While the lockdown has been a blessing for a few who have enjoyed some quality time at home with loved ones, most local business owners have been struggling to get by. Not just small businesses, but this has created a range of challenges for businesses of all sizes.
A few of my favourite places, offered deliveries and while this has been great, here are a few places you definitely should visit post-lockdown.
Lifestyle – Something for your home
Pendi is a multi-brand lifestyle store, owned by Natalie Pendigrast who stocks her spacious store with sought-out homeware, wellness products and soft furnishings for customers to uncover. The best thing about Pendi? They are ALL created and carefully sourced by a wonderful selection of local artists, designers and tradesmen! What started out as a small business, Pendi has successfully evolved into a must-visit store in Colombo. The talented local designers create masterpieces exclusively for Pendi and you can choose from bath soaps to face masks, beach wraps, activity packs for the little ones, hand-dyed shawls, marble home-ware, cement items, wooden items, textile items and even batik homeware. It’s a pleasure to visit and is also an ideal gift station. Keep an eye out for the two mascots!
Pendi: 14, Philip Gunawardena Mawatha, Lakpahana compound, Colombo 07.
The art of mosaic is quite a niche market, however, Rajani Serasinghe has mastered the art of assembling small pieces of coloured glass, ceramic tiles or similar types of material transforming this into a stunning mural. A mother of three, Rajani set up a small home business last year where she has even worked on a few mosaics utilizing over 1500 tiny pieces. Her recent work includes a famous local restaurant in Colombo and some exclusive work for clients overseas. I cannot wait to see the mosaic mirror I have ordered come through with some beautiful and intricate work for our home!
Rajani Serasinghe – @mosaicd_lk
Fast food / Comfort food
Fatty Patty has been in the scene for about 8-9 months and is a small, cheery restaurant. Inspired by their mother and her talent to cook up a storm, the two brothers, Shaha and Nushki Fazal launched Fatty Patty offering a range of comfort food, burgers and short-eats. Their signature dish, the “Glamburger – Sloppy Joe” comes with their famous Fatty Patty. A quarter pounder beef patty, topped with 150g of beef chili drizzled with a secret burger sauce. The Pittu and Babath has also been a massive success along with the steak fries. They even cook up a fabulous chicken Biriyani and their roast chicken is just fantastic. What tops off all this good food is their sincere and attentive service. Fatty Patty is located in Colombo 3 alongside Schofield place, so drop in and try them out!
Fatty Patty – 662, Galle Road, Colombo 03
Chinese Food cravings
The brainchild of Aparna Wijesiriwardane and Maneesha Wijesiriwardane, Red Panda has been in the food scene for a little over a year now. It’s a cosy Chinese restaurant located down Ven Baddegama Wimalawansa Mawatha, Colombo 10 and is the perfect chilled out dinner spot to drop by with your friends. You can find some rave reviews about their best sellers – The Hot Butter Cuttle-fish, Chili chicken with cashew nuts and the sweet and sour fish. My personal favourite is the succulent chicken wings though. Red Panda initially started with their delivery service and has been quite popular via UberEats and the Panda Box is a best seller. Both Maneesha and Aparna have always loved Chinese cuisine and decided to introduce a wholesome Chinese meal for everyone. The Head Chef brings with him, over 30 years of experience and they source the finest and freshest ingredients. So the next time you crave some Chinese food, give Red Panda a try!
Red Panda – 464, Ven Baddegama Wimalawansa Mawatha, Colombo 01
There’s always room for ice cream!
The Carnival Ice cream parlour in Colpetty needs no introduction. I remember heading there after school with friends, with family after a movie and fast forward many years later, even with my work mates. (They always go for the popular flavours while I sit there with a bowl – a burst of colours. A scoop of mango & mint choc chip) But around two years ago, they rebranded and revamped their entire look and feel offering quite a few new flavours while keeping their prices at a reasonable and quite affordable range. The options are endless but the Tiramisu, salted butter caramel, Blackberry whisk, Hazelnut and the Biscotti N Cookies top the charts. The place is always buzzing and you leave the place as happy as a clam!
Carnival ice cream parlour – 263, Galle Road, Colombo 03.
By Nadia Issadeen