Located at: Pamunugama Road, Thalahena, Negombo, Sri Lanka
Visited on: 07 January, 2022
An impromptu decision to have a bit of crab led us to the beautiful Jetwing Lagoon hotel on the first Friday afternoon of the year. The drive there is a scenic one dotted with several colonial-era churches, quiet, spaced-out houses, and sporadic views of the ocean to your left, if you’re traveling North.
Blue Lagoon offers its guests al fresco dining, with a well-maintained lawn and a few large trees sitting between diners and the lagoon. If you pay enough attention, you might notice the (now occasional) odd aircraft taking off from or landing at Bandaranaike International Airport in the distance, across the lagoon.
To begin with, I ordered a Lagoon Cooler (LKR 500) which was a refreshing and delicious concoction of a few tropical fruits with coconut milk. Rather enjoyable, and perfect for the ambience.
The Prawn and Lemongrass Soup served with steamed rice (LKR 1,200) was top-notch, quite like a tom yum goong. A tad bit over-priced perhaps (it comes with three medium-sized prawns), but mouth-wateringly good! It was good balance of coconut milk, lemongrass and spice that certainly whipped up an appetite. I didn’t understand the need for a steamed rice side when I read the menu, but it made for a rather interesting combination when we actually had it.
What was meant to be the star of the afternoon fell short, in our opinion. The Fresh Mud Crab Curry (LKR 2,600) came with three or four medium-sized crabs in a yellow curry, accompanied by some steamed rice and sides of tempered potato, brinjal moju, dhal curry, tempered coconut sambol, chutney, lunu dehi, papadam and fried dried red chillies. The crabs were not as meaty as promised, and the curry certainly could have been tastier. Crab curry is usually quite the rice-puller at home. But I’m afraid we couldn’t say the same about this curry. The accompanying condiments were okay but, again, could have been better.
The Grilled Lime and Olive Marinated Red Snapper served with buttered greens and baked garlic butter (LKR 2,500) was a different story, though – it tasted pretty good! It was slightly caramelised on the outside while tender inside, and was a rather pleasant experience on the palate. The buttered greens included beans, green zucchini and some spinach, and went well with the fish and butter sauce.
We also ordered a Tempura Battered Cauliflower (LKR 1,500), which came with a sweet sauce dip. It was good to see that the dish was not oily despite being batter-fried, and had a mild crispness to it, too. However, the cauliflower itself was under-seasoned, and I relied on the butter sauce from the fish to make it a little tastier (I wasn’t keen on having the accompanying sauce with rice).
For dessert, we tried three different items. The first was Coffee Brownie with vanilla ice cream (LKR 800). Although this was quite nice, the texture of the dessert was more cake-like than that of a brownie. The coffee flavour was not as apparent as expected, but was present in a mild dose. The second dessert was their Pineapple Baked Cheesecake (LKR 800). While this was eye-catching, it seemed to have been freeze-stored, compromising the smoothness of its texture and making it a bit icy. The third dessert was Lemon Curd Tart and vanilla ice cream (LKR 800). This item was probably the truest to its name, with smoothly textured and pleasantly flavoured lemon curd set on a biscuit base. As you would notice, the ice cream that accompanied the desserts was strawberry, instead of vanilla. We weren’t told why this was so, but assumed that it was due to unavailability of the latter. Vanilla would have made a better accompaniment.
As an overall experience, we quite enjoyed the afternoon – a beautiful, serene setting overlooking the Negombo lagoon, good weather, warm and friendly staff, and a well-behaved, sleepy Bruno (a very good girl, despite the moniker) keeping us company.
Yummy Rating: 3.5 / 5.0