By Hiruni Herath
Flavoured at Cinnamon Red is enclosed by stunning views of the Colombo skyline with glimpses of the Indian Ocean between the tall skyscrapers of this industrial city. But that’s not the only thing that you should visit Flavoured for. Once a month, they host a buffet focusing on one particular cuisine from around the world. Mexican, Chinese and Arabic are some of the cuisines that have already had nights dedicated to them, so we were invited to the pre-tasting of the Jaffna inspired buffet, where Flavoured is hoping to focus on something that is local.
Exploring the intricacies of the cuisine in the Jaffna peninsula, Flavoured brought to us the life and essence of Jaffna through the selection of dishes that were offered during the pre-tasting. It was just a glimpse of the food and atmosphere that will be present on the 29th of June when Flavoured by Cinnamon Red will be paying tribute to the cuisine of Jaffna. The whole space will be transformed to embody the spirit of Northern Sri Lanka.
We started off the tasting with the Jaffna Style Odiyal Kool which, if you haven’t had it or heard of it, is a seafood soup that was originally the food of the hardworking farmers in Jaffna. It intriguingly includes palmyra tuber flour as an ingredient. The soup is spicy with a good kick to it, a great way to start off what was a lovely experience at Flavoured. It certainly got our palettes ready to experience the various flavors of Jaffna.
The rice and curry which is a staple around Sri Lanka but has its own twists and turns when it comes to every region was only mildly spicy, suitable to anyone’s palate. The Jaffna Nadu was fluffy to complement the spices of the curries which included Chicken Varuval, Mutton Peratal, China Vengayam and Vellapuli, Kachumber Salad along with Vazhakkai Fry which is an ash plantain fry. All the curries were mellow in terms of spice but still delicious. So if you’re someone who can’t handle spice, you have nothing to worry about on the 29th of June.
The Chicken Varuval, and the China Vengayam and Vellapuli were our favorites. Both the chicken and the China Vengayam and Vellapuli (red onion and garlic curry) were cooked to perfection. The chicken was chewy but soft and the China Vengayam and Vellapuli was almost melting in our mouths. The cuisine was definitely not the usual fare of Colombo. Even the Dhal and Murungakkai (drumstick) Curry was pretty good with the drumsticks flavoring the Dhal really well.
We finished the tasting with Payasam and Rasa Valli as dessert. The sweetness of the Payasam was complemented by the subtle flavors of the Rasa Valli. The dessert was also pleasing to the eye as the Payasam was dripping with honey and the Rasa Valli was colored purple due to purple yam being its main ingredient. Typically Payasam is made with rice, according to the tradition of India, however, its Sri Lankan twist came from the sago substituted for the rice. We truly enjoyed the complementary flavors of the two elements in the dessert.
Priced at 5,800 per head, the Jaffna inspired buffet at Flavoured, Cinnamon Red Colombo will be taking place on the 29th of June from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm during the dinner hours. The Jaffna cuisine available will be in addition to the usual international affair offered at Flavoured, so there will be a selection to choose from if you don’t feel like going with the inspired cuisine of the night. However, you shouldn’t miss out on this chance to experience a taste of Jaffna without making the tiring journey North.
Price – 5,800 per person
Location – 59 Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 03
Time – 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm
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