Ice cream usually comes after the main course, but at Rambutan …it’ll be coming several months earlier.
That is to say that, in advance of the October opening of Sri Lankan restaurant Rambutan in Borough Market, we’re getting a pop up called Rambutan Ice. It’s spending the summer selling all manner of exotic, Sri-Lankan inspired soft-serve flavours, ranging from kithul made with jaggery syrup & cashew nuts; to spiced Ceylon tea with Milo & banana; to alphonso mango (they’re the best mangos); and coconut & toasted rice.
Then, come the cooler weather, we’ll get the main event: a restaurant from chef Cynthia Shanmugalingam, who was born in the UK to Sri Lankan parents. Here she’ll be exploring her roots with a Sri Lankan restaurant that, in classic British style, plucks bits and bobs from other national cuisines, too.
You’ll find it down on Stoney Street, right next to BAO Borough & Elliot’s, in a spot that used to be a bakery with room for roughly a dozen people on stools. Somehow when it’s finished it’ll be a two floor sleeve with room for 60 curry-lusted diners.
Speaking of, the menu will involve all manner of curries, from green mango curry, to black coconut pineapple curry, to cashew nut curry, to a clay-pot turmeric and & mackerel curry. But it’ll diverge from the more orthodox Sri Lankan spots in the willingness to substitute ingredients and techniques taken from the global buffet at the doorstep. African plantains, brioche dough, and more will all feature. And the recipes have been thoughouly road tested as part of her forthcoming cookbook (also called Rambutan) which is just hitting shelves now.
Oh, and as for what a rambutan is? It’s a small red fruit, a little like a lychee, that looks like the sock burr from hell and tastes sweetly grape-like. Supposedly, it’s quite good for you, and in Malay, the word means ‘hairy fruit’…
…so it ought to keep you looking trim.
NOTE: Rambutan is set to open in October, but Rambutan Ice is open now. You can find out more at Rambutan’s Insta.
Rambutan | 10 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD
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