Chef to bring Sri Lankan flavours to Norfolk from converted horsebox

Udaya Lakshan Jayasinghe, known locally as Lucky, who runs Amma's Kitchen.

Udaya Lakshan Jayasinghe, known locally as Lucky, who runs Amma's Kitchen. - Credit: Neil Perry

The man behind a new street food venture in a converted horsebox hopes to bring a taste of Sri Lanka to north Norfolk in the new year.

Udaya Lakshan Jayasinghe, known locally as Lucky, runs Amma's Kitchen, which is inspired by his mother's and aunties' cooking back in Sri Lanka.

The small food van - in a former horsebox - has been parking up in lay-bys and car parks for the last month, selling traditional Sri Lankan curries and rotis, flatbreads.

He said: "There was a Tamil lady in Sri Lanka who would come and help [our family] cook. Her curry is lovely so sometimes I ring her up and get old recipes from her.

One of the dishes served at Amma's Kitchen.

One of the dishes served at Amma's Kitchen. - Credit: Amma's Kitchen

"The cooking's not easy but I love to learn something different."

There are six main dishes to choose from, including coconut roti with chicken or beef and vegan cashew and green pea curry.

Mr Jayasinghe says he is constantly reviewing the way he cooks, asking for the input of both family and customers.

A dish served by Amma's Kitchen Sri Lankan street food.

Some of the food served by Amma's Kitchen. - Credit: Neil Perry

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"I always ask for feedback from customers, family and friends," he said. "There is one guy, he comes every time I'm in Sheringham. He's been to Sri Lanka many times, so he understands what real Sri Lankan curry should taste like.

"He always tells me ways to improve."

It took three months to convert the old horsebox into the food van it is today, with the Amma's Kitchen family spending their weekends fixing it up.

Udaya Lakshan Jayasinghe, known locally as Lucky, runs Amma's Kitchen, which is inspired by his mother's and aunties' cooking back in Sri Lanka

Udaya Lakshan Jayasinghe, known locally as Lucky, runs Amma's Kitchen, which is inspired by his mother's and aunties' cooking back in Sri Lanka. - Credit: Neil Perry

Officially launched in October, it has already popped up in Sheringham, Hoveton and North Walsham.

But after one final appearance last weekend, Mr Jayasinghe has put the brakes on and closed early for Christmas in the name of expansion.

"I've got two more horse boxes ready," he said. "I bought them at the same time as the first one. I must be crazy. My fiancée wants one of them to be a gin bar so that's the plan at the minute."

He encouraged others tempted to set up their own businesses to take the plunge.

"Go for it," he said. "It's definitely a challenge but you have to just go for it and see what happens."

Amma's Kitchen will return in the new year. 

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