Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Kotuwa- A taste of Sri Lanka in Singapore

By Saturday, May 15, 2021 , , , ,

For a year, i was waiting for the most popular Sri Lankan chef Nishi Naleendra to open possibly the first Sri Lankan restaurant Kotuwa in Singapore. Circuit Breaker disrupted his plans and Kotuwa operated as a take-out only concept. When I was ready to give it a try, they stopped service while preparing to open their physical outlet at Wanderlust Hotel. Fast forward many months later, I finally got myself a table at this popular spot. 
Kotuwa is vastly different from Rishi’s first 2 ventures. While Cloudstreet and Michelin-starred Cheek Bistro draw influences from modern Australian, European and Asian, Kotuwa displays Rishi’s Sri Lankan heritage. My own experience with Sri Lankan food wasn’t spectacularly memorable; South Asian food mostly overwhelm my palate with the heavy spices and flavors. I was thus hoping that Kotuwa may change my opinion of that.
To start the meal proper, pick a carb base as your canvas to the spread of sambols, achcharu, and curries. Rice and hoppers are available here and I highly recommend the bowl-shaped fermented rice flour crepe. The crisp-edged bowls provide a touch of tang, similar to an Indian Thosai. Pick the egg one for extra textural enjoyment from the runny yolk. 

Sambol and Achcharu are similar to our local sambal chili and achar (pickled vegetables). We had the Wambatu Moju ($8) which is a Sri Lankan spiced eggplant pickled in coconut vinegar. It has a nice acidity to it and was also jammy. 
We heard the Dahl ($8), red lentils tempered with black mustard, is great with the hopper but we wanted more vegetables and went with the Gova Mallum ($12) instead. This crunchy shredded cabbage, tempered with fresh coconut and turmeric, has a light bitter overtone to it but was tasty nonetheless. 
We picked a Yellow curry of sea bass ($26) for our main dish. The curry reminded me of the zichar fish curry with a tad more acidity and richness. The crispy fillet did not disappoint. Jr thought the local one was better. 
We made the mistake of being greedy at this point and ordered the Kottu Rotti, one of Sri Lanka's famous street food. I’ve not had this in Sri Lanka when I visited so I was curious to try. Well... it was a terrible mistake. The Chicken Kottu features chopped up Rotti (think a less crispy much doughier prata) cooked with vegetables, eggs, onion, chicken and gravy. It was really quite spicy and you would feel the burn. The texture didn’t work for us either, mainly because the crunchiness was broken with chunks of soggy dough (wet tissue paper came to mind). 
Ignoring the final disappointment, I must say the flavors at Kotuwa are interesting and unique. If you’re looking for a novel experience, you should give Kotuwa a try. But be prepared for a very rich and heavy meal on the whole, even for someone like me who enjoys big flavors. The flavors are probably going to last me for a looooong time so i guess i'd probably not return again. 

2 Dickson Road Singapore 209494 
Wanderlust Hotel
Wed - Fri: 6 - 10pm 
Weekends: 11am - 4pm, 6 - 10pm

You Might Also Like