The restaurant scene in Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia has been a hit-and-miss, but there are still a bunch of good spots on the coastal line that have survived throughout the years. JoJo’s is one such restaurant that’s buzzing with customers ever since they've opened up.
Food and Drinks
Their menu is pretty much the same as any beachside Chinese restaurant in the area; a few soups, salads, variety of meats, seafood and of course, booze. You can also BYOB here, and it’s entitled to a corkage fee of Rs. 500.
We opted for a portion of Prawn and Egg Fried Rice (Rs. 800), a plate of Hot Butter Cuttlefish (Rs. 850) and a Pepper Pork (Rs. 800).
The fried rice was quite good. It had just about the right spicy seasoning, and came with plenty of boiled shrimps (not prawns as advertised) to go around, bits of scrambled eggs and a sprinkle of leeks. If you’re not too hungry, this can be easily shared between three people.
Now, let’s talk about this magnificent plate of HBC. To any sensible Sri Lankan, discovering a good HBC causes great happiness, which is exactly what I felt after having a taste of this.
It was sharp, piping hot, with the perfect crisp of the batter, and had an incredible flavor. The pieces were just the right size, and they weren’t dripping with oil, which is another good thing.
While enhancing the flavor, the caramelized onions and the greens added color to the whole dish. We highly recommend this.
The pepper pork however did not live up to our expectations. Firstly, it was mostly fatty bits, as opposed to the meat. Secondly, it was soaked in a gravy that was way too salty for our taste.
I took a spoonful of the gravy mixed in with fried rice, and I was forced to swallow it because I did not want to puke it back on to my plate. Good thing we ordered a bottle of Lion Lager to wash down the disappointment.
Anyway, the meat (minus the fatty bits) itself was cooked with a firm rind, and had a nice peppery touch.
Ambience & Service
This place seems like it hasn’t been renovated in a very, very long time. It’s a lonesome, potentially dodgy two story building facing to the beach, with indoor and outdoor seating spaces. It certainly has room for improvement, in terms of ambience.
The seating arrangements are pretty basic and nothing fancy tbh, but enough to accommodate around 40 people at a time.
The staff was very helpful, although our waiter did kinda mess up our order, but luckily, another staff member slid right over to save the day. They’re pretty quick on their feet too, so we got our order delivered to the table within 15 minutes.
This is basically a seaside restaurant where you can go with a bunch of your friends for a weekend tipple, enjoy some good Sri Lankanised Chinese food, while enjoying the blissful views of the Mount Lavinia beach and the glorious sunsets.
That being said, I certainly see myself going back there for a delicious plateful of their HBC.