25th September 2020, was a day to remember in Colombo’s foodscape, when the much hyped MOB restaurant opened its doors to the public! Unique in Colombo’s burgeoning food sphere, Mass of Bees Restaurant or MOB as it is popularly known intends to stand out both as a result of it’s cuisine as well as it’s one of a kind theme.
The brainchild of A A Lakshman Silva, who along with Priyanthi Abeyweera and business magnate Dasun Wickramarathna, conceptualized the idea of a restaurant based on the history of Negombo, one of the country’s most populous and historic cities, the very name MOB itself has a history. According to Mr. Silva “the original idea was to launch a chain of restaurants in Negombo, centered on its association with bees; the Sinhala name for Negombo being Mīgamuva , meaning ‘mass of bees’ : Negombo being thus named owing to the swarm of bees that settled on the first Portuguese boat that was put ashore in Negombo. This idea gestated for a while, but instead we decided to bring the history of Negombo into the heart of Colombo, which has led to the creation of “Mass of Bees” or MOB, under the ETM Leisure banner”, said Mr Silva.
Heading the team behind MOB is of course that all important person, Chef Extraordinaire, Dudley Nanayakkara, who brings his almost 40 year career as a Culinary wizard and master chef to the fore as he whips up a menu that is truly and an unforgettable treat for the most discerning palette. Perennial favourites such as Negombo Pork Curry, Baked Crab, Jaffna Crab with Murunga leaves, the ever popular submarines and burgers, an array of Thai , Indian, Indonesian and Chinese favourites, Street Food, Sizzlers, as well traditional Italian favourites such as Ravioli in Green Pesto sauce, Spaghetti Carbonara, Prawns Provencale and many others are on offer.
Located in the heart of Colombo at the prestigious Atrium building on Balapokuna Road in Colombo 05, MOB is set to take on Colombo’s gourmands! Featuring an exceptional menu, MOB has a refreshingly unique atmosphere. The restaurant is located in a vortex of natural airflow, eliminating the need for artificial air-conditioning, thus enhancing the “au natural” dining experience!
The launch of MOB was indeed a memorable experience, while the food served was unparalleled. Present at the opening were a number of celebrities including present and past cricketers, hoteliers, singers and entertainers.
Capable of accommodating 96 persons at any given time, MOB’s cuisine is ambitious to say the least . With a staff of 4 speciality chefs, as well as restaurant staff, MOB will be open from 11 am to 11 pm daily and promises to be the ultimate culinary experience. Outside catering too will be part of the services offered.
When asked about the future of MOB and what lay ahead for the brand, Mr. Silva said the ETM Leisure group plans on opening 3 more restaurants and 3 unique “Beehive” cafes around Colombo, not to mention the Corandum hotel chain which also belongs to ETM Leisure. “Currently we have three hotels under construction; a 108 room hotel in Sigiriya due to open in January 2021, a 54 room hotel in Nuwara Eliya scheduled to open in 2022 and a 196 room hotel in Negombo scheduled to open its doors in April 2021. All of them are full service apartment hotels as we see that this is the future trend”.
MOB is definitely a place to visit, no matter what the occasion, and foodies all around Colombo and its suburbs are assured of a gastronomic treat in scenic surroundings at affordable prices.