Michelin-starred Aliyaa Island Restaurant and Bar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is on an India tour to showcase its speciality Sri Lankan cuisine, in collaboration with Chef Siva Suppaiya. The festival at Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel culminates at Ritz Carlton in Bengaluru.
Chef Siva hails from the tea estates of Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka and discovered his love for cooking while quite young. Siva says, “I used to love assisting my mother and grandmother in the kitchen. When I took up hotel management, I opted to be a chef in the final year of my culinary training. Having worked in different hotels, I would often whip up Sri Lankan dishes and gradually that became my identity.”
Chef Siva’s expertise in Sri Lankan cuisine not only earned him recognition in the industry but also a Michelin star for Aliyaa. One of the chef’s signature dishes is the Jaffna crab curry, marked by the spice combination he uses.
Talking about why Srilankan cuisine has its own strong fan base, he says, “It is the ingredients; we only use spices and rice from Sri Lanka. Also, we rely on fresh coconut milk for flavours. At Aliyaa, I have been fortunate enough to work with Parvathy Kantahsamy — fondly referred to as Amma — to develop the special menu there.”
Parvathy hails from Kanumalamunai and is the culinary advisor who is responsible for maintaining the authenticity and flavour profile of every Sri Lankan dish at Aliyaa.
Chef Siva will be showcasing fish cutlet, Amma’s lentil rasam, mutton varuval, isso badum, sambol, and Aliyaa’s signature wattalapam, as well as iddiyappam among a few more.
With his menu being curry-driven, Chef Siva is looking forward to the diners’ response. “Jafna’s food is very indigenous; Colombo has a lot of modern influence, so most dishes miss out on authentic flavours. As I want diners to experience authentic and good food, I have made sure to carry all the basic ingredients like spice powders and rice. We take a lot of pride in the use of our ingredients.”
The two-day pop-up dinner (April 28 and 29) is from 7pm to 11pm at Zega restaurant in Sheraton Hyderabad, has a set menu priced at ₹2675 (veg) and 2975 ₹(non veg) .