Friday, 20 September 2013 00:06
By David Ebert
Colombo’s favourite coffee house and afternoon hangout spot, The Commons, introduced its new Executive Chef Romesh Kulatunga who unveiled his all-new revamped menu recently.
Consisting of an all-new range of breakfast treats, soups, salads, pastas, waffles, rotis and sandwiches cooked up by Chef Romesh and his team, this alone is reason enough to pop in for a quick bite.
Armed with a Masters in European Culinary Arts and trained at the prestigious Les Roches School in Switzerland, Chef Romesh counts extensive experience working in world class kitchens such as the Waldorf Astoria and Hilton Bonnet Creek, Florida and the J.W. Marriott St. Pierre Country Club, Bristol.
In addition, Chef Romesh was also the Chef D’ Cuisine at one of the country’s latest boutique resorts in the country, Uga Resorts Sri Lanka’s Jungle Beach Trincomalee. He was a member of the pre-opening team and was instrumental in establishing and implementing European standards in hygiene, food production, work concepts, the overall menus for all outlets and personalised guest dining experiences for the hotel.
His objective, as he explained, is very simple: “I want to be a part of a reputed kitchen brigade and to always give my best in terms of commitment and strategic thinking so as to optimise the profitability of the establishment I represent as I have done in the past. I am a strong believer in the four Ps; Passion, Patience, Pride and Performance. That is the Swiss way.”
The new menu has been designed to maintain the coffee house atmosphere all round, with dishes like the American and English breakfasts, which are a staple at any traditional American coffee house, served up.
Going through the menu, one would be spoiled for choice. Chef Romesh has added something for everyone in it. From his choice of soups, one would have a hard choice between the cream of tomato, roasted pumpkin, spinach and minced chicken, seafood chowder, beef mulligatawny and the house special soup of the day.
His choice of salads as well would be a tough choice with so many options that all seem equally scrumptious from a traditional salata Athens (Greek salad) to one of the two New York Caesar salads variants with either smoked salmon and sundried tomato, or with grilled chicken and sundried tomatoes.
My favourite though was the baby spinach and poached egg with crispy bacon and crouton which was my choice after a close tossup between that and the equally yummy sounding Thai chicken salad with coriander and spicy peanut dressing.
The new range of pasta dishes included in the menu this time around all look very promising and I only wish my appetite was a bit larger than it is. Reading though the menu and seeing most of my Italian favourites made my task harder with me having to choose between the tagliatelle marinara (creamy seafood pasta), spaghetti Bolognese (noodle pasta with homemade meatballs in rich tomato concassé), penne pasta con fungi (pasta tossed in rich succulent mushroom ragout), homemade beef and eggplant lasagne and the chillie prawn pasta and vegetarian moussaka. What a beautiful problem to have!
His new menu contains something for everyone and for whatever mood you’re in such as waffles, rotis, crepes, seafood, meat dishes, sandwiches, hotdogs, bistro burgers, etc., and Chef Romesh believes that his success lies in having the right team behind him in the kitchen. “Running a kitchen can never be a one man job. It is a team effort to make food that has quality and goodness that keeps customers coming back. If anyone says otherwise, my response is simple. Bollocks! My success is my team.” Commons has never been a bore to me. With a wide range of sweets, savouries and beverages on offer that taste simply amazing, it virtually guarantees at least a once-a-month visit to try them all out.
Pix by Sameera Wijesinghe