Note: Dunhinda no longer reliably serves lunch
On the Attidiya Road, there’s a small spot that has the best vegetarian food we’ve had in Sri Lanka. Perhaps the best Sri Lankan food. For Rs. 150 you get unlimited rice, kos, pollos, eggplant, potato or whatever they have on offer, plus homemade achcharu, lunuthe and papadum. And a heap of either fruit or curd and honey for dessert. Dunhinda itself is non-descript, almost blending into the environment. Once you find it, however, there’s a wealth of good healthy food for cheap.
First, finding. Attidiya Road connects Colombo and Mount Lavinia inland. If you’re coming from Colombo there is this place on the left selling kola kanda and other things. It looks a bit like a normal roadside stall, but if you walk in it’s a series of simple huts and a lotus garden with many labelled plants. In the front you can get kola kanda and soups, to the side you can get traditional sweets and fresh fruit and vegetables, and at the back you can get lunch.
The lunch is a good, healthy vegetarian rice and curry. The dishes change, but they always seem to use the best ingredients, prepared lovingly. It feels healthy and, more to the point, delicious.
There is another brand of ‘traditional’ restaurant where they pour concrete to look like mud and thatch and make those weird gnarly chairs out of some sort of plastic to look like wood. This is not that. The sheds are simple takarang, but painted beautifully with images of Sigiriya and such. The place is built into the nature around, which I found surprising on the side of the main road.
Yet it is there. The place is called Dunhinda. It’s not easy to find but we highly recommend.