Heaven Is A Place In Dehiwala?
Sometimes you come across places that you really don’t want to share with the rest of the world. YAMU however, demands sacrifices so I’ll share something I’d rather not. Lani’s Sea Food Restaurant. On the massively underrated Dehiwala Beach this is a bit of tropical paradise somehow hidden in one of Colombo’s least promising suburbs.
Opposite the Dehiwala Pizza Hut (on Galle Road) turn onto Vanderwert Place. Stop when you get to the train tracks, look both ways, then hop across and you’ll see the pass to paradise. Between a Maldivian restaurant and a playground is a strip of sand that leads to a broad beach and the Indian ocean. Lani’s decorated fishing boat will be on your left. The entrance is behind the boat.
It’s basically a shaded, fenced off space on the beach with little canopies, seats, sun loungers and lots of coconut trees. They claim, on all their signage, to be Sri Lanka’s best seafood restaurant. This is something of an exaggeration however they are one of Colombo’s best sited sea food restaurants and the food is decent and cheap.
A little palm grove on a tropical beach with piles of prawns (Rs 600), calamari (Rs 600), and great fried rice (Rs 400). They are licensed to serve beer so ice-cold lions will be produced at the snap of a lazy finger. It’s right by the waves, got cheap seafood and ice cold beers. What more could you possibly want? Well what elevates the place to paradise status is their BYOB policy. You are welcome, indeed encouraged to bring your own spirits or wine. So they provide the setting, the service and the seafood and you can pop open your Veuve Clicquot .. or DCSL arrakku (more likely) at no extra cost.
For an instant, everyday beach party- some friends, a breezy evening, one of the sea-side tables, deviled prawns and a bottle(or two or three) of Lanka’s finest palm ferment.
Really, this is why we live on this island.