To fans of The Fold in Dulwich Hill – we’re sorry. And for those who missed it, the much-loved Sri Lankan cafe on New Canterbury Road announced yesterday it will be closing for good after its final service on Friday July 14.
The silver lining? The family behind it are opening a sequel in Surry Hills in August. Named after the Sinhalese word for baby coconut, Kurumba will channel everything we love about The Fold (including its excellent egg hoppers) into a bar and restaurant on Crown Street.
“Getting into the restaurant scene has always been on the cards for us. That was the ultimate goal,” says Travin De Hoedt, who will manage Kurumba in tandem with his duties as executive pastry chef at Andrew Becher’s high-end diners Franca, Parlar and Armorica Grand Brasserie.
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He says the family – which includes Travin’s father Augustus (executive chef), mother Dilki (front of house), partner Saaya and brother Jason (both pastry chefs) – had been hunting for a space for almost two years.
“We did have plans to keep The Fold and open up Kurumba as well. But it’s a bit hard for us to be in two places. And we didn’t want the quality to drop.”
At Kurumba, head chef Augustus “Augi” De Hoedt’s dishes will draw on the family’s Sri Lankan and Dutch heritage. Travin says the signature is kottu – a street food dish of hand-chopped roti, curry and egg – but with the contemporary twist of lobster and fermented chilli oil.
“In a nutshell, we’re taking a lot of inspiration from Sri Lankan street food culture … things we used to eat when we’d go on holiday as kids.”
Another major drawcard will be a dedicated hopper bar where you can watch the thin, delicate egg cups being made before you cram them with curry and sambol – just like in Sri Lanka.
This being a bar as well as a restaurant, Sri Lankan spirits including Colombo Seven Gin and arrack (a distilled spirit commonly found on the subcontinent) will inform the cocktail list. The De Hoedts have also teamed up with NSW brewery Bread & Brewery to create an exclusive beer for the venue. It’ll be a riff on Sri Lanka’s national lager Lion – but made with treacle, a staple of the country’s cuisine.
If you need to say goodbye to The Fold – or maybe get a taste of what to expect at Kurumba – Travin says there are still a few dinner spots left between now and Friday. Otherwise, the restaurant’s final service is booked out.
Kurumba is due to open at 555 Crown Street, Surry Hills in August.