With the catch of the day brought in from the ‘waves of prosperity’, a start to a fresh day with the freshest ingredients begins to unfold by the ocean. A seemingly passionate yet ambient atmosphere with an unimpeded fervour for creating over 283 vivacious dishes for its menu, Loon Tao brings some of Sri Lanka’s most savoured foods to life.
Words Sonali Kadurugamuwa Photographs Menaka Aravinda
Indulge in aromas of its signature dishes, such as the BBQ Bamboo Fried Rice, Dual Taste Deep Fried whole Garupa in Special Sauce or even steaming bowls of thick or clear seafood soups… you would still have 280 more items to choose from. With ingredients that are hand-picked and carried from China and Hong Kong to retain freshness in authenticity, Janaka Wimalananda, Managing Director, says, “Loon Tao is a place that is created with a significant passion for food, we continue to have that passion in making each and every one of our guests happy and for that we take all the trouble our- selves in our attention to detail, which goes into enhancing the quality in our food and ingredients.”
As far as courteousness goes, Loon Tao is also a famed Halal res- taurant, where food preparation is to the highest of standards. For the strict vegetarians, the dishes may seem endless, with stir-fried vegeta- bles of abounding variations, Mush- room delights that spread to a blend of three kinds in one serving, to mouth-watering Fried Rice and Noodles specials just for the vegan guests, to name but a few. Choose from in-house favourites like the Malaysian Style Bean Curd, Hong Kong Style Deep Fried Prawns, the Savoury Chilli Lobster or how about some enticing Singaporean Style Chilli Crab before indulging in the Chocolate Brownie from a choice of desserts, while coaxing a friend into ordering the Cheesy Caramel – to be sure you don’t miss out. Not forget- ting to decide on a wine or cocktail, get treated to a wide selection of beverages from the world over. And remember it is best to reserve tables towards the weekend.
The strumming of acoustic guitar, live daily, nurtures the very savour of the food and drink served at the restaurant. Feel at ease while every recipe under the sun from Canton, Szechwan, Peking and Shanghai are brought to the guests whether they enjoy an eat-in with family and friends, beneath thatched canopies or dine on the sand as the children have fun in the safe and secure kiddies play area. Bust a few moves on the restaurant’s wooden dance floor and for those who’d like to spruce up their appetites with a casual dip in the ocean, the shower rooms will facilitate a quick freshen- up before an afternoon meal.
Speaking on the architecture of Loon Tao’s setup, Wimalananda explains that he is “an admirer of Balinese architecture because of its minimalistic characteristics,” which was applied while designing the restaurant’s “uninterrupted scene of ocean, from each and every angle.” He adds, “even with our 300 plus seating capacity,” the view of the sea is “a luxurious experience we provide for all our guests.” Even space settings for private functions have not been excluded.
Behind the scenes, two chefs from Mainland China whip up their spe- cialty delicacies of seafood, meat and vegetable dishes, which, besides the environment, according to Wimalananda, “is why people keep coming back.” Open daily, visit for lunch between the hours of 11am and 3pm and for dinner from 6pm to 11pm, and discover why your first visit to Loon Tao, definitely won’t be your last.
Loon Tao 43/12 College Avenue, Mt Lavinia
Tel: (+94 11) 272 2723