When it comes to budget accommodation in Negombo, Sana's is a well-known option. They also have a restaurant and a bar down Lewis Place, which is what we had our eye on.
Like many other restaurants in this town, Sana's menu also features a massive range of seafood, as well as meat centred specialities. As for drinks, they serve both beer and hard liquor, and is willing to shake up some cocktails if one needs any.
We got our hands on this plate of Batter Fried Prawns first. Served with French fries and salad on the side, these prawns were so tiny in size and actually looked like shrimps encased in a thin layer of batter.
Probably they were left in the fryer for too long, or possibly refried, the batter coating had a dark brownish colour, and not golden fried as one would expect. Anyway, the chewy, seafood-y goodness somehow managed to emerge through them, but it doesn't quite justify the Rs. 1200 price tag.
The Peppered Beef Steak (Rs. 1400) was a sizable slice of local beef generously rubbed with a thick sauce, and offered with the same sides like the last one - French fries and a salad.
While firm texture from the outside was spot on, the inner layers of the steak weren't properly cooked through. The outer most layers were soft and easily fell apart, but what comes after them were absolutely rubbery. It seems like they've tossed this on to the grill straight from the freezer without letting it rest for a few minutes. Needless to say, we didn't get past the second forkful of this.
The sauce it was smothered with was a tangy delight, but the peppery flavour was barely there.
The Mixed Fried Rice (Rs. 800) was a good portion of well-cooked, properly seasoned rice, with bits of beef, pork, seafood and chicken mixed in. Less oily in texture, they had included a sprinkle of carrots and spring onions in this for the extra flavour.
The Devilled Tuna (Rs. 900) was the saving grace of this meal. Doused in a sweet, sour and spicy sauce, it featured around 8 - 10 chunks of well-cooked tuna riding alongside with the pieces of onions and capsicum. The sauce did a good job enhancing the rich fishy flavours, instead of holding it back. We loved it.
The ambience at Sana's is sort of hipster-like. As you enter the restaurant, the first thing you're going to notice is the sheer number of plant pots they have. They have both indoor and outdoor dining options, and the latter seems to be the most popular one as it allows you to blend in with the happening vibes in the city.
However, we were not impressed by the service we received here. We had to wait around an hour to get our food, which is not cool, as we were the only locals in the restaurant.
All in all, it's quite alright. Given that there are a whole bunch of places with similar spreads, but much better versions of them for lesser prices, Sana's won't be our first recommendation for dining in Negombo. The food was not up to our expectations and the price we paid for it, and the service needs some serious improvements.