Pier 88 Nebula Restaurant.

Whether you're an Adrenaline junkie or simply looking at a relaxing southern vacation where you can enjoy the beauty of coastal surroundings, golden sand between your toes, the warmth of the glowing sun, and some delicious food in your belly, Bentota is your spot. Known as the best destination for watersports in down south, Bentota also home for a ton of good restaurants, serving up different cuisines that suit every palate.
 
During our weekend at Palm Beach Inn and Sea Shells Cabanas, we were introduced to Pier 88 Nebula Restaurant – a place that's buzzing with both local and foreign customers, simply because they do fine Sri Lankan and Western fare for an affordable price tag. Also, it offers some beautiful views of the lagoon, which is another huge plus point. 

Food & Drinks

We dropped in for a late lunch, and we were hungry af, which is why we decided to skip the starters and go straightly for the mains. 

The Grilled Cuttlefish (Rs. 1100) was alright. Served with a massive side of coleslaw and french fries, the cuttlefish portion was quite small in comparison to the rest of the items on the plate. Also, it wasn't grilled as promised – it's more of a stir-fried version of it, mixed in with bits of garlic, onion and a hint of pepper. 

The only highlight was the texture of the cuttlefish pieces – chewy, as opposed to being rubber-like. 

At Rs. 1400, the Nebula Special Steak was a good one. Generously glazed with a deliciously tangy pepper and garlic-based sauce, you get a sizeable fillet of local beef, accompanied by a portion of french fries and butter sauteed veggies with a sprinkle of pepper. 

By default, it's prepared as well done, so you don't get a say in how you want your meat. However, it was more medium-well with a teeny tiny pinky line spreading towards the middle layer of the steak, but got browner as it spread to the top and bottom layers. 

Tender, juicy and succulent from the inside, and with the slightly tough exterior, this is a pretty solid, Sri Lankan steak that's worth every cent we spent on it. 

Pier 88 serves up a range of juices in the drinks menu, and also booze to wash down your meals. However, the bar is under renovation at the moment, but you can still get wine and beer. 

This glass of Watermelon Juice (Rs. 350) was refreshing, with very little sugar in it, but kinda watered down, so the natural watermelon notes are sort of lost. 

Service & Ambience

We didn't encounter any problem regarding their service. It was friendly, efficient and helpful. 

Tracking down this place could be a tad confusing. There are two name boards outside, but none of them point to the exact location. Anyway, this place resides in the backyard of Barista Lavazza, which also opens to the beautiful views of the lagoon.

It's an outdoor dining space, constructed with the garden and extends to a beautiful deck on the lagoon. They've got around 20 tables here, neatly aligned with comfortable wooden chairs, and shaded with a bunch of umbrellas. You don't have to worry about not having air conditioning as the ample greenery, and the lagoon breeze make up for it. 

Conclusion

Combining nature's beauty to good food and service, Pier 88 Nebula Restaurant is a good spot. Our experience had both ups and downs, but we don't mind going back there for that delicious steak. 

*Photographs courtesy of: @raveen.re
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