The anticipated new venture by chef-owner Rishi Naleendra, is ready to welcome guests to its home at Wanderlust Hotel

If you’re not already busy trying to secure a table, let this be your cue to start making lunch and dinner plans. After a lengthy but expected delay, Kotuwa—Rishi Naleendra’s highly anticipated third venture—opens its doors today on December 10. A modern yet casual space, the concept cleverly combines traditional Sri Lankan cuisine and handcrafted cocktails; it’s also Naleendra’s first full-service restaurant that pays homage to his Sri Lankan heritage.

Expect a selection of hoppers, crab cutlets and mutton rolls, as well as popular one-dish meals such as the kottu rotti, an unassumingly delicious serving of chopped rotti cooked with a mix of chicken and vegetables.

Highlights not previously available as part of a brief pre-opening takeaway menu include black pepper kithul pork (crispy pork belly glazed with black pepper kithul caramel and guandillas pepper), and a Sri Lankan crab curry—based on a unique recipe passed down from the chef’s mother.

If you're planning to order a wide variety to share, Naleendra assures us that would be ideal, as while dishes are naturally flavourful, they are not heavy. Of course, there are enough dishes to keep vegetarians happy as well. 

For delectably clever cocktails to pair with, consider the Yal Devi (Queen of Jaffana) prepared with tequila, green chilli, tamarind, Cointreau and citrus; or the Galu Kumari (Princess of Galle), comprising vodka, lemongrass, curry leaves, ginger beer, black pepper and turmeric.

That’s not to say can’t simply stick with a bottle of Nyetimber Cuvée Chérie, or even an idiosyncratic Austrian red, a 2006 Weninger Dürrau Blaufränkisch, to be precise.

Kotuwa is open for dinner from Wednesday to Sunday and for lunch on Saturday and Sunday.