Reef House Cafe is a small shack of a restaurant on Mount Beach. It’s got an undeniably dodgy feel to it, but the food isn’t terrible and they do serve booze. That plus the fact that they’re open well into the night makes this a popular spot for a meetup.
At this point I’ve lost count of how many restaurants there are on Mount Lavinia beach but it seems that every time we go there we find yet another place that we haven’t been to. Reef House Cafe, located at the far end of the beach comes across as one of those obvious “”drinking spots””. Food-wise they serve the usual Sri Lankan Chinese fare at some affordable prices with some pretty decent portions.
Their pork fried rice (Rs. 420) was actually better than what some of the Sri Lankan Chinese restaurants in Colombo offer. A bit scarce on the vege side, but with plenty of pork, which is how I prefer it. The rice also comes with a pretty mean chilli paste, which is spicier than most others.
The hot butter cuttlefish (Rs. 400) wasn’t exceptionally good but I liked the slightly different preparation. From what we were told they batter fry it as per the usual preparation, then add in a bit of that chilli paste which gives it more heat and finally grill it a bit before serving it up. I found the batter a bit too hard, but I liked the addition of the chilli paste and the charred flavour from the grill.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the sweet and sour prawns (Rs. 450), mostly due to the excess of pepper in the sauce. The prawns were actually fresh and cooked well but the flavours I was looking for were overpowered by all that pepper.
The best of the bunch was actually their fried pork (Rs. 400) which is a bit odd since the seafood is usually the forte of beachside restaurants. The preparation was as simple as the name suggests with well seasoned pork with just the right amount of chilli. One thing that surprised me was that some of the fatty pieces actually had a near perfect crackling layer!
Ambience & Service
Like we mentioned earlier, Reef House Cafe is pretty much a shack that’s been converted to a restaurant. They’ve got a few tables inside as well as a few more on the beach. It does tend to get quite warm during the day since you’re relying on the sea breeze.
RHC is run by a two brothers who also handle the service and cooking. During my visit the food was ready quite fast, but should the place get crowded (which I doubt happens often), I can see it being an issue.
While Reef House Cafe isn’t what we’d call lady friendly, it isn’t a terrible spot to meetup with some friends. We wouldn’t recommend having an entire meal here but some of their dishes like the fried pork would make for an awesome bite to go along with a cold beer.