Central Beach Restaurant, Mirissa.

We happened by Central Restaurant on New Years Eve. In the eve. Under a pink sunset that was lighting up the whole southwest coast, but unfortunately partly hidden from us by the hill to our left, Mirissa beach was vibrating with electronic dance music, hip hop, trance and other musical genres that were loud and meant to provoke ecstatic movement. Problem was, we were hearing all of it at the same time.

The beach was chock a block full of people, this being Mirissa, said people were almost all non-Sri Lankan. Finding a table wasnt easy, but we did finally manage to bag one in a corner of the Central's premises, overlooking the beach.

Ambience

The vibe here is sort of like most of the other places on this stretch of beach. Crowded, generically set with plastic tables and chairs, and waited on by no-nonsense local men. The Central however also has a really nice and cosy bar on the beach, dispensing alcohol as well as coffee, which they have been doing since 1995.

It also features an area covered with cushions and couches, a shady spot during the day.

Food

The cheese and tomato sandwich (Rs 400) had fresh tomato nicely balanced by creamy cheddar cheese, inbetween slices of lightly toasted bread. A really nice, simple dish.

Simple and nice would probably describe a lot of things we tried, like the Cucumber Salad with lettuce and vinnaigarette sauce (Rs. 300). The veggies were fresh and crunchy. Of course in the case of this salad, you could also argue that simple and nice could translate to ´bland and tasteless´ as well, but only before you look up and realize youre the only brown guy sitting on this beach.

The nasi gorang (Rs. 1250) was a little steeply priced, but it was one of the better nasis i have tasted. The rice contained pineapple and sides of mango accharu and soft, melty peanut butter which went well in combination with the skewer of chicken (which was a little on the dry side).

The portions here arent huge, but theyll fill you up well enough.

Coffee

The place serves a range of local and imported coffee, the latter generally seems to stand for ground coffee beans. We got the Cappucino (Rs. 400) and found it fluffy and soft. Quite good.

Dessert

The Banana Fritters with vanilla ice cream wasn't doing it for us. The fritters were too dry, and the outer layer, sweet, clashed rather loudly with the sour ambul plantains inside.

Service

We were there on a very crowded day but were still served quite efficently, the staff were also very friendly.

Conclusion

A nice place for drinks, coffee or some food on Mirissa Beach. The menu is expansive and most of it seemed available, so the place appears to run a confident kitchen. The food is very decent.

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