- Boutique hospitality group teams up with Sri Lankan-born Chef Rishi Naleendra of Cheek by Jowl fame in Singapore to launch pioneering contemporary bistro concept overlooking the city skyline.
Leading hip boutique hotel operator, Cantaloupe Hotels Group, is expanding into Colombo with its exciting new rooftop restaurant concept Botanik, which overlooks the city’s skyline from its perch in the heart of the financial district.
Botanik opened its doors this month on the top floor of Fairway Colombo in the historic Colombo Fort area of Sri Lanka’s capital city. The rustic-chic designed restaurant features a centrepiece 34-foot-long island bar, a main dining area with a show kitchen seating 40, and an al fresco terrace with spectacular views.
“It’s a match made in heaven,” said Cantaloupe Hotels Group’s Founder and CEO, Dimitri Jayasuriya. “As a hospitality group we have always believed in offering stylish and innovative cuisine and who better to partner with to cater to the huge demand here than one of the hottest chefs in Asia.
“Chef Rishi is a class act and the restaurant has been packed since opening. The huge success of Cheek by Jowl made him something of a culinary celebrity in Sri Lanka and we are delighted to bring his talents to diners in Colombo at Botanik,” added Mr. Jayasuriya.
The cuisine is born of simplicity with Chef Rishi taking inspiration from his modern Australian menu in Singapore to deliver a contemporary bistro concept which celebrates prime meats such as steaks and lamb and local seafood, while harnessing the freshest seasonal ingredients.
Starters include Steak Tartare with chilli, peanuts and wonton skins, Sri Lankan Buffalo with greenhouse tomatoes, basil and anchovies and Roasted Beetroot accompanied by hummus, wild rice and date dressing; main signatures are highlighted by Roasted Mahi Mahi, Braised Lamb Shoulder and Cape Grim Sirloin.
An extensive and appealing drinks list is the work of French native and Cantaloupe Hotels Group F&B Manager, Mathieu Delin, who drew on his experiences in London and Dubai to create an outstanding cocktail menu.
The launch of Botanik in Colombo comes as Cantaloupe Hotels Group prepares to expand in Galle on the south coast of Sri Lanka, where its two award-winning resorts, Cantaloupe Aqua and Cantaloupe Levels, are both located. The restaurant brand will make its debut as a dining destination in Galle in early 2018.
Botanik is the latest step in Cantaloupe Hotels Group’s Sri Lankan growth strategy, as it aims to deliver lifestyle experiences that showcase the country’s culture and cuisine.
The company’s two boutique hotels – Cantaloupe Aqua, which opened in Talpe in 2013, and Cantaloupe Levels, which launched in Rumassala in 2014 – have gained a strong reputation for delivering stylish stays with a pioneering spirit. This is exemplified by the hotels’ “Big Blue” experiences, where guests discover the country’s marine ecosystem – including a breeding ground for blue whales – in a sensitive and sustainable manner.
Cantaloupe Hotels Group’s expansion will continue in the coming months with the launch of Cantaloupe Veralu Verala and a beach house in Midigama, Weligama, a popular surfing destination.