Fusion Ceylon, 27 Watton Street, Werribee. Phone: 0433 696 726
Meet Isuru Madusanka and Chiran Hemadasa – heroes of Melbourne food and restaurants.
Not just the western suburbs.
And not only in the cheap eats field.
Though they are both of those, too.
No – what they are doing at their fine establishment, Fusion Ceylon, warrants acclamation beyond any geographical or price restrictions.
CTS has been a fan of the place since its doors opened a few years back.
But there’s no doubt – based on the visits being used to compile this story – that the Fusion Ceylon crew has lifted its game; a lot.
The food is cooked with flair and imagination, and presented beautifully, all the while fully retaining its funky Sr Lankan/Asian soul.
The place is looking more restaurant-y these days.
And as the as the use of the word “fusion” in its title hints, there’s a lot of wok cooking going on here.
That means wait times will rarely stretch beyond 15 minutes.
Prices are ridiculously low.
Much – but by no means all – of the fun and games is to be found on the regularly changing specials list.
Item: Singaporean chilli crab devilled with egg fried rice and vegetable chop suey is a dream.
The superb rice is fab, fluffy and freshly prepared.
The simple vegetables on the side are very good.
The shellfish component consists of three blue swimmer crabs.
Even with that number, the amount of your actual crab meat to be had is modest – and getting at it is messy, sticky fun.
But, hey, it IS all about fresh crab, the mess goes with the territory, the mild sauce has good flavour and the price is $16.50.
Speaking of finger-lickin’ …
Item: Spicy Kentucky-style fried chicken with biryani dazzles.
I’m told my three pieces are coated in a mix that contains cumin, cayenne and cardamom.
The taste, though, is rather muted – if anything I’d like to see this fried chicken really turbocharged with spices.
The chook chunks are still excellent, though – as good as any of your hipster or food truck fried chicken offerings, and a whole lot better than some.
There’s a tangy tamarind-based sauce to go with the poultry.
And another gravy to go with the top-shelfe biryani rice.
Atop that rice – in righteous biryani style – are two halves of hard-boiled egg anointed with a tiny dice of onion and tomato.
On the side is a sticky eggplant pickle.
This dish, too, costs an amazing $16.50.
Item: Colombo mixed rice ($13.50) comes from the regular menu (see below).
It comes with three meats (pork, chicken, beef), shrimp and a fried egg, with a plump skewer of chicken slathered with house-made tomato sauce on the side.
Any tendency towards fried-rice blandness is fixed up good by yet another tangy sauce and the subtle fragrance of several fresh dill sprigs.
This is A Great Melbourne Restaurant.
See earlier stories here and here.