LOTI Eats | Paradise 2.0

Dom Fernando has revamped his Soho restaurant 

Opened in 2019, with a distinctive design identity, Paradise quickly established itself as a place to get standout Sri Lankan food (and somewhere that never held back on the spice), earning a Michelin Bib Gourmand to boot. Dom recently got the four-and-a-half year itch and decided to close the restaurant in May to overhaul both the interiors and the menu. With the help of Dan Preston, who designed the restaurant the first time round, the space has been refined into something more sophisticated whilst still retaining that signature brutalist aesthetic. There are plum leather banquettes running underneath the window, the original booth seating has been swapped for wooden furniture, the bar has made way for a central counter and workstation where guests can sit and drinks can be prepared. 

Eat This

There’s an a la carte offering running at lunchtimes with two six-course set menus on offer in the evenings –  Land + Sea and Veg + Plant. With these, the kitchen is showcasing a more progressive style of Sri Lankan food, mixing in the use of seasonal British produce and heritage techniques and flavours. It’s a fantastic menu, starting very strong with the snacks, Paradise’s take on Sri Lankan short eats. 

There’s the Kimbula Banis, crispy doughy cheesy spicy sweet cubes of green chilli custard, date & lime chutney and Corra Linn, and the Mas Roll, a thin pastry case filled with dry-aged steak tartare, heady with curry leaf and finished with smoked charcoal oil. You get one of each but we could happily have gone for several rounds of these. We also loved the Kiri-Hodi; flaky pollock in a rich coconut, langoustine and Riesling broth, served with a spiky coconut and apple sambol and pudding-like coconut milk rice. 

Both the desserts are winners too. A Magnum always hits the spot and Paradise’s mini white chocolate and Alphonso mango version definitely delivers. The ghee and cinnamon breudeur, a take on a festive cake of Dutch origin, not too dissimilar from a canele and not too sweet thanks to its cashew filling and Ceylon tea cream topping, is the perfect bite to finish on. 

Drink This

There’s a short collection of cocktails featuring Sri Lankan ingredients curated by head bartender Anna Krawiec in partnership with Max and Noel Venning of Three Sheets. The Mango Negroni, made with mango-infused Colombo 7 gin, waste wine vermouth and Campari is a great tropical twist on the classic. There’s also a concise wine list of natural and biodynamic bottles and you can do a wine pairing for £39 per person. 

Why Go

If you liked the old Paradise, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll like how Dom and his team have evolved the concept. If you haven’t, the restaurant is doing a take on Sri Lankan food that you won’t find anywhere else, and at £59 a head, it’s fantastic value for the experience you receive. 

61 Rupert Street, London W1D 7PW