Sri Lankan Cookery Class

Sri Lankan Cookery Class, Unawatuna: Address, Phone Number, Sri Lankan Cookery Class Reviews: 4.5/5

Sri Lankan Cookery Class
4.5
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4.5
92 reviews
Excellent
78
Very good
7
Average
3
Poor
2
Terrible
2

Vanyas
4 contributions
Great cooking class
Dec 2019 • Couples
Today we had a great cooking class at Vinitha‘s house. First we went to the local market to shop some ingredients for our curries. Afterwards we went to her house to cook in her outdoor kitchen. We prepared the food together and Vinitha made sure that we have the recipes to recreate the dishes at home 😊 We learned quite a lot and it was interesting to see how to produce coconut milk.
The food was super tasty and Vinitha was a great host and teacher. If you are looking for a cooking class you should go to her place.
Thanks again Vinitha!
Written December 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ellie F
6 contributions
A must do in Unawatuna!
Dec 2018 • Friends
We had a fantastic time with Vinitha. This is a wonderful cooking class- you are taken by TukTuk to the old town market in Galle to pick your provisions, followed by a really good cooking class. Vinitha is an amazing cook and the lessons have been transferred to cooking home back in England. Especially loved the sticky aubergine curry and daal which has become a home staple. An absolute must.
Written November 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Spence1234
Adelaide, Australia11 contributions
Excellent cooking experience
Oct 2019
We started our cooking class with Vinitha at the local market buying the ingredients for many curries plus a visit to the spice shop. A nice start to the cooking class as it gave us a much better idea about some of the ‘local’ vegetables before they ended up in our curries. The kitchen setup is excellent and provides a good opportunity to assist with food prep plus see what’s happening with the cooking. We made seven curries from scratch and were very pleased with our efforts. Vinitha is a wonderful hostess as well as cook and really provided a enjoyable and fun cooking experience. Highly recommended.
Written November 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Conor B
Doha, Qatar5 contributions
Yummy food
Oct 2019
We enjoyed it a lot. Food was delicious and we picked our own ingredients in the market. We would have maybe liked to have done more cooking ourselves instead of having it done for us. Some parts we were just watching. It would’ve good to have a separate station for each person. Just an idea. We still had a great time!
Written October 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

janemM5763OZ
Emerald, Australia6 contributions
A lot of lunch!
Sep 2019 • Friends
We meet Vinitha at the vegetable markets to choose some Vegetables then visited the spice shop. We then chose to buy some tuna on the way to her house. We then helped to prepare Vegetables for the many curries. There was oodles of food to eat. Vinitha's freshly cooked poppadoms were the yummiest I've tasted. We finished with her banana fritters and rolled out of the class! Compared to other cooking classes I've done, there was not much actual cooking by us. And the curries were very similar in taste. The sour mango curry was very nice though.
Written September 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Brett R
1 contribution
Great cooking class
Aug 2019 • Couples
We had a fantastic experience learning about Sri Lankan authentic cooking Venetha. Shopping for ingredients at the markets and preparing vegetables for the delicious curries while Venetha proudly spoke of learning from her Mother nutritional and practical tips.

Venetha then continued cooking while we wrote done the recipes in detail. I highly recommend this cooking class. We will cherish the little gems of knowledge long after we return to Australia.

Brett and Di
Written August 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Thomas Verity a... S
2 contributions
A bit 'meh'
Jul 2019 • Couples
We travelled around Sri Lanka and chose to do this on the coast, partly for the sea food and partly as we were staying in the accommodation at this address. I have done other courses in other countries and have always been wow-ed by the quality of the food, the way in which the class was conducted and the recipes (and books) we got to take away.

The food here we ate was lovely but...
- We were quoted one price (2000 rupees each) and charged another (3500 rupees each).
- The 'course' involved us watching her cook. We just chopped some veg
- There was far too much food - which is fine - but the family sat and watched us eat until we were full. Once we left they finished it off. Fine - but not a comfortable experience or one I have seen replicated anywhere else.
- No recipes to take away. I wrote everything down as I came prepared, but if not, this is just an expensive way of watching someone cook.
- The 'trip' to the food market wasn't very informative and it felt very rushed and just a 'necessity' for her to do

The family are definitely running a 'business' and really trying to get all they can from tourists.

I would look elsewhere and invest more wisely!
Written July 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Marina L
Velsao, India7 contributions
Great sharing experience of Sri Lankan food
Mar 2018 • Solo
Vinitha is such a great cook. A nice visit at the market, spice shop and fish market and then on to her lovely home for the cooking. I loved the way that I was able to write down my own notes. And the tasting along the way + the magnificent dinner at the end. Thank you Vinitha! I miss you and your cooking already. See you again soon
Written April 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Courtney B
Sydney60 contributions
Lying, stealing, criminals! Traveller beware - choose another cooking class
Jul 2017 • Solo
This has taken me a long time to work up the effort to write this review.
I am EXTREMELY careful in throwing negative reviews around as, working in tourism, I understand wholeheartedly the power of TripAdvisor and how negative reviews can impact on a small business - especially as some people like to hide behind a keyboard and bad mouth a business, more often than not unfairly and without hearing both sides of the story. But, I'm afraid there is only one side to this story and I need to warn other unsuspecting travellers so here goes - buckle up!

I travelled to Sri Lanka with my husband to attend our friend's wedding just outside of Unawatuna. We were there for several days before and after, and I absolutely wanted to do a cooking class to somehow learn to cook the amazing Sri Lankan cuisine! My husband declined (cooking not really his thing!) and so I did some research on TripAdvisor and saw Vinitha's class came up as #1 - so it seemed like a no brainer. Booking was easy via my hotel reception and I met Vinitha the next day.

