Hoppers and sambols – moreish Sri Lankan breakfast staples – are just the start at Kurumba, a Sri Lankan restaurant and wine bar from the family behind Dulwich Hill Sri Lankan favourite, The Fold.
Kurumba will feel familiar to fans of the De Hoedts: mum Dilki oversees front of house, dad Augi heads up the kitchen and son Travin (Franca Brasserie) is general manager. Son Jason (Franca Brasserie) and Travin’s wife Saaya Takahashi (Six Penny, Sokyo, Quay) oversee the decadent pastry and cake offering.
Kurumba means young coconut in Sinhala, and the ingredient is found in many Sri Lankan dishes, from sambols to curries and desserts. The menu here might start with pan rolls filled with beef brisket; and seeni sambol puffs, where the relish of spiced caramelised onions is topped with Vannella buffalo curd. The signature dish is a WA lobster kottu with curry: housemade roti is chopped in a wok on high heat, with pan-seared lobster added on top, and served with roasted lobster head curry.
On the drinks side, Kurumba has collaborated with Newcastle’s Bread & Brewery to create a treacle beer based on Sri Lanka’s famed Lion Lager. Cocktails also incorporate Sri Lankan flavours, such as the Rumba Kurumba, where Ceylon arak joins tart calamansi citrus, young coconut water and pandan in a small coconut.
The venue spans two floors, with a 40-seat dining room upstairs and outdoor tables downstairs. Pendants, made from batik fabric custom-printed with young coconut tree leaves, cast a lovely light over the evening service. But the hopper bar, where thin Sri Lankan crepes are made six at a time, is easily the best seat in the house.
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