Wijaya Beach

Located at: Dalawella, Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

Visited on: 27 Jan, 2018

Island vibes is what this place is about. A narrow strip of beach for a backyard, staff mostly in shorts, skinnies and flip-flops, patrons lounging around in their swimwear, colourful pennants hung around, and reggae remixes of popular tracks playing in the background (the last of which I really wish they wouldn’t do in continual excess.) We’ve visited this place a few times over the past couple of years, and it’s always been relaxing and pleasurable. The family-owned place is always bustling, and from what I’ve read runs its own accommodation and yoga facilities too. We, of course, come here for the pizza. Near-flimsy, stone-oven heated pizza that you can watch being cooked. Served on wooden boards that resemble ping-pong rackets, with a smaller version of the same for plates. Doesn’t get more exotic than that.

Just inside the entrance – restaurant on the left, pizza oven on the right, beach ahead
Stone-oven for preparing pizzas

On this particular visit, we ordered a Seafood pizza (LKR 1,400) and a Bacon & Pineapple pizza (LKR 1,400). It’s hard to say which one I thought was better since they were both different in their own ways. The seafood pizza got most of its flavour from the prawns embedded in the rich layer of molten mozzarella, while the other had a tinge of sweetness from the pineapple although there wasn’t much saltiness coming off the bacon. Another thing I like about this place is that their add-on condiments on the table for pizza include oregano flakes. A small (or generous, if you might) sprinkling on top of your pizza adds a touch of earthy freshness, which I quite like. They also provide a chilli-oil, which I’m not necessarily a fan of. In my opinion, it doesn’t do a great deal to elevate the taste or quality of the food.

Seafood pizza
Bacon & pineapple pizza

In spite of loving the place and the pizza, what concerns me slightly is as to whether Wijaya Beach is (perhaps unwittingly) letting their flavour dwindle just a bit. I didn’t get the sort of colourful flavours circling on my palate this time that I recall getting on my very first – and possibly subsequent – visit. I do recall, however, having this thought cross my mind on the last occasion that we visited too, prior to this one. I truly hope that this is imaginative rather than real, for it would be a shame for such a place to lose its, what should I say – “oomph”. Of course, there are other mains to choose from. But the pizza is a (if not the) star attraction. So, I left the place with the hope of writing a better review – with a better rating – the next time.

Racket-like wooden “pans”…
…with “plates” to match

Before leaving, we decided to give one of their desserts-of-the-day a try. Ginger Lemon Cheesecake (LKR 600) is what we decided to share among three. Which turned out to be a good idea since it came in a sizeable portion with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. I’m not much of a cheesecake person (and have I mentioned I’m into the chocolate-y side of things?), but I must say this was a rather interesting marriage of flavours. Slightly on the solid side from being refrigerated, the cheesecake was zinging with the flavour of ginger – albeit not overwhelmingly. And you could feel the lemon notes closer to your throat and in the aftertaste. Not bad at all. Quite unique. And, of course, I enjoyed the biscuit base. Definitely worth the try.

Ginger lemon cheesecake with vanilla ice cream
Ocean ahead!

Yummy Rating: 3.5 / 5.0

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