Ever wondered what Sri Lankan and Lebanese food tastes like? Nicole gives this fusion dinner a try.
We often see Asian-Western fusion cuisine around, with that popular and cliché catchphrase: when East meets West. Here, introducing to you the next big slogan: When Southeast meets Middle East.
Sri Lankan-Lebanese fusion cuisine is one I’m sure not many have heard of or tasted. As the name suggests, it is a mix of Sri Lankan and Lebanese food. Authentic with a healthy twist, this private dining fusion cuisine is sure to tantalise your taste buds, and unleash that inner Sri Lankan and Lebanese appetite you never knew you had. A dining experience you definitely cannot miss!
When Southeast meets Middle East
Like all food, Sri Lankan and Lebanese cuisine are shaped by many historical and cultural factors.
Sri Lankan cuisine are generally influenced by neighbouring countries like India and Indonesia. Some of the essential ingredients used in this cuisine are rice, coconut, curry and (lots and lots of) spices.
On the other hand, Lebanese cuisine does not use curry powder. Instead, they use more chickpeas, parsley and lemon juice and olive oil. Some of the familiar Lebanese dishes are pita bread with hummus, and shawarma made of poultry.
Home, where the Heart and Stomach is
I started to miss the (Sri Lankan) food, then I thought, ‘Why not start cooking and learn?’ So I used to call my mum and ask her to send me recipes.– Dyllon
The masterminds behind the debut of this fusion cuisine are Chef Dyllon and Chef Mourad, both of whom are expats living in Malaysia. Being far away from home, I can only imagine how much these expats must miss “home food”.
Chef Dyllon might be known to some through his Sri Lankan private dining experience, which has been available for several years on different platforms, including LokaLocal. His close friend, Chef Mourad, also has a similar story when it comes to how he started cooking Lebanese dishes.
We both love cooking, many times I cook and he tastes, then he cooks and I taste; we give each other feedback always. One day the thought just came: ‘What if we mix both cuisines together?’– Dyllon
This fusion was a pure accident. Who knew Sri Lankan cuisine can pair well with Lebanese cuisine? Because these are totally different taste: Sri Lankan use curry powder, a lot! And Lebanese do not use that at all, but we use olive oil.–Mourad
When asked how exactly this “accident” came about, it goes back to how they became friends: they live in the same condo! After knowing each other for a while, along with several alternating food tasting visits, they started Ceylon2U. Along with company partner Jae (who also lives in the same condo) they aim to promote a quality, natural and organic lifestyle.
With a healthy twist
“Organic, less oil and healthy food” is the principle of Chef Dyllon and Chef Mourad’s cooking in this Sri Lankan-Lebanese dinner. Their menu includes:
- Chef Dyllon’s signature pol (coconut) roti
- Sri Lankan mutton
- Fish or vegetarian sambal
- Chickpeas that burst in flavours
- Sautéed eggplants
- Organic shawarma chicken
- Hummus, entirely hand-pounded
We only use antibiotic-free, organic meat. And the hummus is entirely hand-pounded, from the base to the chickpeas, with only the premium extra virgin olive oil and Himalayan sea salt.– Mourad
As Sri Lankans and Lebanese generally eat with their hands, I too stayed true to their culture when I went for this dining experience. And what surprised me was, my hands were not greasy after the meal! (unlike the times I ate McDAyam Goreng or roti canai at the mamak) This shows how dedicated and devoted Chef Dyllon and Chef Mourad are in healthy living, and how an absolute feast can also be guilt-free.
For the love of Food
After debuting this private dining experience, Chef Dyllon and Chef Muhad, together with Ceylon2u partner Jae, are making plans for office and event catering.
Food is a good way to bond people as we connect better through food. Many people (in the office) nowadays connect through digital media like texts, emails and social media apps. Therefore meals would be a great opportunity for real world social connection. And we aim to connect people through healthy eating.– Jae
“We use spices from Sri Lanka and Lebanon. All our spices are fresh from the earth and have not undergone any chemical processing. I fly to Sri Lanka and bring them back myself. We cook with the best of the best ingredients, and keep it at an affordable price for everyone.”– Dyllon
I was privileged to be the first to take on this fun and eye-opening experience. Through this private dining, I’ve learnt so much more about Sri Lanka and Lebanon. My cultural knowledge has broadened just as my waistline expands, and I’m not complaining.
I was invited to watch Chef Dyllon and Chef Mourad prepare this meal. They are really fun to be around as they are so entertaining in their own way. Besides the aroma of delicious food, jokes and laughter filled the kitchen.
If your New Year resolution list has “Try something new” in it, this Sri Lankan-Lebanese private dining can be the experience that checks that off the list!
This Sri Lankan-Lebanese supper party launches on 1 January 2019 at RM99 per pax. Held in a private residence, it is great for up to 6 friends. Join this exciting and fulfilling dining experience!