All seemed to go very well. I was in the class with a lovely Dutch family - mum, dad and two teenage children. We all went to the markets together and it seemed like a wonderful start to the day. Vinitha was warm and friendly enough and did her thing showing us a veggie market, spice shop and fish market.

Now I'm not one to count all the notes in my wallet, but that day I knew on no uncertain terms: I had 5000 rupee in my wallet. I knew this as when I was at the fish market I bought a big batch of prawns, and Vinitha was with me as she ensured I got the correct change from the man at the stall. As we were leaving, I asked Vinitha if it was possible to stop by an ATM on the way back as I needed to get some money out to pay her at the end of the day as well as stock up for the rest of our trip. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, no wonder she was so accommodating! We stopped, and I got 50,000 rupee out, the equivalent of about $500 AUD - plenty to cover the course and our remaining few days in Unawatuna. I folded the cash neatly in one big fold and tucked it into my wallet.

We went back to Vinitha's where we then started to prepare our feast! This was all wonderful. The only feedback (and I wish this had been my only feedback!) was that she should've had print-outs of the recipes, rather than telling them to us and waiting for us all to write each and every one of them down (about 8 recipes). We all had a go at preparing the food and I spent a long time de-shelling prawns (with my back to the group and the bags) and preparing several other dishes where I was unaware of what was happening around me.

Things then started to get strange. Once everything was cooked and we sat down to eat, the Dutch girl said to her mum that they should get a photo of the magnificent looking food. The mum turned around to get her camera and her bag was gone. Vinitha also wasn't present. The Dutch lady then panicked and started calling out "Vinitha, Vinitha? My bag is missing!" You could hear Vinitha in the back of the house calling out "Yes, I'm coming!" and as the Dutch lady entered the house to find her, Vinitha came around the side of the house with a towel over her arm and what was the lady's bag underneath. This was both witnessed by myself and the daughter, who were both facing that way. She inconspicuously put the lady's bag back on the chair where all of our bags were and then the Oscars performance started: Vinitha acting very innocent and concerned for the lady and saying "Oh no, why your bag is just here!" The daughter piped up and was telling her mum that no - she saw Vinitha putting it back, and I stayed out of it - a little stunned at what I'd just witnessed and waiting to see how it all panned out.

Understandably, the Dutch lady was not convinced with Vinitha's claims, got her bag and started checking her wallet and passports. She was extremely flustered and kept saying that she didn't know how much money was in her purse to begin with, she didn't know if there was a problem - and she grew more and more upset. The atmosphere was then very hostile as Vinitha continued to argue with the lady and the lady ended up in tears. Soon thereafter the family left very unhappily but paid their way (all four of them, I felt so bad - they were devastated). I made a mental note to check my wallet before I left.

Vinitha then proceeded to tell me how the girl was "crazy" and "seeing things" and that it was all such a misunderstanding and then the son came out and told me how an Italian tourist had just a few days prior claimed she had money missing but had emailed them a few days later to say that she'd "found" it and it was all a misunderstanding. I then got up and went to my bag and started counting my money in front of her. And sure enough - within the little folded wad of notes where I knew I had exactly 50,000 rupees - I had 5,000 rupees (about $50 AUD) missing. I counted it again, just to be sure (this was in addition to when I'd counted it at the ATM - as I always do after taking money out). And, for all you cluey people out there - this didn't take into account the change I'd received from the fish stall - this money was also in my wallet but not in the neat stack from the ATM.

Vinitha denied it at first. No no no, I must be wrong. I then gave her my case, where it was 100% evident that I was right and she was totally backed into a corner. I reminded her of how I went to the ATM, and hey - here was even the receipt showing I got 50,000 out! And let's count it together! Oh yes, how strange - only 45,000 was there. She looked at me and we both knew that she was caught out and she then started to stutter and say "Oh well, look, here - I will give you the 5,000 you are missing - here you go, are you happy now?" - ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?? No I'm not bloody happy!! You just blatantly stole from me!! And probably the family before me, which you happened to get away with!! And probably many, many unsuspecting tourists before that who you've ripped off! No I'm not happy!!!

So, it was my turn to heat up. I feel like I kept it measured and controlled. I gave them my best form of controlled anger saying that they couldn't continue to run a business like this, stealing from their own customers, in this day in age with social media and review sites like TripAdvisor out there where they would get roasted and eventually lose rankings and then all of a sudden find they no longer had a business.

I think it went completely over the top of their heads. I'm sure they haven't changed their ways. So all I can say is PLEASE STAY AWAY - go to another cooking class where you won't be stolen from.

That day we all went to Vinitha's house with a level of trust and respect and all came away with neither. I was so stunned and furious afterwards that I didn't know what to do. I told the receptionist at the hotel but she didn't seem too fazed. I was too stunned to go to the Police. I went to the hotel of the Dutch family that night - I had remembered where they said they were staying and tried to find them. Sadly they were having dinner in Galle that night and while I went back the next day, they had already checked out. I really, really wanted to see the Mum and let her know that she wasn't going crazy - that there was a high chance that Vinitha had stolen from her like she had stolen from me too. Unfortunately I didn't have the chance to let her know but I hope maybe she will read it on here one day.

Note the photos attached to my review - you can see our unattended bags in the background too.

So - I hope you enjoyed the read! At minimum, I can contribute a "1 star" to this business (I'd give them a "0" if I had the option) and hope they receive many more as they do not deserve to be in business. Choose another operator, take your money elsewhere.
Written November 16, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Matthew N
London, UK16 contributions
Great day spent cooking curry!
Sep 2017 • Friends
Had a fantastic time with my girlfriend and her family cooking 10 different dishes with our very friendly host. Would highly recommend the day. We met by a vegetable marked and were talked through each vegetable, then to a spice shop and a fish market before starting with the cooking! Can't wait to try at home.
Written September 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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