By Cheranka Mendis
From the telecommunication to entertainment to sports, finally settling in the kitchen, Wasznie Neaz has shifted around within various industries and has now positioned himself in what he now knows is his best option. He is the master of the much talked of ‘Delicious,’ the new junk food haunt in Colombo.
Nestled amongst the much favoured Cartoon Kids and Choco Luv, Delicious in just three months of operation has attracted the Colombo crowd and is now buzzing with good food and laughter. With inspiration coming in from famous TV shows like MasterChef and the shows on TLC, Neaz aims at bringing in junk food from all parts of the world to his customers at affordable prices. Hailing from the family that operates the popular ‘Pot Biriyani’ in Kalubowila, he simply wanted to create something ‘out of the box’ and deliver bits and pieces of his experience from his little stints abroad.
“I have always had a passion for cooking. I am not very experienced in the field though,” Neaz said. “I was at Dialog before for seven years, and then was an entertainment journalist in Dubai followed by a short stint in Sports journalism in Bahrain. It was after I came back to Sri Lanka that I thought of going ahead and giving Colombo what they have been craving for.”
And what does Delicious offer? From a mouth-watering array of BBQ submarines to grills, stakes to their famous ‘Lankan fries’ to burgers, vegetarian specials and even a separate kiddies menu, Delicious offers “everything that anyone can brand as junk food.” The menu lists some lip-smacking food items that leaves the customers salivating even before the food appear.
The menu offers dishes such as the grilled BBQ chicken sub which consists of a healthy portion of BBQ chicken topped with cheese and garnished with lettuce, tomato, mustard mayo sauce stuffed between the buns, served with fries and home made sauce; the sausage sub, which replaces the BBQ chicken with grilled sausages and the shrimp sub stuffed with hot and spicy prawns. The meatball melt, a dish like no other comprises of char grilled meatballs topped with cheese in a submarine - simply fabulous.
A must try is the much talked about fries - not the usual, but the chilli cheese fries. The portion is quite sizable and holds enough to stuff two starving adults. This dish is a mixture of fries with grilled chicken, smothered in chilli and laced with melted creamy cheddar cheese with mayo. It truly is marvellous. “This is a quite common dish in France and Italy and introducing it to Sri Lanka is one of the best things we have done.” Now instead of the usual fries with ketchup, the locals have something else to feast on.
The main focus for Neaz is the steak, lamb and beef chops. “This is my main concern and this is what we really want to promote,” he said. “The most popular is the beef and lamb chops and the chilli cheese fries,” he added. The smoked mixed grills are also a big hit with families, so are the hotdogs.
With his theme ‘eat, laugh and share,’ Neaz says that the food is Halal certified. The eatery is open daily except on Mondays, from 2 p.m. to midnight. “We get a good crowd in the night. Especially those heading to clubs make this their stop before heading out.” The place also holds a happy hour promo from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. on weekdays.
Neaz articulated that this haunt is just the stepping stone of better things to come. With the response for the food and place being a healthy one, he is already planning to open up a café-style restaurant by late December or early January in Colombo. “It will be like a little café, air conditioned with pictures on the walls.”
Delicious also undertakes catering for events. All set up in a clay theme, the catering business which was started due to high demand has also been quite successful, he said. “We’ve been to all the happening events in and out of Colombo.” A website launch is also on the cards which will enable customers to pay online for orders and delivery. A delivery service is also available and can be contacted on 0776 669669.
“We will expand. We will take junk food to wherever we can,” Neaz said.