Located at: The t-Lounge by Dilmah, Chatham Street, Colombo 01, Sri Lanka
Visited on: 08 Feb, 2018
Tea-inspired Valentine’s with Peter Kuruvita was held at Dilmah’s t-Lounge on Chatham Street in preparation for their celebration of the upcoming Valentine’s Day – as the name gives away. It was a two-hour private event where attendees could taste four of our very own celebrity chef Peter Kuruvita’s special creations for the evening with a meet-and-greet with the man himself. Of course, as with every recipe he creates for the t-Lounges, these were also tea-inspired and infused with different kinds of tea. There were two savoury dishes, followed by two sweet dishes, with a cup of green tea to cleanse the palate in between. I’m putting up an image of the detailed menu herewith for the enthusiast’s perusal.
The savoury menu comprised Supreme Ceylon Smoked Salmon Tostadas and Ceylon Green Tea Onigiri with Lagoon Prawns. The onigiri was absolutely delicious! My favourite dish of the evening, hands down. The infusion of the green tea and kombu into the sushi rice with the onigiri being flamed prior to serving gave it a lovely warm, earth-y feeling that gave way to a soft tone on the palate. The jumbo, succulent Negombo prawns lifted the texture with their scrumptious crunch, and – just as the chef warned in his introduction – the Kewpie mayonnaise was something of its own. Such a perfect combination. My taste buds were screaming, “Encore! Encore!”. (But alas, that was not meant to be!)
Not to underestimate the tostada of course. Once again, there was a rich earthiness that came from the infusion of tea that you couldn’t miss. Together with a sweet-tang from the seasoned veggie elements on top and a bit of heat from the chilli, this made for an interesting pop of flavours on the beautifully crispy tostada. Cinnamon wood had been used for smoking the salmon instead of Mesquite wood chips (as mentioned on the menu), is what we were told.
The sweet dishes were a Spiced Chai Caramel Mousse and Ceylon Cinnamon Doughnuts with Earl Grey Tea Anglaise and Pecans. Layers of tastes and textures was what the mousse was about. In fact, “mousse” is a very understated term for the complex dessert that was placed in front of us. Starting with the slight tanginess of the strawberry purée on top – with a bit of chocolate several ways to decorate, on to the earthy, spicy mousse that glided along the tongue, and finally the crunchy chocolate crumb at the bottom, it was an adventure of sorts for the palate. And a filling one too!
If I were to pick a favourite between the two sweets, however, I would go for the doughnut – which wasn’t essentially a “doughnut” per se, but had more of a profiterole feel and look to it. Regardless of how it looked, it tasted great! A soft warmth in the texture, with the light creaminess of the puffy anglaise, and the rustic flavours of cinnamon and infused Earl Grey coming through – it was lovely. Comfort food, and a little beyond.
And as if the opportunity to taste Peter Kuruvita’s culinary creations in his very presence wasn’t good enough, the fact that the celebrity chef came across as very down-to-earth, and made warm and frank conversation with his guests was a rather pleasant bonus. All in all, a fabulous and memorable evening.