Sherry Land is a restaurant and pub in Negombo that offers one of the best cocktail menus we've come across in recent times, with some good food to boot.
Sherry Land doesn't look like the hippest spot on the Negombo strip, but it has a great cocktail selection. The cocktail menu is nearly six pages of cocktails, and has pretty much every combination of alcohol you can think of. The food menu, while not as impressive, still offers a respectable selection of seafood and meat dishes priced between Rs. 700 to Rs. 2000 for more exotic seafood.
One really great option they offer is to mix your own cocktail so we decided on a sort of arrack sour with lime juice and soda (Rs. 400). It's not difficult to mix, but it came out just the way I like, with the acidity of the lime juice cutting through for an added kick. If you're looking for something a bit sweeter, they offer an arrack and passion fruit cocktail which also sounds pretty good.
The Negombo Special (Rs. 540) is a mix of vodka, sweet vermouth and pineapple, but don't let the fruit-juice-like look of it fool you, 'cause it'll really kick your rear. This one tasted pretty great but at the same time it's very strong. What's great though is that in both cases they didn't skimp on the alcohol.
For the main we tried out their pork butterfly steak (Rs. 1150), which is basically two sizeable pork chops served with a mustard paste and a very interesting cordial based sauce, along with fries and a salad. All in all this does pretty well, but the only issue was that the pork was slightly over seasoned which we couldn't really look past. Besides that, the pork was cooked well, with the cordial sauce adding a nice sweetness and a nice contrast with the mustard paste. The fries were light, crispy and well seasoned, but the salad was just meh.
We weren't planning on having dessert at first but when we saw the banana fritters (Rs. 350), we just couldn't resist. And we're glad we didn't, cause it was brilliant. The fritters are served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce and in terms of presentation these fritters were near perfect, with a perfectly even golden batter which had a nice crunch to it. Combine the warm fritters with the ice cream and you have a tried and tested recipe for success.
Like we said at the beginning, Sherry Land isn't the most eye catching restaurant in the area, but don't let that deter you. As you enter the first thing you see is the bar area, which looks quite contemporary with long, high bar stools. Go further inside and you come to the restaurant area, which is a bit more old school with a black and gold theme that looks a lot like a banquet hall area.
We didn't really have any complaints when it came to the service at Sherry Land. It wasn't the fastest, but it was pretty decent since most of the tables were occupied. The waiters are very polite gentlemen, who were actually very helpful when deciding what to order.
If you ever find yourself on Beach Road in Negombo, unsure of which of the plethora of restaurants to visit, give Sherry Land a shot. If you enjoy a good cocktail with a satisfying meal, we think you'll be happy.