Boogie Down Bites: Caffe Lanka

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A restaurant in Parkchester is drawing residents in to try a type of cuisine that is new to the area.

Caffe Lanka is the first Sri Lankan restaurant in the Bronx, according to co-owner Seyad Roomy.

Roomy and his chef-cousin Mohamed Badurdeen also offer food with more widespread appeal, like halal pizza with beef pepperoni.

The duo says they're surprised at how popular the Sri Lankan food is. Two of Caffe Lanka's most popular items are the kottu roti and the falooda drink. The kottu roti smells aromatic and spicy, and the falooda drink is like a rainbow milkshake topped with red and green gummies.

The restaurant also stocks groceries from back home. The cousins say they have been embraced by the Sri Lankan community, whose only option for a taste of home before they opened was to drive to Queens or Staten Island.

Those who have never tried the cuisine say they're happy to have a new type of food in the community.

"It's always nice to get new things coming in the neighborhood and especially if it's something that's not around or no one really knows about or hasn't tried," says Parkchester resident Jeremy Serrano.

Roomy and Badurdeen credit a recent glowing New York Times review for bringing customers through the door and say all the hard work has been worth it.

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