The Viewing Gallery @ Jetwing Lake Dambulla

Located at: Wijaya Kumaratunga Mawatha, Yapagama, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Visited on: 11 March, 2022

Jetwing Lake Dambulla was an unplanned but welcome stop on a rather hot day in this part of the island. The hotel, as a whole, provided a serene environment to recharge ourselves, and The Viewing Gallery restaurant offered a breezy and scenic al fresco dining experience over lunch. The view, I imagine, must be stunning at sunset.

View of the lake

We first cooled off with a few mocktails. Bora Bora (LKR 500) comprised of pineapple juice, grenadine, lime juice and ginger ale, while Central Frog (LKR 500) was made with passion fruit juice and ginger ale with mint leaves. Both were quite uplifting with a fruity punch and a bit of pop.

Bora Bora (L) and Central Frog (R)

Jetwing Lake’s Garden Picked Raw Papaya Salad (LKR 450) was substantial in portion size, and was pleasantly refreshing with plenty of peanut and aromatic flavours from fresh coriander leaves, lemongrass and green chilli, with some tomato. The papaya that had been used was just the right balance between raw and ripe.

Jetwing Lake’s Garden Picked Raw Papaya Salad

Their Nasi Goreng (LKR 1,500) was very good. The wok fried rice had an authentic vibe to it with bits of shrimp and vegetable. It had good flavour and was not oily. The chicken satay was good too, but could have used more of the peanut sauce that was also nicely done. Of course, it came with a sunny-side-up, a dry chilli paste and prawn crackers. Enjoyed this one.

Nasi Goreng

The Village Style Pepper Pork Mustard Stew (LKR 1,300) was quite tasty, too. The meat was nicely cooked and the stew was good with the steamed rice. The dish came with a bit of mango chutney and papadam.

Village Style Pepper Pork Mustard Stew

We also ordered a Chicken Kadai (LKR 1,100) which offered an option between steamed rice or paratha. It had boneless chicken in a thick gravy with Southern Indian spices, and was served with a green chutney, raita and papadam. This curry was also quite nice and went well with the rice.

Chicken Kadai

After a rather satisfying meal, we thought of trying their Lemongrass Crème Brulée (LKR 650) for dessert. While it was a visual delight, the cream had unfortunately not set at the bottom. It also lacked lemongrass flavour. The burnt sugar brittle that had been scattered on top was a novel twist on the classic dessert. It did give a bit of sticky crunch to the dessert, but there is a touch of childish pleasure that comes from cracking through the film of burnt sugar on a crème brulée. Perhaps, some classics should be left as they are?

Lemongrass Crème Brulée

All in all, we definitely enjoyed our lunch stop at Jetwing Lake Dambulla and were glad to have made this unintended acquaintance!

Yummy rating: 4.0 / 5.0

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