A postcard from Bentota, Srilanka : Day 1
Vivanta by Taj, Breathtaking Bentota Beach, Fresh Sea food at Amal Restaurant, Bentota.
The trip started with a bad luck as we missed our Delhi-Mumbai flight, our entire trip was saved only because there was enough time to catch another flight and land at Mumbai just in time to board our connecting flight to Colombo. After all the mayhem at Mumbai and Delhi airport we could finally breath only when onboard our Colombo flight, but all the tension during the day left us sleepless and we landed early morning at Colombo without having slept a wink.
As scheduled we headed straight out of the airport to the scenic beach front town Bentota, situated at the southwest coast of Srilanka, it was about 2 hrs drive and the air conditioned coach had us all doze off in no time. We reached our beautiful luxury beach front hotel Vivanta by Taj to an overcast day and a beautiful mighty expanse of the sea visible just outside the glass paneled four walls of the huge main lobby had us forget all the mishap that happened earlier in the day. It’s all spic and span white, enchanting, relaxing and its Taj, so needless to say that our rooms done up in ivory and emerald had an inviting comfortable bed that had us go crashing into it’s cozy comforts as soon as we checked in. We woke up only after it was long past noon and our stomachs were craving for food.
It’s was only when we woke up we could admire the breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean that the attached balcony offered, creating an awesome ambiance for an ideal holiday. The hotel is huge but we left it to be explored later, on suggestion from our guide cum chauffeur we decided to have the delayed lunch at a nearby sea food restaurant. A quick change and 5 minutes drive brought us to this seafood haven Amal Restaurant, Zum Hellen Wahnsinn, Bentota(you can ask around and anybody could guide you there, its on the Galle Road).
The restaurant is small by which I no means mean tacky, rather its clean, well kept, colorful and quite a name in the vicinity or at least I guess so by the number of pouring tourists. The attractions however were the live display of fresh seafood, including fish, lobsters, crabs and prawn, here you can make your pick and have it grilled, fried or baked to your liking. We chose to order the boneless (just a central line boned) Para fish and a plate full of Medium Prawns both to be grilled in Sri Lankan spices. Our starter was a quick fresh green salad with a sweet honey and mustard sort of dressing and our choice of fresh juices, they were fresh and really delicious. A wait of roughly 20-25 minutes and the whole grilled fish and the prawns were served with a side of tempered rice and local bread, the sides were simply average fillers. The grills were absolute show stealers, they were deliciously grilled to perfection, and we gorged like nomads on our fishes and smiled with satisfaction with every bite. The spices were just rightly balance and we were told by the friendly attended that they Grill it with hot spices for Indians and Asians and for Europeans they use milder tones, quite smart I’d say. Since we had found the filler too bland for our palate they were left untouched, so to make up for the fillers we ordered a serve of one Devilled Chicken Dish between four of us as a final course and it was a good sweet and sour Chinese stir fry chicken recipe with steamed rice and it quite successfully did seal our stomachs tight.
With our happy stomachs we strolled down through the backyard of the restaurant to find the unspoiled expanse of a beach of Bentota were we could wander for miles along the pristine stretch of sand with none but the roar of the mighty tides to disturb us. The evening was well spend admiring the sea and my little nephew endlessly trying to build a castle in the sand and the day finally culminated into a breathtaking sunset on the beach. As it started to grow darker we decided to move away from the beach and go around and explore the town, which we later realized was no less than a sleepy hamlet with nothing to offer at night. So we had an early small dinner at a recommended Indian restaurant Kandori which actually turned out quite a shabby place to dine at. The food however was decent with a variety of Indian dishes but I shall not recommend it unless you can’t do away with Indian Cuisine, for in that case it may be your best possible bet in the area. On reaching back to the hotel we called it an early day and retired into our beds after spending a romantic hour sitting together on the room balcony admiring the silence broken by the sounds of the sea at regular interval.
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