Wijaya Beach.

The Island’s Best Pizza

Lovely whitewashed wood, sun beds overlooking an emerald sea and warm wafts of air emanating from a large wood fire oven: Wijaya Beach is a delicious slice of island life serving the island’s most delicious slices of pizza.

A standard trek to the Southern coast usually includes healthy portions of fried rice and roti, the fare synonymous with our seaside party towns. But a trip to the south shouldn’t be considered complete without a piece of Wijaya’s Italian pie.

Wijaya isn’t a recent or sudden discovery – however it’s located in Talpe, making getting there more of a journey than the stone’s throw beachfront eateries Lucky Tuna or Happy Banana. If you’re staying in Una or even Galle, however, Wijaya is well worth braving the bumpy bus or unmetered tuk tuk. Their slim crusted, cheese laden pizzas are the stuff of salivating dreams.

You get the choice of various toppings (mushroom, spinach, feta, olive, capers, bacon, red onion, etc.) and a pizza with four costs Rs. 1200. This is fairly large and can serve two as a full meal or four as a snack. The quality of ingredients, the light, crispy base – it’s all excellent. And the bacon is actually bacon – nice thick chunks, generously strewn beneath the strings of melted mozzarella – a happy contrast to the curled up pieces of fat you may be treated to at one of our American franchises.

While pizzas of such stature may threaten to overshadow the remaining menu, this doesn’t happen here. A glance through the offerings almost had us deviating from the much awaited feta/bacon/mushroom combo – think tuna sashimi, seared tuna steak, prawn curry.

Food aside, Wijaya Beach is also a lovely place to spend a sleepy afternoon or an excitable evening. The sea here is shielded by a reef, so you have masses of shallow water in which to paddle, lounge and languish after devouring a meal, with sunbeds to collapse on after too many Long Islands. The dimly lit restaurant and bar becomes even sexier by night, providing a laidback location for pre-drinks – or just drinks – removed just far enough from the thumping bass and repetitive electro of your standard watering spots.

If you hadn’t guessed it, we really like Wijaya. The staff are efficient and friendly, the bathrooms aren’t streaked with sand and dirt and the beach is great. So is the food. It’s well worth a visit.

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