Twister is Sri Lanka’s very first exclusive Turkish franchise and the only restaurant in the island serving authentic Turkish and German cuisine, according to Co-owner Ishantha Ratnayake.
The franchise’s guarantee on the authenticity of their dishes comes from having procured internationally renowned Turkish/German Chef Huseyin Turan, who has curated the entirety of the menu and the special “twist” they employ to keep things fresh and interesting.
Twister is owned by Ishantha Ratnayake and Fahad Mowlana.
Speaking to Ishantha, he shared that the focus of Twister was to give Sri Lanka an exclusively Turkish franchise of its own. Having noticed that there is a gap in supply for “proper Turkish restaurants” here in Colombo, they decided to cater to that market in the most authentic way by bringing onboard ace Chef Turan who trained under world-famous three-Michelin Star Chef Juan Amador.
Twister has proven to be a popular choice amongst the locals and Ishantha shared that since its inception, they’ve reached a rather wide target market as they cater to an assortment of customers including the younger demographic, families, as well as office crowds.
The appeal of Twister, in addition to authenticity, is affordability – you get true value for money. They provide an exclusive experience unique to their outlet at a price that is extremely affordable. In addition, as they have now collaborated with the various delivery services available in the island, you can have it delivered to your doorstep.
A testament to their incredible pricing strategy is that the restaurant has been having an influx of customers close to the weekends, starting Thursday and continuing through to Sunday. Ishantha shared that over the past few weeks, they have had a full house.
Speaking about how they manage to keep things so affordable while maintaining the authenticity of their dishes and preparing everything in-house, including all their exclusive sauces, Ishantha shared that except for some of the ingredients they absolutely must import, they have settled on locally sourcing the ingredients. This in turn allows them to support homegrown businesses and communities.
As we were chatting with Ishantha at their flagship store down Galle Road in Kollupitiya, we saw for ourselves the influx of customers, one after the other coming in and making their Twister experience sing high praise.
Feeling quite optimistic at this display, we gave some of Twister’s signature dishes a try under the recommendation of Ishantha himself. He shared that one of their more popular dishes is their Chicken Lavash (shawarma) and their peri peri grilled chicken burger, and so that’s what we had.
Unsurprisingly, the food was fantastic; the chicken, which was fresh off the shawarma spit, was sizzling and everything else was crunchy and fresh.
The Chicken Lavash, which is presented to you as somewhat of a DIY project where you get to pick your own featured sauces, was something really special. We went with their more popular spicy mayo option. However, they also have garlic mayonnaise, truffle mayonnaise, and spicy curry sauce.
The grilled chicken burger, which is enjoyed by many, is absolutely dripping with cheese as it reaches your table, and is doused in the perfect amount of peri peri sauce; it was a real delight. To be honest, we’ve had a not-so-perfect experience with Turkish food in the past, but this dish completely erased those memories.
We were told that Twister serves the best hummus, and so we tried that out as well. While we are not personally big fans of hummus, the real enthusiasts assured us that what they serve is a cut above the rest.
Set to go international
Ishantha shared that while Twister is a fairly new venture and an even newer franchise, they are making great efforts to ensure their service is beyond par and is consistently great at all their outlets. They go to great lengths, resorting to random spot checks and surprise visits with their employees in order to keep them on their toes and make sure they carry out all the necessary procedures to a tee.
With regard to Twister’s growth as a franchise, Ishantha shared that Lankan audiences can look forward to them expanding further locally as well as internationally in the long term, adding that they are currently in discussions with investors to open Twister in Malaysia, Singapore, and the Maldives, making Twister a global franchise for Sri Lanka to call its own.
Check out our video of this review on The Sunday Morning Brunch Facebook page or on The Sunday Morning YouTube channel.