Is Waves the Shangri-La of Seafood and Chinese food places in Sri Lanka? Not quite, but it’s a strong contender nevertheless. My quest to seek this hidden jewel was, if at all, the only annoying part, save the crows. With a fleet of mostly great dishes, pretty friendly staff, and a great location Waves sweeps away most of its competition in a single swift torrent.
Waves is tucked near the Dehiwela end of the Mount Lavinia-Dehiwela beach (roughly at the bottom of Fairline Road, which is quite the journey). It’s excellent; you get the open-air beach experience in an environment that is quiet, and cleaner than the overly active Mount-Lavinian side of the beach. It’s just passed the train tracks and towards your right. Because of the distance from the main road I would recommend going with a guest because the road and area nearby gets very empty.
My first reaction when I trekked it near the train tracks was – “please don’t let this be waves.” The entrance gives no indication that the white, wooden entrance is in fact, Waves. The building looks a little run down, and being a place for (I assume) primarily dinner it was empty when I arrived.
Walk in however, and the airy open beach space, with a few scattered lamps instils a measure of peace. It’s peaceful and during daytime your only concern are the crows (More on that in a bit). The sand is soft and clean, you can barely hear the blaring blast of Colombo traffic, and you’ve got access to a relatively clean beach.
The staff were friendly, although lacking the sort of professionalism you’d see at Loon Tao. They did take about half an hour for my dish, which I guess is understandable given that I saw the guy who took my order in the kitchen cooking it. (?) They might need more afternoon staff, I can’t really blame the cook.
My advice is to head there for dinner.
This is where Waves really washed away my expectations. What I initially thought would be average Sri Lankan Seafood and Chinese hit a couple of balls over the boundary line. My order of basic fried egg noodles, Hot Buttered Cuttlefish Fish, Devilled Fish, and Pepper Chicken came in at about Rs.2800.
Don’t let the menu deceive you! Each section carefully states that the portions can feed two which is not the case. They can quite easily leave three people wobbling back to their cars after dinner. These guys are super generous.
Remember those crows I told you about? They can be quite the pest if you make the wrong move. I dropped a bit of chicken and had it. Rumour has it that Edgar Allan Poe’s initial draft for “The Raven” was written at Waves.
Once upon a review dreary
As I feasted weak and weary
A piece of pepper chicken fell upon the floor
Suddenly there came a-flapping
Through the trees they came a-clapping
A host of ravens; about three-score
Fighting for that chicken
As I sat there quite a-stricken
They walloped all the chicken that fell upon the shore
And now they sit there staring
But I’m not into sharing
Quoth the Ravens “Give us more.”
(If you know who Edgar Allan Poe is you can be my friend).
The staff had to light two crackers so I could eat in peace. Yet another reason to head there for dinner.
The Egg Fried Noodles which come at a super affordable Rs.480 are pretty darn good. Taste-wise the dish is basic, it’s got the necessary stuff to make for a decent main, and for that price you can’t find anything better. The thin, dry noodles muster support texture from the various vegetables and garnish thrown into the dish. This could stuff three diners easily as I said before. Nevermore ;)
Their Hot Buttered Cuttlefish at Rs. 680 is perhaps on of the most generous portions I have come across. Taste-wise it comes off pleasantly sweet, drawing a chewy texture from the thickness of the batter. It isn’t excellent but it is a great deal for Rs.680. There is barely any vegetable and chilli “garnish” which most other restaurants use to fill up the plate.
The pepper chicken, however underperformed. It isn’t anything to write home about, really. The Chicken is tender, but lacks flavour. It comes off the bone nicely, but the only thing that gives it zest is a squirt of lime. It’s okay, but not worth Rs.680.
My favourite however has to be their Devilled Fish. For Rs.680 you’re given chunks and chunks of fish fillet which though not spicy to my palette had an excellent array of flavours kicking in from its sauce. There’s the sweetness of the tomatoes and the numb bite of a bit of chilli with a generous portion of fillet. I usually avoid devilled dishes because of their over abundance of spice and lack of flavour, but this got everything right.
Waves is good and I’d rather it be a secluded seafood jewel tucked at the bottom of Fairline road. It’s a three fo shizzle, but leans towards a three point five. It needs a bit more touching up to head to four-star stardom.