Located at: 375 R. A. de Mel Mawatha, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka
Visited on: 16 Feb, 2018
I was somewhat intrigued by the name of this place. ‘Plunkett’ and ‘Posh’ are not quite the sort of name and adjective one would associate with ‘Kottu’. So, I decided to give it a shot. It was a take-away meal from the cosy and contemporary outlet on the bustling street. We decided to try the Rosemary infused, oven roasted chicken, tomato and coriander (LKR 800) kottu and the Malabar prawn, kaffir lime (LKR 990) kottu. The spice level for the former is described as “For those trying to be Sri Lankan” – one flame, whereas for the latter it is “For Sri Lankan” – two flames. However, the majority of their kottus are said to have a spice level of “For real Sri Lankan” – three flames. We didn’t feel brave enough to wander into that territory. What I noticed later on, though, is that although the menu says that their kottu comes with “home-made spiced coleslaw” and their “signature harissa” – a hot chilli pepper paste, the harissa had not been included in our takeaway package. Pity.
The packaging itself was quite, well, ‘posh’. The sort of take-away boxes you see in the movies – chopsticks and all. Which was refreshing to see. As was the tastefully done menu card. However, it wasn’t as refreshing to see the contents. The portion sizes looked somewhat small. I was told when placing the order that it is a per-person portion, but it looked smaller in the box – although better when plated out. I must say it didn’t look as mouth-wateringly appealing as I anticipated. Contrary to the fancy packaging, the contents looked rather average. The taste didn’t veer off beyond average either. Perhaps the missing harissa – or some sort of gravy – would have made a difference?
One expects a substantial amount of flavour in a kottu, which was not the case with either of our choices. I also didn’t feel any spiciness, despite the mention on the menu. Nor did I get any herby notes of rosemary in the chicken kottu. The Malabar prawn kottu did have several decent sized prawns and a more seafood-y flavour. But overall, I was unimpressed (as were my co-consumers, one of whom commented that it was on the verge of bland). The spiced coleslaw didn’t impress either. In fact, I’m not sure it’s the best match for a kottu. I understand what Plunkett is going after – to put a touch of contemporary ‘posh’ in what is deemed as the ultimate Sri Lankan street food. Yet, based on this particular meal, I felt like they were missing the plot a bit. The coleslaw felt out-of-sync. And the kottu itself could use a substantial amount of punch. So, were my expectations too high or were they having an off-day? If we do decide to go for a second round and find out, I sincerely hope that Plunkett would prove it to be the latter. For I truly believe that there is vast potential for a place of this sort.
Yummy Rating: 3.0 / 5.0