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Review of Ella Spice Garden

Ella Spice Garden
Ranked #4 of 13 things to do in Ella
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Reviewed 23 January 2018 via mobile

I went to spice garden after reading the reviews in trip advisor. I asked to book a place for the evening cooking class but i was told that the class of the next day was full already. So I asked to book a place for the day after but I was told that I was the first one interested and at least 4 people were needed for a class to take place. He suggested I give him my number and he would call me once more people show up. The next day passed and I received no calls so I assumed the class is not taking place. Nevertheless, next morning I called myself  just to make sure- my multiple calls were always met with an answering machine. So I went all the way to the spice garden only to learn that the class was full and I should try out tomorrow (which was not possible because we would leave the town)!! I am not sure he even remembered me and when I reminded him of our encounter he told me he tried calling me but it wasn't working- I seriously doubt it as I have a local number and had no such issues before- not to mention I never received any notificarion, message, or anything at all. I was obviously dissapointed as i was looking forward to it but he seemed to have no distress at all which is yet another reason to be dissapointed.If he forgot about me or he preferred to book a group so me being only 1 person was not conveninet I would prefer to be told about it, rather than hear bad excuses..

Date of experience: January 2018
3  Thank Magi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"garlic curry"
in 24 reviews
"cooking class"
in 127 reviews
in 50 reviews
"recipe book"
in 15 reviews
"coconut sambol"
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"sri lankan cuisine"
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"buy spices"
in 7 reviews
"small garden"
in 6 reviews
"cooking lesson"
in 11 reviews
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"great cooking"
in 7 reviews
"small kitchen"
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"family kitchen"
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"great teacher"
in 10 reviews
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in 11 reviews
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in 9 reviews
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86 - 90 of 491 reviews

Reviewed 23 January 2018

We all love our food particularly curries so this was on our definitely-to-do list. We tried to call first however it's best to simply go on the day to see if they have space as its very popular. Five of us travelling together along with another couple to make 7 went to the evening class which starts at 5 with a small cup of sweet chai tea and an explanation of the different spices used in Sri Lankan cooking. I'm an ex-chef so was particularly keen to learn how to reproduce some of the amazing food we have been eating since we've been in Sri Lanka. Chandigarh, our host and teacher was truly wonderful; knowledgeable, patient and very funny, he has a deft touch and great sense of comic timing. The booklet and interactive slow pace is actually a very good teaching method to really absorb both the methods and information being presented. The kitchen was very clean as was the dining area. It was a long night with 2 1/2 to 3 hours on your feet however the result was a wonderful meal that we could all be proud of. I did feel sorry for our driver the next day though as the garlic curry certainly had some explosive effects! There are lots of cooking classes in Ella right now but Ella Garden deserves it's reputation.

Date of experience: January 2018
1  Thank FoodieNZ50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2018 via mobile

Well organized good class . Limited to 8 students. Much more expensive than the several other cooking schools in Ella. While there was some participation by all members it was not extensive. Expected and would have preferred more active participation in preparation .
Also some of recipes so complex and time consuming that I am unlikely to ever use them. Is there such a thing as Srilankan easy or light?
Other problem is 2 1/2 hours standing in one place. PainfuI for me. Although embarrassed, I finally asked for and was given a stool.

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank ladybegood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2018 via mobile

We had a really lovely experience here. For R100 each, the owner took us on a tour of the garden explaining the many types of spices growing and how they are traditionally used in Sri Lankan cooking. He was super friendly, knowledgeable and had excellent English. All up, we were in and out of there in 20mins or so, and came away educated and smiling. Definitely worth it if you’re looking for something to do in between hikes!

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank Zev and Sam F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 January 2018 via mobile

Chandigarh is a legend! A natural teacher who has found his passion in showing us tourist folk the roots of Sri Lankan cooking... many other places have since our up notice boards saying cooking class, but Ella Spice Garden is different. It is set in a beautiful local home off the main track away from it all, and is a programme that has been perfected over the last few years. The class is limited to 8, you receive a recipe book, and you see everything happen and get involved, from start to finish. What’s even better is, the Dahl you make actually takes as good as all the others you experience in Sri Lanka, so the secrets are revealed. Chandigarh is a young dude who has learnt from the best (his mother), lives and breathes cooking eating and teaching.... and at $16 it’s not expensive - 3 hours including plenty of eating time.. Ella spice garden sets the bar. Thank you, Simon and Charlotte

Date of experience: January 2018
3  Thank mitchmitchell85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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