Celebrated Restaurant Nihonbashi Now Open at Port City Colombo
Celebrated Restaurant Nihonbashi Now Open at Port City Colombo

Celebrated Chef Dharshan Munidasa's esteemed Japanese culinary destination transitions to Port City Colombo amidst a splendid inauguration. Accompanied by His Excellency President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the ceremonial ribbon cutting signified the restaurant's official debut.

Since its inception in 1995 at Galle Face Terrace, Nihonbashi has been a pioneering force in the Japanese culinary landscape of Sri Lanka for nearly three decades, embodying an esteemed mastery of washoku. With its name translating to 'Japan-Bridge,' the restaurant's mission is to forge a cultural connection between Sri Lanka and Japan through authentic Japanese cuisine. This commitment led Nihonbashi to consecutively feature on 'Asia's 50 Best Restaurants' list from 2013 to 2018, a notable achievement that marked it as the first Sri Lankan restaurant to receive such a prestigious recognition. As a trailblazer in popularizing Japanese gastronomy, Nihonbashi has inspired other renowned establishments such as Ministry of Crab, Kaema Sutra, and Carne Diem Grill, all reflecting the influence of Japanese culinary traditions.

Acknowledged for his steadfast dedication to upholding the essence of washoku, Chef Dharshan was bestowed with ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays,’ a distinguished award by the Japanese Government. As Nihonbashi enters a new chapter by relocating to Port City Colombo, an innovative urban development endeavor set to redefine lifestyle norms and stimulate global investments, its narrative unfolds. Nestled as the gateway to South Asia, the city embodies a vibrant fusion of services and opportunities, symbolizing a dynamic landscape primed for growth and progress.

Committed to emphasizing local sourcing, Nihonbashi proudly prioritizes ingredients from nearby markets, reserving imports solely for exceptional items unavailable within Sri Lanka. At its new establishment in Port City Colombo, Chef Dharshan upholds this principle diligently by giving precedence to local resources and sustainable sourcing methods. Reflecting on the meticulous design process, Dharshan describes his pursuit of ingredients as akin to a culinary exploration, as he scoured quarries and bamboo forests to craft this Japanese-inspired locale. Each element, from stone to grain of sand, bamboo shoot to timber piece, was thoughtfully chosen to embody the essence of ‘Wa’ – a Japanese design ethos synonymous with finding perfection within imperfection, encapsulated by the concept of Wabi-Sabi.

The restaurant's ambiance showcases eight private dining rooms that seamlessly fuse Japanese tatami and Western seating styles, such as Chikurin (Bamboo Forest), Bonsai, Ikebana, Samurai, Whiskey, Wine, Sake room, and Tachinomi Bar, paying tribute to Dharshan's Japanese heritage. Notable features include an outdoor bar and what may perhaps be the world's largest Yakitori Grill. Chef Dharshan emphasizes, ‘This restaurant is truly unparalleled worldwide, even in Japan. Our distinctive approach of conceptualizing the menu before designing the kitchen, along with our predominant use of Sri Lankan materials, sets us apart.’ - Chef Dharshan Munidasa, the creative force behind Nihonbashi and Ministry of Crab.

The carefully curated menu blends traditional and contemporary Japanese fare, offering a wide selection ranging from A5 Japanese Wagyu, Sushi, Sashimi, Tempura, Teriyaki, and Nabe to an assortment of yakitori choices, complemented by Dharshan’s signature dishes such as Olive Oil Kake Tai Cha, Foie Gras No Teriyaki, Karapincha Tempura, and Tensabi Temaki. Positioned in Port City Colombo, Nihonbashi is poised to elevate the local dining scene, acting as a nucleus for global collaborations with renowned chefs and mixologists worldwide to craft unforgettable culinary experiences for both local patrons and visitors exploring Colombo.

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