AS we walked into Sohe, my friend Bonnie spotted a sign saying “Sri Lanka” at the front desk.
I had read that the restaurant was “contemporary Thai fusion” and so we looked at each other, confused and hungry—“Aren’t we having Thai?”
As Sohe’s cheerful owner Dev showed us to our table, he said, “Oh yeah, we’re Sri Lankan here.”
A year ago, they took over from Thai D’Lish, and with Sri Lankan food not as well known, they decided to serve up a fusion of South East Asian flavours.
Dev was mind-boggled when Bonnie started chatting to him in Sinhalese, and soon he was telling us how he’d ditched the corporate grind to follow his passion for cooking and entertaining people.
It really did feel like we were sitting around his kitchen table, being treated by a kind, hospitable friend.
Looking around, the place was simple and spacious, with leafy green plants, wooden floors and bare-bulb lighting giving it the hipster tick of approval.
We started with a recommended special of sautéed eggplant with turkish bread ($11), which melted in our mouths and had us reminiscing of our travels through Sri Lanka.
The entree menu also included prawn spring rolls ($11.00), satay sticks ($9.50), and Tom Yum ($8.50), which had a vegetarian option.
“From the wok” menu we ordered the cashew stir fry with prawns ($26.50), which was doused in garlic and chilli, and satisfied any attempt to be healthy.
“From the pot” menu we ummed and ahhed over the Thai Green ($22.50) and Massaman curry ($22.50), before settling on the Sohe special curry with fish ($24.50), which had a spicy kick and was rich and creamy.
A range of salads were on offer, including squid ($24.50) and spicy beef ($23.50).
We chose the chicken and mango salad ($23.50) thinking it would be light, fresh and perfect for a summer evening.
It was a bit rich and heavier on the hokkien noodles than we anticipated, but still absolutely delicious.
Feeling full and content post-feast, Dev’s mum, who works in the kitchen, snuck out to chat with us.
“Call me Auntie” she said, with a hearty laugh and generous smile.
by ALICE ANGELONI
2-3/83 Petra Street