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Raise a toast to the weekend with cocktails from Sri Lanka

The award-winning Sri Lankan bar Smoke & Bitters collaborates with The Bombay Canteen for a bar takeover this weekend

Left to Right: Sri Lankan lamprais, cocktails by Smoke & Bitters, Just Pina cocktail (Photo Courtesy: The Bombay Canteen)

By Swamini Narkar

LAST PUBLISHED 31.03.2023  |  03:00 PM IST

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Lamprais is a Sri Lankan meal of rice, brinjal and meat curries, seeni sambol (onion relish) fried plantains and blachan (dried prawns paste), wrapped in a plantain leaf and steamed. The dish traces its origins to the Burgher community, referring to people who remained in Sri Lanka when the Dutch conceded to the British in 1802. Now, this dish comes to Mumbai in a weekend dining experience.

The Bombay Canteen (TBC) in collaboration with the Sri Lankan bar Smoke & Bitters has this dish—and much more—in their No Rules Brunch menu on April 2.

“We (the team at TBC) have always felt that the representation of Sri Lankan food, its hospitality and drinks has never made its way to the city. When I visited Smoke & Bitters last year, I was blown away not just by their eye for detail, but also their hospitality. We thought this would be a great way of highlighting the cuisine," said Yash Bhanage, Founder & COO of Hunger Inc. Hospitality, the parent company of TBC.

Along with Sri Lankan specialties, like lamprais, baby jackfruit curry and black pork curry, guests can expect a variety of Indian dishes with a TBC twist. There’s avocado papdi chaat with Stracciatella cheese and puffed millets, chicken kothu paratha with creamy scrambled eggs, spicy coconut curry and cabbage slaw.

The food will be accompanied by signature cocktails stirred and shaken by the team of Smoke & Bitters, which ranked #42 on Asia’s 50 Best last year. Sip the Just Pina, a concoction of white rum with clarified milk punch, pineapple, cumin, pepper, and coconut milk. Try the Beli Mal Bomu created with Bael flower infused vodka, cardamom and Sri Lankan coffee.

“We want to showcase Sri Lankan tea too. Our Negroni has an undertone of silver tip white tea. We’ve partnered with small batch organic tea suppliers in Sri Lanka for the silver tip. Our Muay Thai, that we have renamed as Mua Chai, showcases Ceylon chai," shares Don Ranasinghe, co-owner and head of the drinks program at Smoke & Bitters.

To top it off, TBC's monthly Canteen Class, where different experts from the food industry host masterclasses, is scheduled for Saturday. On April 1, the team of Smoke & Bitters along with beverage consultant Priyanka Blah will talk about the importance of reinventing the cocktail culture, mentoring mixologists and what it takes to run an award-winning bar.

The Smoke & Bitters bar take-over and brunch at The Bombay Canteen, Lower Parel is from 11 am to 4 pm on April 2. Prices for the food start at 545 onwards and the cocktails are priced at 775 onwards.

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