Blackened beef brisket and crab patty empanadas: the fiery essence of Sri Lankan cuisine is captured in this Soho brutalist restaurant.
In the blink of an eye, we’ve found ourselves in the depths of a particularly cruel winter: biting temps, chaotic governmental policies, intermittent lockdowns and all. But one place that has been searing the cockles with medium-to-molten level heat is Sri Lankan restaurant Paradise, located in the heart of London’s illustrious Soho area. Here, it is utopia all year round; well, for your tastebuds anyway.
Native Sri Lankan ingredients fuel the menu, punctuated with the owner Dominic Fernando and Head Chef, Charith Priyadarshana’s take on the island’s diverse cultural past and beloved family recipes influenced by Portuguese, Malay, South Indian, and Dutch cuisines. Think small platters of stir-fried kadala thel-dal chickpeas, toasted coconut and pappadum, and crab patty empanadas with lunumiris mayo. Then a spread of dishes from both land and sea: green mango curry spliced wth cardamom, cinnamon and roasted spices; blackened beef brisket accompanied by a tamarind, cinnamon and coconut floss; and banana leaf roasted mackerel infused with coriander, fennel and green chilli. And to round it off are Paradise’s take on Sri Lanka’s famed hoppers with a kick of turmeric and fennel seed, plus coconut and chilli pol sambol, alongside house tropical tonics and infusions.
And for your surroundings? And unexpected exploration of tropical brutalism, helmed by designer Dan Preston (responsible for the likes of KILN, Smoking Goat, and BRAT), making for a space inspired by the modern bistros of Sri Lanka’s breathtaking Colombo and Galle. Expect industrial formations, such as unpolished cement, terracotta tiles, raw black metal detailing, and the most complex fire-breathing ingredients served upon clay plates, with ceramics from Brixton-based husband and wife team, Sofia and Kosta.
“Paradise is inspired by the eternal energy of the spirited streets of Colombo,” explains Paradise’s owner Dominic. “It’s my home. With everything going on in the world, we want to give our guests, who decide to dine out, an opportunity to escape to Paradise.”
And to accompany your food and add to the experience, melt into your surroundings with the most potent (trust us) cocktails. We recommend the Chilli Mezcal Margarita and Rambutan Daquiri to have your senses careering wildly. And with COVID-19 safety regulations and procedures in place, as well as with outdoor seating on the streets of Soho to ensure the comfort of guests – we’ll see you there before you know it.