Dom Fernando to evolve his Soho Sri Lankan restaurant Paradise

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Dom Fernando to relaunch his Soho Sri Lankan restaurant Paradise

Related tags Dom Fernando Paradise

Dom Fernando’s Soho restaurant Paradise will close for a short period in May ahead of relaunching with a more ambitious menu and a new design.

Paradise 2.0 will introduce a new £59 six-course menu in the evenings with a choice of vegetarian, fish and meat options, as well as a selection of suggested drink pairings that will riff off each course and highlight producers and growers that inspire the team. An a la carte will be available at lunchtimes.

Kitchen development will be led by head chef Alfie Bahnan, who will continue to ‘pull on the distinctive cues from Portuguese, Malay, South Indian, and Dutch cuisines that have shaped Sri Lanka’s distinctive culinary identity’.

The next chapter for Paradise - which launched in 2020 on Rupert Street​ - will expand the kitchen’s focus with the introduction of native culinary techniques, from heritage claypot cooking to marinating with in-house spice pastes, steaming, braising in coconut milk, working with the ancient technique of bamboo grilling and an even greater focus on British produce. 

Example dishes include spiced lacto-fermented strawberry rasam broth, with a wild garlic oil; hand-chopped raw Texel mutton roll tartare, tomato and garlic emulsion, smoked charcoal oil; and steamed Brixham crab-infused wattalappam, hand-picked Cornish white crab and jambola, sea buckthorn gel, kalu sago and squid ink cracker. 

The drinks menu will include a wine list of natural and biodynamic wines and Sri Lankan-inspired cocktails that spotlight ancient fermenting and clarification techniques from head of drinks Erin Mulkerrin-English. 

Designer and maker Dan Preston and Paradise founder and creative director Fernando have worked together on a new space that will reflect the evolution of the restaurant, whilst retaining its tropical, brutalist roots. 

Taking on a  more ‘intimate personality with understated refinement’ the new design will feature wooden elements of timber, oak and ash to embody a more cosy ‘lived in’ design. 

The focal point of the restaurant will be a stone countertop, looking outward onto the restaurant, which will seat up to seven guests and will also serve as a central workstation, where the kitchen and the bar team will work in view to finish dishes and make drinks.

“We want the next phase of Paradise to be a true reflection of modern Sri Lanka, all rolled into a unique dining experience. We will remain true to the spirit of Paradise, but the new direction will reflect our more progressive cooking style. It’s an opportunity to showcase what we have been working towards over the  last four and a half years and will be a reflection of how our culinary philosophy has progressed in the kitchen and the dining room.”

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