A dish at Chapter One is one that has mixed and matched many cooking traditions and ingredients to offer a culinary experience that boasts unique and distinct flavours.
Words Jennifer Paldano Gunawardena | Photographs Menaka Aravinda
Flavours of the East and the West are served in unison at Chapter One with fruity flavours and zesty tastes, creating delightfully exclusive dishes. Herbs, wines and sauces create the best toppings, marinates and blends for any kind of salad or deep fried or cooked dish.
The ambience that prominently radiates through the surrounding landscape of the main restaurant, is relaxed hospitality. Situated beside Parliament Road, Chapter One is an oasis with its large lawn and open restaurant that provides glimpses of the Diyawanna Oya. Simple and softly decorated interiors provide the ideal setting for a relaxed time of dining in the midst of the rush outside. The lawn is blissful at dusk, as visitors are stroked by the gentle breeze and the surrounding is illumined delicately by lamps and candles. Music in the background adds energy to the relaxed setting.
The starters and appetizers are fittingly titbits, the first step of a globally influenced multi-cultural culinary journey. At Chapter One, the long tale of fusing flavours and aromas results in Italian cuisine inspired raviolis, spaghetti and even Sri Lankan styled pasta. They serve vegetarian delights with a fine selection of salads, wraps, crepes, tortillas, spring rolls, quiche and rice, inspired by Mexican, Indian, Spanish and Japanese cuisine. The New Asian Cuisine section plays with Indonesian, Indian, Japanese and Thai flavours. While the gusto of Chinese food can be guzzled in the sizzling dishes, the Fusion Selection is definitely ‘funky’ and unorthodox. Barbecue on Friday, Sunday brunch and evenings filled with jazz music is some of the excitement accompanying the adventurous cooking. The tempered Calamari Rings and Signature Negombo Black Pork curry are delectable dishes. The meat dishes of crab curry, tempered prawns, peppered pickle beef and home-made chicken curry from the Contemporary Sri Lankan selection are highly recommended.
Their tea inspired cuisine too might prove to be quite a thrilling experiment for foodies where flavoured green tea, honey and earl grey tea, mint and cinnamon tea is combined with marinates and dressings for salads, grills and noissettes.
“While we have a wide range of dishes on the menu, we go the extra mile to satisfy the customer by accommodating requests for a dish to be prepared differently or with a different blend of ingredients. The family is at the heart of our operations. And what matters most to the guest who walk into Chapter One is to feel comfortable, after all the food comes later,” says Executive Chef Tyrell Wasalathanthrie, who graciously showed off the many action stations meticulously located, which included the open kitchen, the bakery, the salad corner, the butchery and the beverage bar.
The spacious garden in front can accommodate up to 150 guests. Up to 60 guests can be seated on the ground floor and 75 on the upper floor at any given time. The room overlooking the lake, reserved for private dining, is ideal for a group of 20, while the upper floor can be reserved for parties. Café One, located outside the main restaurant is the ideal spot to unwind or catch up with a friend over something savoury, sweet and a hot cuppa.
Chapter One creates its own style of dishes; a culinary art unleashed deftly to flatter one’s sense of taste.