Dyllon's Kitchen, Dutamas Raya

January 15, 2019

Dyllon's Kitchen celebrates how the comfort of cooking can bring people closer together, crossing countries and cultures. Sri Lankan native Dyllon Ekanayake and his Malaysian wife Bibi welcome potential new friends to their beautiful home for meals that promise a nourishing introduction to the robust cuisine of Dyllon's birth nation; if you're seeking a refreshing change from restaurant excursions, this private kitchen experience is both deliciously and distinctively memorable.

Dyllon, a former deejay, discovered a passion and prowess for the culinary arts eight years ago, when he began feeling homesick for his homeland's cuisine after moving to Malaysia. Researching his mother's classic recipes, he embarked on efforts to recreate them in KL, which led him to found this supper club to acquaint more people with Sri Lankan traditional fare; he and Bibi have since served everyone from Malaysians to travellers from Lithuania and beyond. Thankfully, Bibi has a natural talent for food too, hailing originally from Kelantan, a state whose people also cherish their time-honoured specialities.

Dyllon's Kitchen offers dinner by reservation, the culmination of hours of preparation ahead of the evening. Produce is freshly purchased and prepared during the day, with the menu reliant on what's best available. Dyllon draws from a repertoire of dozens of dishes, so each encounter here could be entirely different; when we visited, our meal kicked off with coconut-laced pol roti coupled with katta sambol, plus boiled tapioca with chicken jus, and crunchy sardine cutlets speckled with potatoes.

Dyllon is meticulous about authenticity; he returns to Colombo every couple of months, bringing back to Malaysia much of the ingredients necessary to replicate the genuine flavours and textures of Sri Lanka. The katta sambol, for example, contains Maldive fish, a cured tuna with an unmistakable potency that's not typically sold in Malaysia, while the sardine cutlets are brightened with a blend of spices such as cardamom that Dyllon also sources from Sri Lanka, since their specific nuances are unlike their Malaysian counterparts. Black tea tinged with cinnamon is the perfect accompaniment.

Dyllon also abides by Ayurvedic principles for his cooking, which stands out for being purposefully wholesome. Salt is sparingly used, oil is carefully chosen, MSG is shunned; free-range chicken and organic vegetables are emphasised, mindfully prepared with a respect for balance and health, cleaned and cooked purely with alkaline water. The process is painstaking, but Dyllon believes the benefits merit the cost; he's a thriving testament to his own cooking, looking a full decade younger than his years.

For guests unfamiliar with Sri Lankan's culinary spectrum, a meal here is a revelation, showcasing contrasts with the heritage of South Asian neighbours like India that Malaysians know more intimately. The complexities of chicken and mutton curries are buoyantly uplifting, with clean-flavoured spices complementing slow-cooked meat, evoking the loving taste of home, rich with coriander and cumin. Throughout each course, Dyllon explains how they're concocted, ensuring we leave with a better understanding of Sri Lankan gastronomy; for these alluringly aromatic curries, homemade sun-dried curry powders are utilised, with roasted powder the ideal match for the depth of meat, while milder unroasted powder is preferred for fish and vegetables.

Portions are fulfilling; our curries, their lingering heat paired with fluffy Kashmiri basmati rice, were rounded out by a trifecta of side plates, each winning in their own way, from compellingly creamy pumpkin to crisp, turmeric-tossed bitter gourd strings to lightly tangy claypot-cooked eggplant moju. Amazingly, this hearty feast completely satisfied us without making us sluggish.

A simple ice cream is made extra enjoyable with Sri Lanka's treasured kithul treacle, a palm syrup with captivating smoky notes. The hours flew by for this meal, with Dyllon engaging us with warm personal conversations that both enlightened and entertained. Dyllon and Bibi are the perfect hosts, ensuring that even strangers feel comfortably at home.

Dyllon's Kitchen can be conveniently booked through three methods:
A. On social media through https://www.instagram.com/dyllonskitchen.x.ceylon2u - Dyllon can also be contacted at +6013-300-39999
B. On PlateCulture at https://plateculture.com/where-to-eat/dyllons-kitchen-est
C. On Lokalocal at https://www.lokalocal.com/tour/2895/sri-lankan-private-dining-with-a-healthy-twist

Many thanks to Dyllon and Bibi for having us here.

Dyllon's Kitchen is at an apartment in Dutamas Raya, a short drive from areas like Mont Kiara and Segambut. Dyllon also runs a Sri Lankan and Lebanese fusion kitchen once a week with a Lebanese home chef.

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