Hotal Colombo celebrates the colourful, vibrant food and culture of Sri Lanka. A gathering place to kick back and unwind, the everyday canteen is inspired by the egalitarian eateries that spill onto the streets all over Colombo. Often these canteens are called hotels, or hotals (the phonetic spelling of the local pronunciation), despite not offering any rooms for boarding. The vast majority of guests will never stay at what most of us define as a hotel, but at the hotals, everyone is welcome.
Chef Gisela Alesbrook (Gizzy), a Sri Lankan native, showcases the underrepresented cuisine with a deep nostalgia and fondness for the food she grew up cooking and eating. Her raw talent and local expertise shine as she instils all her love and admiration for Sri Lanka into the seafood-focused menu. Happiest in the kitchen, Gizzy’s cooking is influenced by fond memories of gathering with friends at tiny roadside shacks after evenings out, sharing kothu served on large platters and freshly-cracked crabs, prepared to order. Her work is an expression of the inclusive culture of Sri Lanka, where people show their love by feeding others.