R & R Beach Restaurant.

Revisit (Savan)

Spent an afternoon here last week and wanted to reiterate what a lovely place this is.

At the end of Marine drive its a little fenced off patch of land with seating out doors and a small covered structure for cooking between the train tracks and the sea. There are tables just two feet from the ocean and the food is simple but good and reasonably inexpensive. Prawn fried rice with hot butter cuttle fish and lashings of their chili paste comes to less than Rs. 1000/=.

Like many of Colombo’s most charming venues (Vespa Sports Club) this place really shouldn’t exist. Just how they have clung on to their sea-view space is a mystery, but being able to sit by the edge of the ocean at the end of an afternoon and enjoy a beer(they allow you to bring booze in without corkage) and a plate of prawns makes this one of Colombo’s best little indulgences…
Best of all its open to everyone with a few rupees in their pocket every day of the week.

The Food

First post by Aaliyah

If you’re looking for rice and curry, short eats or Indian, R n R isn’t the place to head to. These guys serve up local specialties like Hot Butter Cuttle fish, Devilled Prawns, Mixed Seafood rice, Chop suey Rice, etc. Basically, the food on their menu is more of the ‘bites’ variety.

You won’t find pork or beef on the menu, but they seem to have a constant supply of garlic-ginger paste, cut lemon grass and an excessive amount of chili paste that goes into almost all their dishes. Their service is pretty fast and the food always comes out piping hot – however due to the sea breeze it can cool down pretty fast and more than twice we were forced to get our food reheated. The big salad is definitely a dish that needs to be tried out. It costs around Rs. 350 and is generously plated with huge chunks of cheese, sausages, fried chicken, boiled potatoes and vegetables along with a nice mayonnaise based dressing that goes on top – hardly a salad, but very good. We often order the hot butter Cuttle fish however, which for around Rs. 550 is a plate of huge chunks nicely layered with a thin crispy crust, pan fried carrots, capsicums and red chilies.

The Atmosphere

Looking for a good decent place to have a drink in Wellawatte is like hunting for a needle in a haystack. We came across this place by accident and have been going there every Saturday or so ever since. The restaurant has a wide space in front of it which is used as a Children’s Park during the day and you can see old couples walking in and out after their daily evening jogs, stretching while their grandchildren run around in circles. As night falls, the entire atmosphere of the R n R Restaurant tends to change as you will get strong wafts of pub food and sea food delicacies being cooked in the kitchen inside. It’s one of the few places where you carry your booze with you and have it with some decnt food while enjoying the view. The furniture and structure is not at all fancy but if you’re okay with plastic chairs then you’ll be fine.

Fishing Lovers

The restaurant is also quite popular for fishing enthusiasts. Feel free to take your rod there and mingle with the guys who religiously end up there every evening to catch a mullet or two. You will not be expected to order anything and as long as you keep to the extreme end of the area and do not disturb the guests, you will be pretty much left alone. As guests, you can order and have the fish on your plate with a side dish of your choice. We had a plate of fried mullet straight from the sea to the frying pan with a stack of fresh julienned vegetables and mayonnaise which cost around 800 bucks. We found it very light, crisp and well balanced with the salad. The next time we went with a traditional fish and chips plate, again within the price range of Rs. 700-800.

The Location

R n R is located right opposite the Jaffna bus halt and Informatics Institute. The restaurant is on the other side of the railway track so always make sure you look both ways before you cross. This friendly simple beach side sea-food restaurant is on a quiet beach, in an area otherwise devoid of any nice restaurants. It might look a bit isolated from the outside but once you start frequenting the place, you will most probably become a loyal customer.

The Crowd

The restaurant is pretty much empty during the morning hours except for a few families who come in for refreshments and chill there until their bus to Jaffna arrives. At noon, you should consider yourself lucky if you find a place to sit as the restaurant can get packed with students from the neighbouring institute. Precisely at five, you’ll notice the amateur fishermen walking in and prepping up before the sun sets. This is also the time when couples come in to share an orange juice together inside the restaurant while families come in to have a good time with their kids outside. Once it gets dark is when the corporates walk in with bottles of Gal and Old Arrack. Usually once the night kicks off, R n R is very much alive with plates of food being carried to and fro, live music playing from one end (usually a bunch of drunk employees singing and dancing to baila) and a few couples having candle lit dinners outside. The R n R management is run by a young married couple in their early thirties who are very friendly.

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