SYDNEY | Colombo Social is a social enterprise restaurant in Enmore from Plate It Forward. The team serve up tasty traditional and contemporary Sri Lankan dishes and drinks, inspired by head chef Chamara Pathiranage’s Amma’s (mum’s) home cooking, and Australia’s bounty of fresh produce.
The restaurant provides front of house and kitchen roles to recently-arrived asylum seekers, giving them employment, practical experience and training. There’s a heart and passion at Colombo Social that’s evident from the warm service you receive as soon as you walk through the door.
The menu is broadly split into two sections. There’s the traditional dishes, and the contemporary ones which are more Sri Lankan spins on Australian favourites, versus Aussie spins on Sri Lankan favourites. I popped in for some snacks with friends, and we ordered a selection of share plates from the contemporary part of the menu.
Soft shell crab ‘tacos’, come in the form of taco-size roti topped with spiced deep fried soft shell crab, with papaya salsa, fried curry leaves, pol sambol, and spicy mayo. It’s fresh, zesty, and very tasty. Spicy beetroot and caramelised onion bahji, served with a cooling coconut yoghurt raita and a tangy date & lime pickle, are another delight.
Beef tartare, mixed with curry powder oil and celery mallung, served in an egg hopper, is another highlight. On the more traditional side of the menu, it’s things like chef Chamara’s mum’s dhal; rich, slow-cooked goat curry kottu, and aromatic village-style chicken red curry.
On the drinks menu, it’s Sir Lankan inspired cocktails like a smoky cinnamon infused arrack old fashioned, a condensed milk and nutmeg spiced espresso martini, and a gimlet infused with jackfruit and curry leaf. There’s also a small but diverse selection of spirits, beer, and wine, as well as numerous non-alcoholic options like mocktails and soda.
159 Enmore Road
New South Wales 2042
Telephone: (02) 9020 6366
Wed: 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Tue – Fri: 5:00pm to 11:00pm
Sat: 12:00pm to 3:00pm, 5:00pm to 11:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm to 3:00pm, 5:00pm to 10:00pm