About Upalis Melbourne

Upali’s Restaurant


Enriched with an irresistible variety of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, we at Upali’s guarantee to compliment your taste buds with delectable flavour and Sri Lankan spices! Followed by our thriving success in Colombo since 2014, we are now based in Glen Waverley, a suburb of Melbourne. Upali's was established in Melbourne to cater to the large Sri Lankan community in Melbourne as well as all food lovers, who are ready to explore a whole new taste sensation.

Our menus are rich with well-seasoned signature dishes, prepared by experienced chefs for you to indulge and enjoy the magical touch of Sri Lankan cuisine!

The restaurant is charming and relaxed with an informal bar area at the front complemented with a Television tucked away in the corner. Sit and watch the world pass by through the large bi-fold windows that are open on a sunny day as you sip your beer while indulging in authentic Sri Lankan flavours. Prints from a bygone era hang on the walls, along with a selection of Sri Lankan cricket memorabilia, each personally signed by past and present players.

Be sure to have a look at the restored "Thirikkali"; an old racing buffalo cart bought back to its original glory and taking pride of place by the front entrance. With leather and timber abounding, coupled with a spacious interior the ambiance at Upali’s is relaxed and pleasant.

David Cruse

David Cruse

Mr. David Cruse has a total of an amazing 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry. After 26 years of pouring beer and wiping tables at the Knox Tavern in Australia, David and his wife Cathy sold the pub they owned and moved back to Sri Lanka.

During their spell in Melbourne, the Cruse family was well known among the Knox City community and have been long-time sponsors of several sporting clubs in and around the area. The family maintained close ties with the Sri Lankan community of Melbourne and regularly hosted the Sri Lanka national cricket team at their pub.

The Knox Hotel in Wantirna South, Melbourne was a tavern and function centre, a Sri Lankan hearth for many of our cricketers. David and Cathy also hosted several successful fundraising events at the Tavern, and having moved to Sri Lanka, their philanthropic nature hasn’t changed.

Upali Dharmadasa

Upali Dharmadasa

Mr. Dharmadasa is a high profile industrialist who has made his mark among Sri Lanka’s top business community and possesses decades of experience and expertise in business management.

Upali currently holds the positions of Managing Director of Nawaloka Group of Companies which consists of Nawaloka Piling Ltd., Nawaloka Timber Stores Ltd., Nawaloka Polysacks Ltd., Nawaloka Industries Ltd., New Nawaloka Trading Co. Ltd. and Nawaloka Developments Ltd.

Upali has immensely contributed to Sri Lanka’s cricketing arena during his tenure as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL), and as the President of Sri Lanka Cricket. Veteran businessman Upali also assumed office as the Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Ltd. (SLIC).

A man of many interests, Upali is also a talented chef. He takes great pleasure in cooking for his family and friends when time permits. After years of hearing his friends tell him to open up his own place, he finally worked towards the launch of Upali’s by Nawaloka. It is a labour of love for Upali as he dedicates the restaurant to his loving parents, the late Deshamanya H. K. Dharmadasa and his wife.

The restaurant is located where Upali and his five siblings grew up, where lots of memories have been made. His intention was to create a little hub, which is a home away from home, where families could come and enjoy themselves and create new memories. He often drops by the restaurant to see how his patrons are enjoying their food, and frequently visits the kitchen to update recipes and oversee the preparation of the meals.

Cathy Cruse

Like her Husband David, Cathy has been in hospitality for over 30 years.

David and Cathy Cruse owned and operated the Knox Tavern for 26 years before selling up and moving to Sri Lanka, the home of David's birth and a country she has been associated with for over 30 years.

During their time at Knox, the Cruse family was well known amongst the locals, sponsoring several sporting clubs in the area. They maintained close ties with the Sri Lankan community of Melbourne and hosted the Sri Lankan National Cricket Team at their Hotel each time they toured.

They instigated various fundraisers at the Knox Tavern over the years to help the under privileged in Sri Lanka. When the Cruse family moved to Colombo in 2012 they continued their philanthropic work. Cathy walked across the Island with Sir Ian Botham, to raise funds and bring awareness to The Foundation Of Goodness's rebuilding program in the North. She has climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in aid of Heart Kids Victoria and traversed several deserts all in the aid of charity.

Whilst in Sri Lanka, they joined forces with Upali Dharmadasa and opened "Upali's" in Colombo 7. The restaurant proved wildly successful serving authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. They have now branched out opening a second venture in Glen Waverley.

Cathy is running the Melbourne venture, whilst David spends his time traveling between the two.