First solo exhibition of Kanesh Thabendran in Colombo: Themed on post-war nation and people
Visual artist Kanesh Thabendran’s first solo exhibition, “Unspoken,” is currently being held at the contemporary art gallery Saskia Fernando Gallery (41 Horton Pl, Colombo) in Colombo 07. Thavendran has roots in the northern part of Sri Lanka, once a fierce battleground during the Sri Lankan Civil War. After graduating from the University of Jaffna with a bachelor’s degree in art and design, he pursued his vision of wanting to create personal narratives that resonate with people affected by the war in the north. He has previously exhibited his work in various group exhibitions both within Sri Lanka and internationally, including the Colombo Art Biennale. Thabendran engages in creating artworks using a combination of photography, digital manipulation, photo-cutting, and collage techniques. Cutting out of photographs helps him come to terms with his reality. Many of his works revolve around the struggles faced by his family during and after the war as they tried to safeguard their household items and cope with the sense of loss. He uses the photo-cutting technique involving old photographs to excavate his memories from a bygone time, trying to envision a life that he could have experienced had the war not affected his life. The exhibition “Unspoken” focuses on the changing political, social, and economic landscape since the end of the Civil War and the impact that the state intervention has had on the lives of the people in the north. Through his artworks, Thabendran attempts to provide an objective understanding of the relationship between the state and the people in the conflicted affected regions of Sri Lanka. The exhibition is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. until October 30. Closed on Sundays.
Arabic cuisine restaurant opens in Colombo’s Kollupitiya, also Middle Eastern sweets
On September 22, the Arabic restaurant Lebanan Chef Arabic Food (56 Galle Road, Colombo 03) opened in Kollupitiya, Colombo. The restaurant offers a variety of halal dishes from Arabic countries, with a focus on Lebanese cuisine, prepared by chefs from Lebanon and Egypt. The interior features a white and beige color scheme, adorned with Islamic architectural elements such as “Mashrabiya” on windows and ceilings. The restaurant provides seating for 4 and 8 people at tables, as well as terrace seating and a private room. The food menu includes herb-flavored spicy potato Batata Harrah (Rs. 820), Freekeh with Beef Shank (Rs. 1,980), Spicy Fish Beiruti (Rs. 3,000), Quinoa Tabbouleh (Rs. 1,050), Shish Tawook (Rs. 2,000), Meat Saudi Kabsa (Rs. 2,500), and Chicken with Bukhari Rice (Rs. 1,800). They also offer light meals such as Shawarma sandwiches, sandwiches with Turkish-style sausages Sujuk, hamburgers, and submarine sandwiches. For dessert, they have Middle Eastern sweets such as Kunafa and Namoura with almonds, along with Western desserts such as mango tart, chocolate mousse with raspberry, and mille-feuille. They also serve shisha. Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (until 11:30 p.m. on Fridays through Sundays).
Biryani specialty restaurant in Colombo suburb reopens, featuring rice with fried whole chicken
On September 24, the biryani specialty restaurant Pepper Colombo (550 Pita Kotte Road, Thalawathugoda 10116) reopened its business. In 2021, photographer and owner Prasanna IIroshan felt the desire to provide biryani to people who could not go out due to the pandemic. He initially started offering biryani by delivery, and three months later, he invited an Indian chef with 14 years of experience from the Mount Lavinia Hotel to join and opened a physical storefront in Thalawathugoda on the outskirts of Colombo. In 2022, due to the economic crisis and fuel shortage, the restaurant temporarily closed. The restaurant extensively uses solid wood and natural materials in its design. The roof, resembling a mushroom cap, is crafted with thatch, creating a calm ambiance with soft lighting. The menu primarily focuses on Indian biryani dishes, including Chicken Biryani (serving 4 for 2,000 rupees, serving 6 for 2,800 rupees), Biryani with Four Chicken Thighs (serving 4 for 7,200 rupees), Seafood Biryani, Mutton Biryani, and more. They also serve Kottu with half a chicken, BBQ Chicken, and Roast Chicken Masala. For fried rice, customers can choose between half a roasted chicken or fried whole chicken. Opening hours: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Delivery and takeout are also available.
Bakery Paan Paan opens 6th outlet in Colombo 02, featuring a Sandwich Bar
Two months have passed since the bakery Paan Paan (No. 35, Staples Street, Colombo 02) opened its sixth outlet on Staples Street in Colombo 02. Lanka Premier Foods operates the business. The company began in 2012 as a store offering Health Bread and White Bread. With the idea that “food is the best means to prevent health issues,” it produces and sells health-conscious bread without preservatives or flavor enhancers. The company has been expanding its “Paan Paan” bakery chain primarily in Colombo city, and the new outlet on Staples Street, which opened on August 2, is its sixth. The interior, designed by an Italian architect, features a design based on off-white tones and makes generous use of natural wood. In addition to the sales area, it has a dine-in space consisting of table seating, counter seating, and sidewalk terrace seating, with a total of 18 seats. There is also a sandwich bar where customers can customize sandwiches to suit their tastes. It plans to open a café and lounge on the second floor at the end of the year. The product lineup includes Multi Seed Bread (Rs. 600), Atta Flour Chapatis (Rs. 460), Sour Dough Bread with Sunflower Seeds (Rs. 550), French Baguette (Rs. 300), Garlic Bread (Rs. 380), and Traditional Sri Lankan Roast Bread (Rs. 100). It also offers savory and sweet items, including patties with various fillings, beef pies, spicy tuna buns, chocolate croissants, éclairs, coffee cream donuts, almond tarts, and more. The dine-in menu features submarine sandwiches, chapati wraps, cheese melt, and tandoori burgers, to name a few. Opening hours: 6:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Paan Paan offers delivery services.