Sri Lankan restaurant Rambutan set for March opening

By Stefan Chomka

- Last updated on GMT

Cynthia Shanmugalingam will open her Sri Lankan restaurant Rambutan on 17 March

Related tags Rambutan Cynthia Shanmugalingam Sri lanka Restaurant London

Cynthia Shanmugalingam will open her Sri Lankan restaurant Rambutan on 17 March, nine months after it was first announced.

Shanmugalingam’s debut restaurant, on Stoney Street, will centre on the food of the ancient Tamil region in the North of the island, her ancestral home, and is the product of years of cooking and collecting recipe from her aunties in Coventry and the chefs and home cooks who have shared their secrets all over the island.

Menu items will include snacks such as chicken sambol bun and fried mutton roll, a selection of curries and grill items. The latter will include turbot heads with sodhi broth; slow-braised black pork; and chicken pongal, cooked with saffron, coconut milk, poppy seeds and cinnamon.

The restaurant, which was announced back in June last year, ​will feature an open kitchen and a green marble counter with an interior characterised by dark woods and bright colours inspired by the post-colonial style of Sri Lanka’s most famous female architect Minette de Silva.

There will also be a downstairs cocktail bar serving spirits banned by colonial rule in Sri Lanka and beyond, such as mezcal, cachaca and Sri Lankan arrack as well as a list of  low intervention wines.

“It’s really exciting to draw on our ancient heritage, but also to create dishes that are entirely new,” says Shanmugalingam.

“Rambutan has been a long time in the making, and I can’t wait to get everyone tasting the food I have been lucky enough to eat all my life. London’s Sri Lankan diaspora is doing amazing things in music, fashion and art right now, and I hope that with Rambutan, I can add food to that list,”

“I believe I’m the first Sri Lankan Tamil woman to open a restaurant in central London, and it’s a big honour to be able to represent the extraordinary creativity and warm hospitality of all the women who taught me how to cook. To do it in London’s oldest and most famous food market surrounded by all this amazing produce is a bit of a dream come true.”

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