The Fishery as the name suggests, is a seafood restaurant. It's a fair distance away from main roads and is slightly inaccessible unless you have private transport, but it's completely worth going out of the way for because the food (all fresh) and service is stellar.
This restaurant's set apart from the main hotel and it's inhouse restaurant which we reviewed last week (and accidentally thought it was this, sorry about that!), and is set overlooking the pool and the beach — depending on where you sit.
It's spacious and can seat about 50 I guess, with white wickerwork chairs and white tables topped with dark wood. The furniture was perfectly aligned that it provides immense satisfaction to people who hate assymmetry.
They've got a buffet and an a la carte menu going on, which includes a range of appetizers, cold starters, a small segment for potatos (woots!), a few Japanese options, and — the highlight of this — a customizable seafood option where you pick your seafood off the ice and have it prepared according to your preferences.
This is billed according to weight, so it depends on how large or small your portion is. Also, those mussels are imported from New Zealand.
Given their array of options, we opted for the Pegasus Baked Crab (Rs. 450) and Herb Roasted Potatos which was just Rs 190.
The crab was very flavoursome and creamy, and was actually a very filling portion so we shared it between the both of us so that we'd have space for the mains. It was set on a crab shell, which I found slightly unnerving because despite eating meat I don't particularly like seeing the faces of the animals I'm eating, but no one else has this issue.
The potatos were lightly spiced and well baked, and of quite a generous portion. We couldn't finish it, but not for a lack of trying.
We went for jumbo prawns (got two for Rs/ 1,162) and cuttle fish (Rs. 455), and the manager strongly recommended that we try a bit of Modha fillet (Rs. 656) to go with the prawns. Service had impressed us by now, given how the waitstaff walked us through the menu and then their seafood display, so we took his word for it and went ahead.
Unsure of how the fish/prawns are best prepared, we asked for recommendations and they suggested having the the prawns grilled, with garlic and chilli sauce since I like my food spicy, and for the cuttle fish to be prepared in tamarind sauce. We haven't ever tried the latter, so we gave it a shot. The Modha Fillet meanwhile, was to be had with lemon butter — they told us it would complement the jumbos.
The prawns came entwined on the slab of Modha fillet, both of which were grilled to perfection. There was a very light char and spice coating going on with the fillet which really added tons of flavour, and the meat of the fish itself was intensely succulent. Dip it in the lemon butter and it's a treat.
In contrast, the chilli garlic sauce was a burst of very strong flavour which went great with the prawns (we tried it with the Modha as well, and it wasn't as good as the lemon butter).
The cuttle fish with tamarind sauce isn't for the weak of heart because the flavour is explosive. You get that sour tang which is balanced out nicely by the cuttlefish meat which in itself is quite subtle. We tried dipping this in lemon butter as well and the contrasting flavours actually worked really well together.
We were stuffed by now, but we wanted to see if the desserts also lived up to expectations: so with that in mind we opted for a Strawberry Mille Feuille (cannot pronounce that for the life of me, sorry), and Panna Cotta with fresh fruit.
The Mille Feuille (Rs. 450) is basically layers of puff pastry and (strawberry flavoured) cream, topped with bits of fruit and candy. It looked a bit gaudy and like it had a lot going on, but it was surprisingly light and quite good. We finished the whole thing.
Coming with really tangy berry coulis, the panna cotta passed, too. Lini pointed out that it wasn't wobbly enough to be authentic, but as far as taste goes it was still good.
Their service was a combo of efficiency and friendliness, with water being topped up every time our glasses emptied, and the manager and staff familiar enough with the menu to make recommendations which suited us. They kept checking up on how each meal was, and then didn't bill me for the coffee because I'd mentioned it wasn't strong enough. You also get complimentary garlic bread at the beginning, and intensely dark (and good) chocolate and cold hand towels in between courses.
Under the impression that it was called The Fishery, we'd reviewed the main resto of Pegasus Reef and given it a low rating for how abysmal our experience of it was; and couldn't be more sorry about our (my) mistake. The Fishery exceeded expectations, and we'd fully recommend it to anyone who loves — or has to be introduced to — seafood.
The warm reception we received on arriving at Earl's was…
Navro Beach is one of the most popular restaurants in Panadura…