Occupation: Proprietor of Bedspace
Based in: Unawatuna, Galle
Originally from London, UK, Malcolm is the Proprietor of the Bedspace Guest House and Restaurant, a hidden Gem of culinary delight hidden in the suburbs of Unawatuna.
01. What did you decide to move to Sri Lanka, all the way from England?
As my mum is Sri Lankan, I’d visit Sri Lankan quite regularly. About four years ago I decided to come to Sri Lanka for an extended stay in order to learn more about my roots and immerse myself in the culture here. I was planning to teach English but was unexpectedly given the opportunity to become General Manger at a restaurant/guesthouse on the beach, which I took as a challenge. It was all very serendipitous to be honest.
02. How did Bedspace come to be?
Bedspace started out as guesthouse which David (my business partner) and I started running. We had a tiny kitchen where we would cook Degustation-style dinner parties for the in – house guests. It slowly evolved into a fully –fledged restaurant which right now actually draws in both a good Sri Lankan crowd and a solid foreign crowd, during peak season. We are not well known in the mass-market sense, and we prefer to keep it that way. We have held on to our dinner party concept which we still host occasionally. As much as possible, David and I like to ensure that the produce we use at the restaurant is organic and locally sourced. We are especially proud of our pork dish; we source the meat from a nearby farm and we have access to the freshest and the choicest pieces – the quality really comes through.
03. What is the dynamic between you and David when it comes to running the restaurant?
I have no formal training in cooking, just a passion for it. However, David is a Michelin star chef and the result of that combination is very interesting and is reflected on our menu, which is constantly evolving. I am quite adventurous when it comes to trying different combinations and David likes to keep me in check and make sure that I don’t go too far overboard.
04. What is your signature F&B style?
We incorporate a fair amount of Sri Lankan influences in what we do. We are currently steering towards fusion cuisine with an underlying Sri Lankan touch. We love the Sri Lankan phenomenon of Hot Butter Cuttlefish and I would like to think we do it slightly different, and hopefully our interpretation is the best around this area.
05. What are some of the positive/negative changes, it any, that you’ve observed around Galle?
Galle is a fantastic spot and draws a really good crowd of both local and international visitors. All the good spots have already been bought and now it is just a matter of doing something original with what’s left and improving on what we have.
06. What do you like about Sri Lanka?
I think the fact that there is unhindered access to acquire good organic produce. It’s just a matter of looking hard enough for it and when you do source good ingredients, it’s every chef’s dream to create something unique with it.
07. What do you dislike about Sri Lanka?
What I don’t like about Sri Lanka is the competition everyone seems to be having with each other. There is a fear of collaboration and that’s a shame because it gives Sri Lanka a bad name.
08. What is your favourite Sri Lankan food and drink?
My favourite Sri Lankan food hands down would be egg hoppers. I genuinely think that egg hoppers are the best standout dish that Sri Lanka can offer and tourists absolutely love it. I don’t know if Milo is a very Sri Lankan drink, but I love it.