Tides (Marriot Weligama).

Tides is a lounge and bar by night, and a restaurant by day, located at the new Marriot hotel in Weligama. It’s a great place for an upmarket drink or dining experience in the South coast. 

The Dining Experience

Tides offers an interesting ‘Discovery Table’ experience, priced at Rs. 3,500 per head. The concept is built around the table being a place for travelers to meet and share food, but it also seems quite nice for a group of friends to sit around and catch up.

The food is served in big portions that diners share, forcing them to at least exchange a few words in the process. So definitely go there if you’re shy and wish you weren’t sometimes. Tides has also just opened, so this review is a first look at what’s on offer, making our arrangement rather well suited to evaluate the overall promise of the dining experience.

The ‘Discovery Table’ is also a bit of a chef’s table type affair. You get served a selection of whatever is the freshest and best being prepared in the kitchen on any given day. So if you like experimenting, this one could be for you. The table also offers tailor made menus if you’d rather not be surprised. We chose the surprise, and four of us sat down to eat.

The selection of starters you get is rather amazing for the price. There were cold cuts, cheeses, pickles and achcharu, along with ciabatta and lavash bread. The bread was freshly baked, warm and crunchy. The cold cuts weren’t mind-blowing but not in any way bad, and the selection of cheeses amounted to about three varieties, though they were all quite good, especially taken with unconventional Indian naan bread. The sundried tomatoes were the highlight of the starters for me, while the achcharu really failed to deliver. But we held up on that to save room for what came next.

This happened to be a portion of Yellow Rice, beautifully balanced with coconut milk, red chilli, cardamom and other spices along with a dish of Fish Tikka Masala. The latter was a tad salty and this tended to overpower the flavor of the masala. The Indian Vegetarian Curry was excellent, with light chilli and pepper that made the whole combo flavorful without being too spicy. A simple salad of fresh cucumber, tomato and lettuce helped clean our palettes for the next round.

Which was Grilled Sirloin Steak. Well-done, grilled with champignons in herbs and garlic olive oil. The meat was rich and had a decent amount of fat, just the way I like it. Try it along with the Dad’s Kitchen BBQ sauce for some extra seasoning. Braised vegetables provided some additional texture and some crunchy Potato Wedges (which were really amazing, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, this is beginning to sound like a KFC ad) kept me shoveling food into my mouth, ignoring my conversational responsibilities.

Desserts comprised of various cakes, excellent Cookies from the in-house bakery, Chocolate Mousse and Meringues. We had to take some time after the main courses in order to properly enjoy them.

The Service

The service was pretty chill. The staff were attentive, but kept their distance. You can do your own thing here without feeling lost.

The Ambiance

With its large terrace with lounge chairs and beanbags, Tides has a bit of an open-to-the-elements thing going on. Except the ‘elements’ here are filtered through the grounds of a luxurious five-star resort.

While the Discovery Table is perfect for loud and boisterous groups, other spaces offer seclusion for couples or smaller groups, and a spacious area behind the bar is apparently specially designed for individuals. Single-and-happy people and misanthropes take note.

Conclusion

A luxurious bar/lounge/dinner set up that doesn’t cost as much as it feels. The Discovery Table at Tides offers a value for money experience.

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