When Colombo Social opens next month on Enmore Road, the restaurant will marry Sydney's seemingly insatiable taste for Sri Lankan food and social enterprise start-ups.
A few doors along from Queen Chow, Colombo Social plans to dish up "roti" tacos filled with soft shell crab while supporting Sri Lankan asylum seekers.
It joins a growing posse of social enterprise food venues, including the Bread and Butter Project, which also trains asylum seekers and refugees, and Folonomo, the Surry Hills venue which donates its profits to charity.
"Growing up as an Australian-born Sri Lankan, I remember being embarrassed by the dhal sandwiches my mum packed in my lunch box and feeling different," says Colombo Social founder Shaun Christie-David.
"We live in a society, not an economy. There's that sense of community when you sit down over a meal."
Colombo Social's timing is serendipitous, with a new breed of restaurants such as Lankan Filling Station educating Sydney palates.
The Enmore Road start-up has signed head chef Chamara Pathiranage, and is currently recruiting asylum seekers who'll work and train there for around three months.
"One of our ultimate goals will be to see them move on and get work elsewhere," Christie-David says.