Sri Lankan food review: Kotuwa at Wanderlust Hotel, 2 Dickson Rd Singapore 209494

First up - this Sri Lankan restaurant by Chef Rishi called Kotuwa at Wanderlust Hotel is fully booked for the next few months. So this blog post is probably not very helpful for you in going here for dinner. However, I do quite like the food and my dining experience, which is why I'm still going to write about it. Also because Sri Lankan food is not something that you will find commonly in Singapore. Having visited Sri Lanka before (ah when travel used to be possible!), I do find their cuisine rather intriguing because it can be a mish-mash of the region's cuisines like India, but it is different in some ways. Kinda like Australian cuisine. The restaurant is nicely sized by the way just adjacent to the hotel's wonderful smelling lobby. 

The decor's a sight for sore eyes (yearning for travel!). 

The dark, lush surroundings with a bit of that colonial chic is very on point. 

Here's their drink menu. A surprisingly large selection of wines from Europe, which is welcome. 

They also serve wine by th glass, ranging about $18-22 for one, or beer for $12. 

I was given a choice of 6 cocktails as well, which is more interesting in my opinion since they utilised Sri Lankan influences like Arrack and Coconut. I had the "Negroni" variant, the Udaya Devi (S$26).

Quite a stiff drink, but well-balanced so nothing sticks out!

Then on to the food! In contrast to their wine menu this one-pager was a bit of a contrast. Perhaps intentionally kept small by chef, seeing how most people won't know how to choose with a larger menu.

We had the Lychee Achcharu (S$8) which saw lychee pickled in mustard, apple cider and chillies. I think we are all familiar with the Southeast Asian achar, so this was a variant that tasted familiar using a fruit we wouldn't have come across. It was sour and spicy and all sorts of appetising. 4/5

Then we also tried the Gova Mallum (S$12) which was shredded cabbage tempered with fresh coconut and turmeric. Very flavourful and acted as a salad for our meal. However it got a bit tiresome after a while. So it was just alright. 3/5

We each also had one of their famous Egg Hoppers (S$6) so we could dip it in some of the Dhal (S$8) which had red lentils with black mustard. Very simple but delicious dip 4/5 perfect with the hopper which is a must-try! 4.5/5.

Our main protein dish was the Yellow curry of sea bass (S$26) which was in a deep coconut gravy. Even though the gravy was great, unfortunately I am not such a big fan of the fish. It had a very heavy mouthfeel and was a bit dry/hard despite all the gravy. So maybe skip it and try the mud crab instead which I heard good reviews for! 3/5

After all that I got a second plain hopper to share, just so we could finish up the various dishes!

Dessert was a watalappam tart (S$16) with coconut custard with jaggery, pistachio, candied orange and spices. This was fun but a bit too sweet for my friend. I don't recall having such a dish in Sri Lanka, as well, haha. 

Overall Kotuwa was an interesting culinary journey with the exotic flavours of Sri Lanka and South Asia, transformed and elevated by Chef and his team into what we could enjoy. It's no wonder word got out and everyone wanted to try, so if you are interested.. plan ahead and wait for it. Don't raise your expectations too highly - its not fine dining or anything - but it is worth the try.

🙅 Thank you, next
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Wanderlust Hotel, 2 Dickson Rd, Singapore 209494
Wednesdays to Sundays 6pm-10pm, Saturdays and Sundays 11am-4pm
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Reserve on (1-2 months in advance)

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