Black Coral at Jetwing Beach, Negombo
By Shanali Fdo
Bringing the luxury of fine dining into Sri Lankan cuisine the Black Coral by Jetwing Beach has quickly topped the list of must-dine restaurants, because of their very creative take on Sri Lankan cuisine. Located within the hotel overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean the restaurant has got an extensive menu of well-curated dishes that savor the traditional Sri Lankan flavor promising a memorable fine dining experience.
Sri Lankan cuisine and fine dining are two things that are not often thought of together, but the Black Coral restaurant has done an outstanding job of combining these two for anyone looking for a unique dining experience.
Staying true to its name the restaurant’s dark interior décor, handloom table mats with hints of red, and a lamp to light up your table, together with the dim lighting setup compliments and elevates the whole experience. And the light Sri Lankan background music that we know and love really sets the tone to look forward to some authentic Sri Lankan taste to hit your taste buds.
This extensive ala carte menu comprises of appetizers, soups mains desserts, and a list of cocktails, mocktails, alcohol, and wines. Worth trying if you are in the mood to venture out of your preferred beverage of choice is the Sri Lankan classics. These are a great combination of some of the key ingredients we see in Sri Lankan cuisine. Now, what screams out Sri Lankan than a cocktail with coconut water, coconut milk, and coconut treacle muddled into perfection with Old arrack served inside a thambili? The Karapincha Mojito is also a spin on a classic mojito we all know and love, using a Sri Lankan kitchen must-have herb combined with narang, lemonade, and vodka was as refreshing and the perfect combination of sweetness, citrus, and herbaceous mint flavor. This very creative take on the beverages menu combining key Sri Lankan ingredients such as curd, toddy, and cinnamon to name a few with some favorites such as red rum, passion fruit, and hibiscus flower syrup did not disappoint us.
- Karapincha mojito Rs. 1300/-
After drinks, you are served a complimentary appetizer called Amuse-bouche which they carefully put together depending on what you have ordered and the food to follow. Since our mains were more towards seafood they presented us with a bite-sized Chicken Kottu Ball with chicken gravy and a passion and melon shot. Also complimentary is the bread basket which has mini Kurakkan Roast Paan, Parippu wade served with a delicious Kooni Sambal and a cashew and garlic dip which was almost like a thick butter that complemented the basket so well. We loved how Sri Lankan street food and fine dining two rather different concepts had been combined so perfectly and brought to the table.
The options on the menu for appetizers and soups were too good to pass so we ordered the Seafood Mulligatawny and Tamarind Prawns. The richly flavored curry soup was truly comfort in a bowl, it had all the rich taste profiles of seafood married in one fine creamy dish. Next, we tasted the Tamarind prawns with a side of raw papaya and cucumber pickle drizzled with a curry coconut tamarind sauce. The sour, tangy tamarind and pickle complemented the mild flavor of the prawns very well making it an excellent seafood appetizer. Also on the menu is a Gotukola Lotus Root Salad, Roasted Garlic, and Green Gram Soup which are excellent vegetarian options.
- Seafood Mulligatawny Rs.1400/-
- Tamarind prawns Rs.2000/-
Moving on to the mains, even though The restaurant has chicken, mutton, and pork dishes to choose from we gravitated more towards seafood options since it would be a shame to miss out on the seafood when dining on the coastal line. We ordered the Baby Mullet and the Cuttlefish. The melt-in-your-mouth fish was coated in a light toddy batter and deep-fried to give it a nice crunch and was laid on top of a thick jack seed puree. On the side were tapioca chips and red onion, green chili, and tomato dip to complete the dish with a bang. The cuttlefish was not the typical HBC that you would expect but a thicker, saucier version served with a Gotukola Salad to balance off the richness from the sauces. Some note-worthy dishes are also the Negombo Lagoon Crab Cake, the Mutton dish that comes with godamba roti, and the Vegetable Patty with Herbal Jetwing Kaduruketha heirloom rice.
- Baby mullet Rs. 3200/-
- Cuttlefish Rs.3400/-
The Flavors of Sri Lanka was not missed out on the desserts section as well. We went for Bibikkan- served with a scoop of homemade spicy pineapple ice cream. This age-old traditional coconut cake was so rich and exquisitely flavorful and was well balanced off with the smooth melt-in-your-mouth pineapple ice cream with the hints of spiciness almost needed to combat the sweetness from the cake. The dessert menu is a wonderful spread of traditional sweetmeats of Sri Lanka recreated to blend into the fine dining experience.
- Bibikkan Rs. 1300/-
All in all our experience at Black Coral was top-notch. While many would look forward to enjoying the buffet that the hotel offers for dinner we would highly recommend you to dine in at the Black Coral to enjoy some high-quality authentic Sri Lankan food fused with some international favorites that really take you up by surprise as to how well it can be spun into a fine dining experience.
Location-Jetwing Beach, Negombo 22100
Contact number- 077 244 3087
Open for dinner only