LDNReview

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Rambutan image
8.5

Best New Restaurants

2023

Rambutan

Sri Lankan

London Bridge

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightHalalDinner with the ParentsCasual Weeknight DinnerSpecial Occasions
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Included In

Rambutan is a scene. It’s somewhere we get happily schmoozed into doubling up on the Sri Lankan buttermilk fried chicken. There’s a serene ruckus as the staff dash around the store cupboard-sized kitchen, and a warmth that radiates from all corners of the plant-filled Borough Market restaurant to make an effortlessly cool dining room. It’s the spot. The spot to bring a date, the spot to split a prawn curry with friends, and the spot for some of London’s best Sri Lankan food.  

Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Rambutan image
Rambutan image
Rambutan image
Rambutan image

You’re hit with the organised chaos of the open-fire kitchen as soon as you walk through the narrow doorway, glimpsing gundu dosas being flipped in a paniyaram pan. A seat at the sought-after counter gives a clear view of the crackling fire from the aduppu and the hypnotising sight of roti being methodically scrunched. Downstairs, with no live-action cooking, the mood is set to romance. Dates cosy up in low-lit corners and cocktails are prepared within eyeshot at the bar. It’s pleasant but you’ll feel like you’re missing out on that scene upstairs. The closer you are to the vibrant kitchen that feels like a little piece of Sri Lanka in London, the better.

Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Rambutan image
Rambutan image
Rambutan image

We simultaneously love and hate a changing menu when the food is as good as it is here. Hate it because they might not have that bright yellow chickpea curry you saw on their Instagram page by the time you visit in two weeks. Love it because in place of the meaty mutton roll we were excited to order again, we found spicy fried chicken served with a tangy coconut relish and fluffy toasted paan that was even better. Ordering everything from the menu is the move here. And it’s enough reason for us to give up on the counter seat for one of their six-person tables that encourage a “we’ll have one of everything” mentality.

Food Rundown

Apple & Kohlrabi Acharu

Refreshing at first, with a lethal spiciness that builds. You’ll reach for some water, swear you’re done, then find yourself throwing another piece of the spiced apple into your mouth.
Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Gundu Dosas

We used to think of our grandma’s house—or the duvet we stole from our grandma’s house—when we thought of comfort. Now we think of these gundu dosas. Golden, doughy, salty dosa balls are plated with a generous dipping sauce of sharp, refreshing mint chutney. You absolutely need this on your table.
Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Pol Sambol Paan

The crunch on the spicy fried chicken is ASMR-worthy. The paan is toasted and soft inside and together with tangy coconut relish, it’s the chicken sando of dreams.
Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Tempered Turmeric Potatoes With Pandan

Perfect roasties with a nutty pandan twist. These crispy potatoes are excellent and a great side to share.
Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Red Northern Prawn Curry With Tamarind

Meaty prawns, a runny tomato and coconut sauce, and a little bit of tartness from the tamarind. We’re very into this curry—it’s great for sharing and even better for eating the whole thing yourself.
Rambutan image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Soft Serve

What's the opposite of an afterthought? Whatever it is, that's what Rambutan's soft serve is. The flavours change but the excellent quality stays consistent. Depending on the season—and your luck—you could get anything from a refreshing mango soft serve, to this creamy chocolate Milo number.

Included In

FOOD RUNDOWN

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