckled at that comment recalling how he hardly touched his food for the first few days when we were in Sri Lanka because he was sick at the time (see my old post), so I’m glad he actually got a chance to eat hoppers for the first time at New Asha. This was the first Sri Lankan spot that I ate at in SI and also one of the best. In addition to Sri Lankan specialties such as hoppers, string hoppers, and kothu roti, they also feature South Indian fare such as Dosa, which they do really well also. If you don’t know what to get or want to try it all, ask for a sampler and the lady behind the counter will load up your plate with a mound of rice and curries all for only $8. Like most of the other small Sri Lankan spots on the block, it’s not about the ambience, but the flavor, which is authentic and leaning toward the spicy. Next door, New Asha also owns a store that stocks all manner of Sri Lankan products.
If you live in the Apple, why not take the short “cruise” on the Staten Island Ferry and check out an exotic island within an island. I guarantee you’ll be making many return voyages.