Words Jennifer Paldano Goonewardane. | Photographs Menaka Aravinda.
Rekindling nostalgia is what Shiran and Dimuthu Peiris have been working on since taking over the reins of Chariot restaurant in 2019. It is always nostalgic to return to an old hangout as it refreshes fond memories of laughter and friendship. Chariot happens to be one such place. Since 1986, it has remained a popular venue on Galle Road in Bambalapitiya. With the festive season, Chariot has a selection of Christmas specialties for customers to enjoy.
It’s December. And there’s a lot of excitement and lively action at the revamped and rebranded Chariot outlet. Everyone’s geared to serve customers the best of Chariot’s festive cheer. In fact, despite the challenges in 2020, Chariot is riding high with a stunning portfolio of products, a blend of the old with the new. With a young couple at its helm, the transformation was meticulous, retaining only Chariot’s signature selections, and with a well thought- out portfolio of new products, Chariot offers customers a palette described as the ‘winning range’. A little drama and makeover has gone into twisting the usual into a more elaborate version to make Chariot’s winning range.
So, naturally Chariot’s festive range is also a winner, from the best- loved traditional goodies that are must haves on the festive table to refreshingly enjoyable nibbles. In fact, Chariot is geared to serve everyone’s sweet tooth, from the sweet delicacies of kisses, cookies, marshmallows, milk toffee and coconut toffee to festive favorites, such as their very own orange-flavored Turkish delight, Florentine, mince pies and Stollen to the yule log, breudher, puddings and festive cakes and since most prefer small servings, Chariot’s pieces of cake, individually wrapped, is enough to indulge one’s desire; equally ap- pealing are small portions of delightful desserts fitting for every season, and not to be missed is the signature Jaffna musket packed with an abundance of cashew nut. Change and variation are refreshing twists, like the double coated éclair, a magnificent choux pastry with all-round generous coating of chocolate filled with a creamy center of homemade custard filling, which will add to an already packed array of festive confections, and not to be missed is the fleshy chocolate bar, the Chariot Snicker gloriously loaded with milk chocolate and caramel and caramelized peanuts. The kiri appa or milk hopper with enhanced sweetness, is another Chariot first and the extraordinary bottle of seeni sambol has been served since its inception.
Chariot’s festive range is also a winner, from the best-loved traditional goodies that are must haves on the festive table to refreshingly enjoyable nibbles.
Chariot is literally laying out the festive table this Christmas with several attractive lunch and dinner menus; a delightful combination of appetizers and soups, followed by main items and desserts. Included in their festive layout are Chariot’s signature snacks and dishes, such as the Chicken Romania, a classic Chariot special, dubbed as a snack that should be eaten in your lifetime, a roll served with the chili-tamarind sauce made exclusively in-house. The mix-meat lasagna, a combination of chicken and mutton and seafood Mongolian are also Chariot classics on the festive menu. The celebratory menu is versatile, in that, customers have been given the choice of choosing from Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese and western options, with the inclusion of selected Chariot classic snacks and the perennial embodiment of Christmas – the yule log for dessert. Festive revelers can also choose add-ons such as the Christmas favorite, the roast leg of lamb and roast chicken, served with Chariot’s special gravy and mint sauce. The best-loved traditional snacks, such as the roll, the patty, the pastry, the bun and the roti in a variety of flavors and fillings, the quintessential ‘on the go’ short eats that Chariot has been known for will make ideal festive trays to be sent around as we spread the seasonal cheer among friends and neighbors. Equally amazing and one-off is the chicken franky, the seafood volauvent and the fish bun, all distinctive to Chariot, hence you cannot miss out on them. The classic Kimbula bun has never looked so good and tastier with a coating of chocolate, a Chariot forte, which definitely has given this modest bun a facelift.
As you bite into a snack from Chariot this festive season, no longer do you have to dig around for the tuna in the fish bun, the roll or the patty. There’s an abundance of it. Daily, Shiran checks on snack fillings, individually, to ensure that their commitment to quality remains consistent with zero compromise on the methods.
Shiran explained, “We bought the brand because of its nostalgic value. From a pinnacle of success from the 1980s and 1990s, Chariot had taken a beating in the recent past, despite, which it retained the appeal for certain signature food items.”
Quality standards under the new management are impeccable, where the guiding ethos is a conscious choice to offer customers only the food that they would give their young children based on hygiene, taste and nutritional value. Hence, as custom- ers choose Chariot for all their festive goodies they can be assured that the food on their plate is devoid of any artificial ingredients. And of course accompanying this creed are generous portion sizes and prompt and friend- ly service executed by a crew that brings with them years of five-star hotel experience into Chariot.
“We bought the brand because of its nostalgic value. From a pinnacle of success from the 1980s and 1990s, Chariot had taken a beating in the recent past, despite, which it retained the appeal for certain signature food items… We feed the customer only what we feed our children because we feed our children only the best.”
With soaring online orders and deliveries from their outlet in Bambalapitiya, branch expansion that has been put on hold will be executed in 2021 with five new outlets, in- creased to ten by 2022, in Colombo, a strategic decision to leverage on their strength to monitor and ensure adherence to excellence on a daily basis.
182 Galle Road
(+94) 760 980 755
Monday to Friday 7am to 9:30pm and weekends till 10pm