Since our last review in 2012 The Station has gone from a small beach bar and eatery to a fully fledged restaurant. They've got a great view, cheap booze, good food and one of the best hot butter cuttlefish in town.
As you'd expect from a beach restaurant, The Station has a great selection of seafood. In terms of cuisine style they emphasize Chinese and Thai. They also serve all the major meats as well as pork, which is always nice to see. The rates are generally very reasonable with dishes priced between Rs. 500 - Rs. 800. Everything comes in one portion size enough for around three.
Booze is also pretty cheap with a tall bottle of Lion Lager at Rs. 250. Our total came to Rs. 3700 with beers, which is pretty good for what we got.
The mixed meat Thai fried rice (Rs. 600), while not the most authentic, was tasty and Sri Lankanized in just the right way with a good spice hit and a whole lot of pork, chicken and beef. At Rs. 600 the portion size was also easily enough for three to four people, so you're getting some real value for money.
While mostly everything we tried was very good, the highlight of our meal was the hot butter cuttlefish (Rs. 600). The Station's HBC made it into our top 5, and I'd say that it's improved even further. The crispy golden fried batter has a great balance of seasoning and spice along with well cooked cuttlefish with just the right texture, perfectly suited for our local palate.
The pork belly in dark soy sauce (Rs. 600) was also one the better pork dishes I've tried recently. Usually when you order pork belly you get a whole load of fat-heavy pieces. I'm OK with this, but some people aren't. This dish, on the other hand, had a great balance of meat and fat, and the pieces that did have fat were rendered perfectly so that it melts in your mouth, as opposed to having to chew it like gum. The dark soy sauce was also flavoursome with a nice thick consistency that helped it bind to the pork.
To go with the Thai fried rice we opted to try the Thai red beef curry (Rs. 650). We were pleasantly surprised to find that it was a pretty accurate rendition of Thai red curry with a good amount of chilli, creamy sauce and tender strips of beef.
Simply being by the beach adds ten ambience points. Couple that with good infrastructure and a relaxing setting, and you've got a winner. At the time of our initial review in 2012 The Station was a pretty small place. Since then they've increased the seating and added a second floor which overlooks the ocean. We dropped in on a Sunday and it was super relaxing with the calm ocean.
The service was a bit slow, but all in all we'd say it was a pleasant experience. The waiters were very friendly and helpful. One thing that we appreciated was that they mention anything noteworthy about a dish, like when we ordered the Thai red curry, he immediately said that the dish is quite spicy and asked if we were okay with that. Little things, but definitely a plus.
The cooking time was a bit too slow with the food coming to the table in about 35 minutes, for which they promptly apologized, but this time around we didn't notice the time pass by as we were chilling by the beach.
When it comes to value for money, The Station is pretty difficult to beat. They tick all the right boxes with their ambience, service and food.
Station is a nice location on the Dehiwala beach that makes local palates happy with its affordable Chinese/Thai fare.
This is a really chill place for a cheap beer by the beach. In Colombo, cheap beer by the beach usually spells dodgy, but this isn't the case here. The Station seems family friendly - lots of open space and no dark nooks and crannies for lurkers to lurk.
සිංහල ඉස්සර දෙහිවල, ගල්කිස්ස පැත්තෙ බීච් එකේ අඩුවට බොන්න තැනක් හොයද්දි මුලින් ම මතකොට එන නම් කීපයෙන් එකක් තමයි ස්ටේෂන්. ඒත් ඒ ඉස්සර...
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