Eating when on vacation can be expensive – particularly when you're somewhere touristy like Mirissa and Weligama. In the stretch of restaurants serving up hordes of pasta, coffee and every other fancy dish thinkable, Dulnetha Homestay and Restaurant is a breath of fresh air from it all.
And while it's just an opinion, we're gonna be blunt about it and admit that it's more or less the perfect solution to the problem of expensive breakfasting when you're in Weligama.
Dulnetha Homestay and Restuarant is first and foremostly a home. With the restaurant owners taking up some space inside, this is as homely as restaurant eating can get.
This is located smack dab in the middle of a small road straight off the main road. And while it does make things a tad difficult to find the place, the end result is quite nice because you miss all the dust and vehicles off the main road.
Essentially a veranda of a house turned into a restaurant dining area, the ambience at Dulnetha is lovely. With plastic chairs, plenty of fresh air, a pack of friendly street dogs and clean, colourful tabletops, we loved it. It's nothing fancy but when it all comes down to the main point that is clean and comfortable dining, it's great.
Dulnetha Homestay & Resto does everything from breakfast to lunch to dinner. But, given how we happened to drop in around 8 am, we decided to try out everything on the breakfast list.
The Pancakes and bananas came as two chubby Sri Lankan pancakes packed to the brim with pol pani (honeyed coconut). I personally really liked the pancakes because they had a slight saffron tone to it that combined with the honeyed coconut, turned out to be very interesting. Plus, the pancake wasn't sweet, which meant that every sweet note came purely from the coconut and nothing else.
The rotis were two quite large rotis that were evidently made with wheat flour. But, combined with the charred bits, the light milk tones of the coconut and the slight saltiness of it all, it worked out for the best. While it doesn't necessarily add up to a heavy meal, for someone who isn't looking for too much, we say go with this.
The pol sambol and dhal curry shown in the picture were meant to satiate both the servings of string hoppers and the pol roti. Generously portioned out, the pol sambol was a spicy, tangy concoction of grated coconut, lime and chilli. It's gotta be one of the best we've had in a while.
The serving of String Hoppers (Rs. 350) was 10 small string hoppers that were pretty much like every other string hopper you can get in any shop. Like the roti, this too was more of a light breakfast than anything else.
The dhal curry fell along the same lines as the pol sambol. Served hot, the curry was slightly spicy, and given how every other restaurant in the area tries to tone down the spice in their food, this was a welcome feature for us. With the perfect amount of salt and bits of curry leaves, it was delicious.
Every portion of food comes with an omelette that features bits of chopped up onion, tomato, pepper and salt. Nicely cooked with the perfect amount of seasoning to balance things out this was flavourful but not too spicy.
Another option you could go with is the option of toast, butter and jam. Nonetheless, we don't know about you, but, for me, this was the ideal amount of toastiness on a slice of bread that makes it a proper toast. Served with a pat of butter and a full bottle of mixed fruit jam, this was as nice as breakfast could get.
The final piece of the puzzle was tea or coffee. Here's where you don't get your hopes up because the tea and coffee were as basic as it could get. Tea bags and hot water for tea and Harischandra for coffee, it was okay.
Served with 2 small jugs of cold milk and sugar, this allowed at least 2 cups of whatever for each person but, that's about it.
The staff at Dulnetha is the family that owns the restaurant. Fast-paced and very friendly, the staff was absolutely wonderful in the way they took care of everything. While they did take around 20-25 minutes to bring the food, they managed to bring an entire heap of food at once, which we commend.
Owing to how clean it was and how reasonable their pricing is, we're gonna say, go for it. It's homely and the food was wonderful. It doesn't get much better than this.