Restaurant Guide

Lankan Filling Station

The aroma of fried curry leaves, mustard seed and cardamom lures diners to O Tama Carey's hot-to-trot Sri Lankan eatery.

A selection of fragrant sambols at Lankan Filling Station.

Photo: Nikki To
58 Riley St, East Sydney, NSW


It’s the aromatic wave of fried curry leaf, mustard seed and cardamom that will lure you to this narrow shopfront on Riley Street. Since 2018, chef-owner O Tama Carey has been bringing a slice of Sri Lanka to East Sydney. But beware: Carey’s casual eatery is for true flavour enthusiasts only – for those unafraid to crumble nose-clearing dried white chilli over a black lamb curry, or spoon pol sambol (a fiery mix of coconut and dried Maldive fish) into a lacey hopper. Pro tip? One hopper is never enough. The delicate bowl-shaped pancakes made from rice flour and coconut milk are the perfect vessel for transporting any of the spice-fuelled dishes, such as melt-in-your-mouth eggplant soured with tamarind, or a creamy curry where cashews are king. There are good things happening in the drinks section, too, where local drops sit alongside popular Sri Lankan refreshments like faluda – a rose-syrup milkshake – and tamarind iced tea.


Lankan Filling Station

58 Riley St, East Sydney, NSW

(02) 8542 9936

Chef O Tama Carey

Price guide $$

Bookings Recommended

Wheelchair access Yes

This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide’s reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.

Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide 2022

Our guide gives a yearly snapshot of the best restaurants to eat at right now. The best-rated restaurants, as judged by the reviewers’ first-hand experience, form our national Top 80.

Lankan Filling Station
Sri Lankan
58 Riley St, East Sydney, NSW
O Tama Carey
Price Guide
Wheelchair Access

Related stories