Colombo Telegraph

Floor By GO (4 Minus 1 Is 3)

By Udan Fernando –

The foodie in me often takes me to places where people meet, chat, drink and eat. One of those hip places is ‘Floor by O’, a bar-restaurant located down Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7. ‘Floor by O’ offers some 1,000 cocktails as well as a variety of bites, some of which are slightly political. One such bite is ‘Grease Yakaa‘, an extra-devilled dish served with your choice of meat. 

There’s another Floor in Colombo which offers a different culinary experience: the Fourth Floor.  You cannot get in on your own reservation, though. Instead, the experience is only offered by invitation. The Fourth Floor is known for its gourmet cuisine of which the standard is consistently maintained irrespective of the changing regimes and Chefs.

Former Beauty Queen and Sri Lanka’s pride in Bollywood, Jacqueline Fernandez will fly in this weekend to Colombo for the opening of her restaurant, ‘Kaema Sutra‘ on the ground floor of the Independence Arcade. ‘Kaema Sutra‘ is a collaboration between the Beauty and the Chef, Darshan.   Jacqueline will take a few days off her super busy schedule in the wake of  the upcoming release ‘Kick’ where she has been paired opposite Bollywood superstar Salman Khan. Jacqueline told a Bollywood news website about ‘Kaema Sutra‘:  “The place is quaint with a homely vibe. A few items on the menu are from my grandmother’s recipe book. I have fond memories of her kitchen.”

But the Beauty seems to face another formidable competitor in the culinary business – ‘The Third Floor’, a new restaurant to be opened shortly. The National NGO Secretariat functioning under the Ministry of Defense is located on the Third Floor of the Sethsiripaya Building in Battaramulla.  The NGO Secretariat is not a new creation. It was originally constituted during President Premadasa’s era, following the Presidential Commission to inquire into NGOs. For most part, the NGO Secretariat was nothing more than a ‘petti-kade‘, a small way-side kiosk that sells haelapa and tea. But now, this kiosk seems to have been refurbished and upgraded to offer a total culinary experience to the discerning connoisseur.

The NGO Secretariat, in a letter dated July 1, issued by the its Director D.M.S. Dissanayake, has requested all NGOs in the country to refrain from indulging in holding news conferences, conducting workshops, training journalists, and issuing news releases, which is considered beyond their mandate. Mr. Dissanayake goes on to say, “We reiterate that all NGOs should desist from such unauthorised activities with immediate effect.”

So we will have a new place to eat, and can do a review of it very soon. Perhaps the marketing gurus will advise the Third Floor to be re-branded as Floor by GO! We are yet to know the Menu of the new restaurant. But the vibe of it can be anticipated – it won’t be as quaint as the Beauty’s. I am confident that Floor by O will soon be overtaken by Floor by GO.  There will be better bites than Grease Yaka. After all, the original recipe of Grease Yakaa is said to be an invention of the Chef de Cuisine. As such, Mr. Dissanayake will only be a Commis in the new restaurant.

Bon appétit !

PS: An unrelated poem I composed is presented below as a ‘starter’ before a main meal is to be partaken from the proposed ‘Floor by GO’ 

First they came for the NGOs, and we did not speak out—
Because we are not an NGO; we are registered as a Company, you know..

Then they came for the Civil Society folks, and we did not speak out—
Because we don’t consider ourselves part of Civil Society; what’s that anyway?

Then they came for the advocacy-activists, and we did not speak out—
Because we are not such Activists who are shouting slogans at Lipton Circus

Then they came for us—and there was no one left to speak for us.

(With apologies to Pastor Martin Niemöller, 1892–1984)

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