In Good Company at Alba
Celebrating a tradition as old as civilisation itself, Alba invites the community to find connection over share-style banquets and light bites. Georgia Beard gives us a taste of the flavours to come!
Across the history of humanity, food has bridged the divide between one person and another.
Eating together is an act of trust, breaking boundaries and coaxing connections. It’s an experience written into our language – the word ‘company’ derives from the Latin com, meaning ‘together’, and pa, meaning ‘to feed’.
Companionship grows when parents pretend to eat their child’s all-natural mud pie; when friends share sips of each other’s drinks and steal morsels from each other’s plates; when festive feasts invite distant relatives to reconnect in kitchens and over dining tables.
Whatever memories, histories or beliefs they hold, our meals will always be more than a means of survival – something the team at Alba is deeply passionate about.
When restaurateur and Head Chef Peter Kuruvita opened the doors to his dining paradise nearly two years ago, he could not have anticipated the immeasurable number of connections created at his tables.
From the tranquility of open dining spaces to the intimacy of private dining rooms and the comraderie of the Cooking School, we’ve shared laughter and love over aperitifs, degustation and à la carte feasts.
After witnessing these connections, Alba is transforming their style of service to elevate the experience of sharing meals in good company.
“It is the way of life I grew up with in Sri Lanka,” Peter said. “A meal was always shared, and everyone was welcome to join.
“Family, friends and neighbours dropped by and brought a plate to contribute to the dinner. News was swapped, and gossip was shared.
“I remember it as always fun and exciting, and I often fell asleep on my dad’s lap listening to stories.”
On Wednesday 20 September, the venue will launch a fresh menu of tasty newcomers alongside classic favourites, encouraging closeness and connection.
“The menu is designed so you can choose your own specific dishes in a traditional individual three-course style, create your own degustation or share a whole range of dishes together with the table so everyone gets a taste of everything,” Peter said.
Alba’s new menu is an eruption of colour and flavour. We can ease into the sensory experience with a set Small or Large Banquet or choose a variety of dishes balanced with light spring meats, catches and harvests.
Try the golden Arancini stuffed with Slow Cooked Goroka Glazed Beef Rib and adorned with a dollop of Black Garlic! And can you believe, it’s gluten-free?
Savour a dish of barbecued White Pyrenees Spring Lamb Cutlets, paired with fresh pomegranate and seasoned with chimicurri and karam podi; sprinkled with coconut sambal, the Sri Lankan Snapper Curry bursts on the tongue with tropical flavours; and with every bite, enjoy a combination of spiced potato dumpling, tamarind and raita.
Refresh with a Mooloolaba Prawn Curry, soaking grilled king prawns in a rich and spicy red curry sauce and closely followed by a divine duck curry that is absolutely to die for.
The Crispy Skinned Roast Duck melts in the mouth, smeared in Vavuniya curry sauce and paired with fresh lychees.
The centrepiece of the feast is the Crispy Whole Reef Fish swimming in ginger chilli shallot sauce and garnished with an Asian Salad of lime, coriander and fresh coconut.
No matter which dishes make it to your table, almost all are gluten-free with a wide range of vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free options. Share plates can also pair with rice, sides and sambals.
Alba’s new menu isn’t the only infusion of new flavours and experiences!
“Feedback from our neighbours and locals was that they wanted to relax close to home with a Sunday lunch,” Peter said. “So we’ve come up with an affordable and laid-back experience to enjoy the beautiful environment at Alba with the sound of live acoustic music drifting through the restaurant, keeping the menu simple, delicious and perfect to share amongst friends and family.”
Paring back the frills and finery, Alba’s Lazy Sundays offer a Sunday Roast, Sourdough Pizza, chilled cocktails and live music on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month from 17 September.
The entertainment will rotate each session, welcoming local musicians such as Gabor, Carl Lynch, Brad Shultz and Mark Maroney.
The Sunday Roast feature dish will also change regularly, ranging from Crispy Skin Chicken with Harissa to Porchetta wrapped in golden crackling, paired with wood-fired pita bread from the pizza oven and vegetables such as palm sugar glazed cabbage; roast pumpkin in a bed of organic, toasted coconut; or mixed-leaf and tomato salad.
To connect with your meal as closely as you connect with your loved ones, Alba Chef’s Kitchen offers a new season of Cooking Classes to get you hands-on with regional cuisine!
Whether you’re seeking a celebratory feast, a quiet repast or a shared meal of your own creation, Alba offers an experience for everyone. What a way to come together!
Spice Trail Street Food
Friday 22 September, 5pm – 9pm
Sri Lankan Curries
Saturday 23 September, 11am – 3pm
French Dinner Party
Saturday 30 September, 11am – 5pm
Sri Lankan Seafood
Friday 6 October, 5pm – 8.30pm
Friday 13 October, 5pm – 9pm
Sri Lankan Masterclass
Wednesday 18 October, 5pm – 9pm
Saturday 21 October, 11am – 3pm
Art of Pasta
Friday 27 October, 5pm – 9pm
Thursday 9 November, 5pm – 8.30pm
Friday 10 November, 5pm – 9pm
Sri Lankan Masterclass
Thursday 16 November, 5pm – 9pm
Coastal Christmas Lunch
Friday 24 November, 5pm – 9pm
Christmas Cookies & Cakes
Saturday 25 November, 11am – 3pm