2. New Asha

New AshaNew Asha Restaurant

The four-table eatery New Asha, which opened in 2000 in Tompkinsville, was one of the first Sri Lanka eateries in the United States, run by Vijayakumari “Viji” Devdas, who opened the restaurant with no professional cooking experience. This unassuming, cafeteria-style eatery offers diners with an authentic taste of Sri Lanka. Colorful dishes are served on plastic plates with plastic silverware.

New AshaChicken kotthu roti and fish roti

The menu, which has barely changed since its opening, features a selection of appetizers like fish roti, curried fish wrapped in a soft flatbread, dhal vadal, a type of deep-fried lentil, and hoppers, bowl-shaped pancakes made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk. New Asha features a selection of rather spicy curries with proteins like mutton, shrimp, and even occasionally cuttlefish. These curries are also offered daily for lunch specials, served alongside rice and assorted vegetables. In addition to serving sour and spicy devilled chicken, they also offer kotthu roti, a Sri Lankan specialty made with shredded roti, vegetables, egg, and spices.