By Dimithri Wijesinghe
The Daily Staple, situated on Dutugemunu Street, Pamankada, Colombo, opened its doors to their fitness-enthused patronage of High Octane Fitness as well as the general public on 3 September.
High Octane Fitness is the largest commercial fitness centre in the country and has over a thousand members, all of whom will soon be daily visitors of the restaurant set-up just adjacent to the establishment.
We spoke to Ranga Wimalasuriya, one of three Co-owners of both the fitness centre and the brand new restaurant, who shed some light on the primary goal behind opening an F&B establishment next to a gym. “We didn’t just want to be about fitness in terms of exercise but also wanted to bring in nutrition. The idea behind it is to promote day-to-day foods that people enjoy eating at an affordable rate. We’re currently working on that – to maybe get a 100-200 g piece of chicken together with some fresh vegetables and quinoa or rice with your meal for under Rs. 1,000,” he said.
According to Ranga, the place attracts folks of different profiles – corporate clientelle, stay-at-home moms, school athletes, etc. – and their goal is to service all those diverse groups.
We also had a chat with Chef Priyadarshana who runs the kitchen. He informed us that he is not only part of The Daily Staple as its chef, but also has a stake in the business. At this point, Ranga added: “It is a primary factor we believe in – we want our employees to be a part of the business.”
The Daily Staple is also looking at a give-back model, not unlike the karma kitchen model, and they took their very first step in this just last week as they distributed 150 lunch packets in the Bamblapitiya-Kirulapone area. They hope to continue this once a month.
We visited the venue on a Wednesday morning and spent quite a lot of time just hanging about. With beautiful interior décor and an open-space floor plan, the ambience is just fantastic. And as we spent our day using up their Wi-Fi and chilling, here’s what we tried off of their menu.
This is just the best thing to have next to a gym. Breakfast foods are the ultimate feel-good meal. With so many options including pancake stacks, which also included bacon with a kithul treacle option, we went with their avo on toast (Rs. 900) with poached eggs.
It was really great; the egg was perfectly runny and gave us our Instagram slow-mo for the day as it opened up beautifully as we cut into it. The sourdough bread was a standout and we learnt why – the restaurant makes all its bread in-house, so if you’re having a burger or bread roll or toast, it’s all baked there.
For mains, we tried the Daily Staple Lamb Burger (Rs. 1,500) which comprised a minced lamb patty, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion topped with pickle, and served with The Daily Staple sauce along with fries. We also tried the Italian carbonara with chicken (Rs. 800 + Rs. 200 for chicken).
Both items were very well prepared and looked great. The burger patty was seasoned exactly to our liking, and it wasn’t chewy like most patties tend to get. The carbonara was very creamy and satisfying, however, that’s the most that we can say about that one as it was essentially just good pasta.
It was strange how well this health food place did their dessert, their biscotti (Rs. 200) was just to die for. It was crunchy, fresh, and simply amazing, and while we wanted to try the dark chocolate mousse, but we opted for the brownie (Rs. 400) instead and we weren’t at all disappointed as it was the richest, most gooey, and chocolaty piece of heaven we’ve ever tasted. This one though had mixed reactions as some people just didn’t like the overtly gooey texture.
Last but not least, we tried the ambrosia-esque avocado smoothie (Rs. 450). We’re suspicious of how healthy it actually is because of how tasty it was. It’s quite sweet, not unbearably so, but we loved it.
The place is certainly the result of a fantastic idea, and it brims with great promise. We hope to catch up with them soon in the near future to see how far they’ve progressed in their goal of maintaining a sustainable give-back model and their fitness nutrition epithet.
Photos Krishan Kariyawasam