Located at: 77 Galle Road, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka
Visited on: 25 Sep, 2017
The Lagoon was bustling on a Monday night – which says something about the place. And which you can understand once you’ve tasted their food and experienced their service. This is a seafood restaurant with a ‘fish market’ concept where you go and pick what you would like to have and how you would like to have it prepared. The welcoming and friendly staff are on hand to offer their insight on the best combos and suggestions you should try. Pricing varies according to your pick, mass and style of preparation, so you’ll notice as you read on that prices are not mentioned for the mains below.
We started off with some Jaffna Kool: spicy seafood soup (LKR 450). Very good. Apart from the sizeable piece of crab placed in the bowl, you can taste the flavour from the crab meat it in the broth too together with other minced seafood. It was rich in spices – but in just the right amount. Ideal to work up an appetite. Highly recommended. However, the garlic bread that came with it seemed like it might have been reheated. That is, it did not taste all that fresh and crunchy and could have used a little more flavour.
For our first choice of mains, we opted to have Crab in Sri Lankan style Curry. Perhaps it goes without saying that this was spicy (it is Sri Lankan curry after all)! Spicier than the Jaffna Kool, I felt. And by that I don’t just mean in terms of heat, but also in terms of the spices used for the curry. But it was a good match for the Steamed Rice (LKR 250) we ordered. If you’re a curry lover, this is definitely one for you. Luckily, we managed to reserve the last two large crabs on the way in (this was at around 8.00pm), and they turned out to be a meaty treat.
Chilli Garlic Prawns was recommended to us by the steward. I was leaning more towards a tamarind sauce preparation (prawns and tamarind sauce – always a winning combo, in my opinion), but thought we should try this out since we had the tamarind sauce prep the last time. And it was pretty good. The prawns were succulent, and nice and crunchy as they came in a crisp fried batter – not very ‘chilli’, but tossed around in fried chopped garlic. More crunch. If I were to choose between the two – hard choice, to be honest – the tamarind sauce prep might have a very slight edge over the chilli garlic. Just for it not being fried, and for the sauce itself which tastes great with rice.
The Hot Batter Cuttle Fish was also good. I sensed a paprika-like after-taste, which I quite liked. The cuttle fish itself was nice and chewy with a crisp batter around it. So much so, it would have made a very satisfying snack just by itself.
We also ordered a dish of Wok-fried Vegetables (LKR 400), which included blanched broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, beans and salad leaves in oyster sauce. Quite a tasteful combination, which was made better with a generous sprinkle of fried chopped garlic on top. Extra crunch and flavour. Simple addition, great result. Thumbs up.
Now I must admit that after the mains, I was too full to try all five desserts that we ordered for our table. (If you’ve read my previous posts, you’d know by now that my appetite is not necessarily in due proportion to my interest in trying different foods out.) But I am including a collage of all the desserts here for your viewing pleasure. The Chocolate Fudge (with coffee cream) (LKR 450) was mine. Let’s just say that seafood is The Lagoon’s forte. I was imagining a very fudge-y serving with a dollop of coffee-flavoured cream. What came was something much more solid than that, as you can probably make out from the image. I also felt like it was too sweet and hence didn’t allow the chocolate and coffee flavours to come through. I did try a bit of the Praline Chocolate Mousse (LKR 450) though, which I actually contemplated before settling for the fudge. Again, too sweet. I wasn’t tasting much praline through that sweetness.
All in all, based on my two visits, I believe The Lagoon is sure to leave any seafood fan who is looking for a good dining experience highly satisfied. Great for a family or business dinner. Just one thing though – they have an open kitchen. This plus the sound of the staff shouting out orders and the chatter of fellow diners might warrant a raise of voice to be heard when speaking. If you’re into vocal exercises, pre-visit might be a good time to practise them!
Yummy Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
(Note: My instinctive rating was a 4.5, however – unfortunately – The Lagoon didn’t impress with their desserts; hence the toning down to a 4.0.)