Sri Lanka, Asia Pacific
Not a formally trained chef, Dharshan Munidasa’s love of food began; he likes to say, on the other side of the equation: eating.
A celebrated chef and restaurateur he is best known for having founded Nihonbashi Japanese Restaurant and Ministry of Crab, two of Sri Lanka’s most successful restaurants, as well as for his role as the host of the popular TV series Culinary Journeys with Dharshan.
Launching his career while in his early twenties with the opening of Nihonbashi, Dharshan has spent the last 19 years ensuring that his restaurants have become the most sought after, not only within the country, but also the region.
The simplicity of Japanese cuisine highlights the quality of the ingredients used, and Dharshan, who is of mixed Japanese and Sri Lankan heritage, is very conscious of the ingredients he uses. He often visits the Negombo fish market to select the best of Sri Lanka’s export quality tuna before it is shipped to the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, a grass roots task which many chef-owners would delegate. From creating original dishes, to sourcing ingredients, it is Dharshan’s hands-on involvement and his meticulous attention to detail that has ensured the consistently high standards of his restaurants.
With his TV series Dharshan has consistently aimed to educate the public about the quality of ingredients, particularly seafood found locally, as he feels that teaching the public is a role which not enough restaurateurs undertake.
It is for his unending commitment to food that Dharshan has been invited to prepare $400 per head Japanese degustation menus in various establishments in India and the Maldives; including the Conrad, Four Seasons, Huvanfenfushi, and various Six Senses properties, all in the Maldives, and most recently for the International Food and Wine Society in India.
Considered an innovator in his field, Dharshan is known to push boundaries and this has resulted in both his restaurants, Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi, respectively obtaining the coveted first and second places in Sri Lanka for outstanding cuisine in the 2013 edition of The Miele Guide (Asia’s first independent restaurant guide). Nihonbashi also has the distinction of being the only Sri Lankan restaurant to have ever made it into San Pellegrino’s list of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants”, ranking #38 in the 2013 edition, as well as being awarded the best restaurant in Sri Lanka.
Miele Guide 2013
#1 Restaurant in Sri Lanka : Ministry of Crab
#2 Restaurant in Sri Lanka : Nihonbashi
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013
#38 in Asia : Nihonbashi
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