With the opening of Nebesa, Colombo has a new Russian restaurant. The big white building on Duplication Road is memorable for more than just the food – it also has what are possibly the largest, most lavish armchairs in the city. They form a little cocoon, rising high above your head and affording you some privacy as you sample the likes of shuba, okrashka, pelmeni and manti – all Russian specialities that owner Mikhail Snegirev swears by.
hough the kitchen team under Chef Nelson John is made up almost entirely of Sri Lankans, they’ve been trained by Russian chefs who the restaurateur flew in from his homeland. He named his restaurant Nebesa after a kind of heaven, a place above the clouds where the angels are said to dwell. Having previously run a restaurant in Moscow, Mikhail made the move here with his family when he fell in love with Sri Lanka. A friend helped convince him that there would be a market for Russian cuisine here. Raised on a diet of traditional Russian and Mediterranean flavours, Mikhail says his native cuisine is both delicious and healthy. To recreate those flavours here, they have some of their equipment and ingredients sourced from abroad but most are bought fresh in local markets.