For passionate cook Chatu Jayasekara COVID was an unlikely dream come true. She and
husband Jay saw lockdown in Melbourne as a break from overwhelming work lives as hairdresser
and courier. It gave them time to contemplate the risks of making a massive tree change to
Northern NSW. Finally finding a vacant BNB in the Northern Rivers they took the plunge about 18
Now living at West Wyangerie they have worked to realise Chatu’s long-held dream of establishing
a food business. The result is a mobile food van called Aayu Street – A Sri Lankan Food
Adventure. On offer are traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, based on a 5000 year heritage, and some
street foods. A favourite snack with locals are pan rolls, like a spicy croquette, that one client has
declared to be ‘better than sex’.
Using all natural produce, coconut, spices, curry leaves and chilli, the menu is constantly changing.
Chatu’s personal favourites are cashew and coconut curry, and moju – a kind of friend eggplant
Chatu blends fresh spices not only for robust flavours, but also ‘as medicine’ according to Jay. For
Chatu food is love, and her greatest pleasure is making people happy with food. Faced with a
varied clientele, Chatu says the biggest challenge is deciding ‘how hot it should be.’ But palates
are acclimatising; there are increasing requests for more chilli.
The food is prepared in the Kyogle Bowling Club kitchen for vending on Fridays and Saturdays
from 11:30am in Kyogle, and at the Rotary Kyogle Bazaar. While Chatu and Jay’s family size will
soon expand, they are also planning to expand the business to include frozen meals. Visit them at
the next Rotary Kyogle Bazaar on Saturday 26 August.