Set in the middle of rural Wellawaya, Jetwing Kaduruketha's open-air restaurant overlooks the majestic Poonagala mountain range and acres of fertile paddy land.
Using home-grown herbs and spices, and hoping to eventually use their own grain as well, this place is well on its way to becoming a self-sustained restaurant excelling at dishing up local and fusion cuisine. Prices are predictably a bit on the high end, but given the quality and preparation of the food and drinks, this is definitely something you wouldn't regret indulging in.
It's evident that they like keeping things uncomplicated, which is great by us. Sticking to set menus, the restaurant offers breakfast (Rs. 1,600), lunch (Rs. 2,250) and dinner (Rs. 2,700). They hadn't set their bar up when we were there, but we were told that they were in the process of getting their liquor license sorted.
We've tried all three meals there (did we mention they're pretty great?) so we'll try to give you an overview of how it all was, instead of reviewing them as individual dishes as we're usually wont to.
Breakfast here is a portion of kiribath and a couple of pol-rottis, served with sides of tangy lunu-miris and pol sambol all made to perfection. The condiments are well-spiced and salted, with nothing to improve upon, and the kiribath and pol-rotti is as good as any your grandmom would make. It all evokes senses of nostalgia and familiarity, or avurudu, and holidays.
If this pol sambol got any fresher, it'd still be in nut form.
Their meals are so well porportioned that it fills you up just the right amount. While you aren't stuffed, it definitely doesn't leave you craving for more, which is rather strange because my usual state of stomach is either can-eat-more or can't-eat-more; whereas in this case, you can eat more but you don't want to eat more because that'd just ruin it.
You get a bowlful of steamed basmati rice, along with many more bowls of veggies and curry. Think beans, spicy chicken curry, cabbages and things (rhymes with kings. Cabbages and Kings. Get it? No? Yes? Okay).
While we enjoyed all the dishes, one of our personal favourites though was this curry leaf dish, which is just insane because of how straightforward it is.
Literally just fried karapincha, with tempered slices of garlic and slivers of tempered onions; salted and lightly chillied (I think), this made us wonder why no one else does this. Or do they? If they do, what else have I been missing out on? This is like, green murukku.
Their fresh juices also deserve a shout out, because it's practically the best thing ever on a hot day. Well balanced, not saccharine sweet, and definitely not watery, their mango juice is the epitomy of liquidized mango. (and the good mangoes at that, not the terrible ones pumped with hormones, which looks delish but tastes shizz).
I wasn't a huge fan of their papaya juice (not pictured), because it lacked a bit in the flavour department.
They serve Hansa coffee, which is good if you like that particular brand. I don't, because I find it too bitter, waterish, and flavourless overall.
Service is topnotch, with dishes being brought in and out, plates cleared, and cups filled without you even noticing it. You'd barely need to lift a finger or ask for anything even, because it's just done for you.
In terms of ambience, the dining area is a deck-like area set overlooking their pool, paddies, and mountains. Fresh breeze, bird calls, the whole at-one-with-nature set-up all around you. Specially designed terracotta-esque tableware mingled with mint green hues, wooden tables and dark weval chairs completes the interior.
This is a definite escape from your busy city life, and is quaint and remote, and overall super peaceful. It's luxurious, with smooth service and delicious food. There are very few decisions for you to make or break your head over, so you're relieved of even that bit of brainwork. The food is comforting as well, and is sure to evoke fond memories and tingle your tastebuds.