While rightly renowned for its stunning beaches, the scenic south Asian island of Sri Lanka also lays claim to an extraordinarily diverse landscape with breathtaking natural parks, verdant rice and tea plantations, spectacular ancient ruins and an impressive array of sacred Buddhist sites. In the nine years since the end of its bitter Civil War, development has gathered pace. Internal travel routes have been refreshed and reopened and Sri Lankan-owned boutique hospitality businesses have launched, including sophisticated eco-hotels, which provide a contemporary contrast to its colonial past.
The celebrated chef and restaurateur Mr Karam Sethi, with his siblings Mr Jyotin Sethi and Ms Sunaina Sethi, forms JKS Restaurants, which is responsible for some of the best-loved Indian restaurants in London. In addition to Trishna, Gymkhana and Brigadiers, the trend-setting restaurant group also has Hoppers on its books, a wildly popular Sri Lankan creation, born of Mr Sethi’s devotion to the heady flavours of the isle’s fragrant, spice cooking. Dishes are inspired by Sri Lanka’s rich culinary history as a melting pot of Malaysian, Portuguese, Dutch, English and Arabic influences, and further inspired by its signature roadside dining shacks. A frequent visitor to the island nation, for research and pleasure, Mr Sethi shares his tips on how to make the most of a Sri Lankan adventure.