No Reservations: Sri Lanka Revisited

12 thoughts on “No Reservations: Sri Lanka Revisited”

  1. I watched that episode. Eventhough it was a well made documentary, I failed to understand the redneck attitude that Mr. Bourdain exibited. I felt that he completely destroyed the image of Galle face hotel. Was that really neccessary? I’m not one of your typical nationalistic, lion pride driven, testosterone pumped all around good guys, but I felt that he was kind of taking advantage of his welcome. You dont expect a guy who you let into your home as a guest to go on bytching about the state that the kitchen is in.
    There is so much to Sri Lankan Food than the pilawoos kottu, its simply overated. But the crab curry was a definete hit!

  2. Hey man,
    It was a good episode. Just few questions (assuming you are the one who selected the places)
    Why the burger lady and the Dutch club?
    – what the burger lady said was not true about discrimination to burgers. (there might be tension between Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, but as far as I know burgers are definitely out of that equation)
    – At the Dutch club they gave an impression like it’s acceptable to get drunk at 10 in the morning in SL. While I don’t judge them (I know that kind of a life style exist on much more laid back cultures like south america) that’s not the SL culture.

    Wouldn’t you think showing some Tamil or Muslim cuisine would have make better use of air time?

    maybe u r a burger, I’m not been a jerk just asking 🙂

    1. Hi:

      I agree, they spent way too much time on the Burghers, who probably make up less than 1% of the population. I had originally scheduled a lady named Jean Daniels to do the lampreis segment but she cancelled at the last minute, so this guy Jagdesh (white haired Indian guy who is in that segment) came through with this other lady (her lampreis was excellent though).

      Also, they cut out several segments including the Tamil meal at Katpaham restaurant and the Malay meal at Malay foods. Unfortunately, I had no say in the editing. Such is the nature of TV. If I was doing the show, I would obviously do it a lot differently.

      Thanks for watching though.


      PS–I am not a Burgher FYI, but a regular old Sinhalese Buddhist

      1. Skiz,

        Not trying to split hairs, but Jagdesh is a born and bred Sri Lankan. In fact he lived a couple of years in the US and then decided, Sri Lanka is really home !!.

        Re: Getting drunk or having a couple drinks at 10 am. Bars and Taverns in SL open at 10 (all over the country). Quite a crowd the moment its open. So too with the “Ra pola’s”, the crowds are there by 10 am. Yes, I am speaking of first hand experience.



  3. Completely agree with dingbat, if you are a guest you should completely lie, if not at least not talk about the state of the kitchen. I’m sure Tony can learn a thing or two form our ITN guys about proper journalism.
    M, Getting drunk at noon (it is not 10! don’t exaggerate) is perfectly normal as long as you do that in a civilize manner. But I know, I know, we are very good at pretending what we are not. Dutch club is entertaining. But true, too much time wasted on the whole thing. I’m sure Tony could have found more eye-catching footages in other places too. But the bit with the Dutch lady, hmm, I think credit should have gone to Hema.

    But overall it is a wonderful show and I think Tony did justice. That is one of very few programs I can use to introduce someone to Sri Lanka. It does not have usual Sts (greatest, bests, etc..) and paradise pour all over. It shows the good and the bad.

  4. The Sri Lanka episode just aired again. What is the name of the Colombo hotel? It looks like the place where we spent a memorable day on our trip there, and we’d like to go back! Thanks Skiz!

  5. HI Skiz1
    5 years later this episode still intrigues me and creates a hunger for curry crab! I enjoyed watching your segment, having a Caribbean background I especially love the fusion of our cultures. From Gran Gran as the head of her household to rice, curry, and coconut as a basic food group. LOL! One might say
    Sri Lanka brought fond memories of home. Thank You! 🙂

  6. I had a chance to see the re-run Sri Lanka episode recently. I enjoyed it, and I think that the chili crab sequence remains one of the greatest moments of any Bourdain show in any of its iterations. Your comments about the editing are certainly interesting, and I’m glad to hear that you actually had so much input in the agenda — I know a woman who was
    the local expert/fixer for a more recent episode where I am from and the producer told her where they were going (tourist places) and told her to play along like they were her suggestions, which she wasn’t too happy about. Anyway, it was not nearly enough time for a fascinating subject, and I would be much more interested to see Skiz’s Sri Lanka on TV some day.

    One thing that caught my attention this time though was what I thought was Tony’s somewhat oblivious discussion with the Burgher woman in her home, which I thought was thoughtless and insensitive. After explaining that the rest of her family left during the ascendancy of Sinhalese nationalism, he suggested “well wasn’t that a good thing,” as if her objections and concerns were somehow elitist or imperialist, and asked her “aren’t you Sinhalese too.” He really didn’t get it at all. I think Bourdain often goes to places and really doesn’t understand what is going on beyond the standard US liberal/leftist platitudes, but I thought that his failure to understand even the basics of the underlying tensions going on in Sri Lanka were really unfortunate, and my sense is that the woman was offended and perhaps that was the reason for her apparent lack of animation and enthusiasm. Anyway, I felt badly for her.

    I enjoyed your outtakes and I hope I get to see you at your favorite places on TV some time!

  7. hi there!
    my husband and i are planning a trip to sri lanka end of august…we are canadians living in abu dhabi

    do you offer tours and or could recommend a travel company?

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