Eat this: Paradise, a Sri Lankan bistro concept

Having started out hosting supper clubs around London, this Colombo-channelling street food restaurant offers late night curries and sharing soirees.

21 November 2019
sharing platesrestaurant openingfermentedplant-basedstreet food
  • The Gist: Contemporary Sri Lankan with traditional Portuguese, Malay, South Indian and Dutch influences.
  • The Chef: Charith Priyadarshana
  • Location: 61 Rupert Street Soho London W1D 7PW
  • Food in 5 words: Island chic breads and curries 
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How did we get here?

Inspired by restaurateur owner Dom Fernando’s childhood trips to Sri Lanka, Paradise is a new supper club-gone-permanent venture focused on contemporary curries, breads, hoppers and small plates designed for sharing.

Inheriting the Soho space from former Italian/American comfort food joint, Spuntino; Paradise aims to channel the energies of the typically boisterous bistros found on the streets of the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.

“Paradise replicates the generosity of Sri Lankan hospitality, the country’s sense of style and the dusk till dawn dining culture, all whilst embracing Soho’s inclusive and bustling twenty-four-hour-scene,” reads the restaurant’s website.

We've previously talked about Sri Lankan cuisine and its steady rise in popularity in London over the past few years. Hoppers, with their Sri Lankan brunch projects, and The Coconut Tree, with their far-reaching street food menu, are two other examples of creative Sri Lankan in the capital.  

Both plant-based dishes and street food movements are typical of Sri Lanka, and indeed Paradise, with the restaurant merging British and South Indian ingredients to create a menu around family recipes while utilising age-old Portuguese, Dutch and Malay influences.

Roasted Chicken Curry with Crispy Skin

What’s different about it?

In the kitchen is Sri Lankan chef Charith Priyadarshana - formerly a sous chef at Lords Cricket Ground and the RAC Members Club – with his menu broken up into multiple sections based around the sharing concept.

Mackerel cutlets (a crispy snack croquette typical of the South Indian island) with a curry leaf mayo and mutton shoulder rolls with fermented chilli are two of the ‘Short Eats’, while their ‘Veg & Plant’ section contains dishes such as northern turmeric dahl with garlic oil and a fried aubergine and jaggery moju (a traditional Sri Lankan pickle).

Meats are broken up into ‘Land’ and ‘Sea’ sections containing three dishes each: a roasted chicken curry, a pork cheek curry and Jaffna spiced lamb chops in the former, a roasted baby squid curry, a yellow cod curry and stir-fried devilled prawns in the latter.

Ulundu vadai lentil donuts with mint and coconut

Seasonality and sustainability are, of course, on the agenda for the restaurant, with dayboat seafood delivered every morning and speciality vegetables, fruits and spices coming in directly from Sri Lanka.

Hoppers and breads are here in abundance, with desserts a more European affair with lime and coconut sorbet and a chilli chocolate tart with pistachio ice cream leading the way. 

You’ve got to try

Arrack infused cauliflower roti tacos with coconut labneh. Made from the fermented sap of coconut flowers, arrack is a traditional Sri Lankan spirit, with this dish one of 15 vegan options on the menu. 

Sparkie also likes…

The ulundu vadai lentil donuts with mint and coconut. These ringed lentil fritters are hugely popular snacks in Sri Lanka and are often eaten for breakfast. 

Go if…

You like the sound of Sri Lankan supper sharing in Soho

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