Photo courtesy: Thilak Seneviratne
“Fresh fish,” they boast. I expected a school to drop out of the sky one evening when buckets of water were pouring forth from above. The palms were flapping and waves crashing, adding that much more of the sea flavor to my enjoyable evening on the terrace of the Hotel Ceylon Inter-Continental. A fish did drop onto my table shortly after I was seated. Fortunately not a lively sort; one rather stiff with a perky smile, carved in wood which opened to hold the menu. From cuttle fish to lobster, leggy crab to sailors’ stew, it offered plenty of fresh seafood from the bounty of the lapping Indian Ocean. I started my sea-fare with a splash of what looked to be the deep blue herself; a tasty blue Palm Breeze cocktail made of gin, a coconut flavored liqueur and a touch of lemon. With it I sampled the Negombo cuttlefish salad -strips and flowerettes of squid marinated with tomato, celery, onion and nicely spiced. A basket of warm crusty French bread was brought as well. I passed up a Saffron Crab Soup, Shrimp Gumbo and other varieties for a Grilled Tuna Steak served with spicy herb butter, rice pilaf and grilled tomato halves. But first, a visit to the salad bar brought in a good catch: marinated red beans, cucumbers and onions, fresh tomatos and lettuce, cooked beets, potato salad and two col es laws. The tuna was nicely cooked, tender and juicy even without the melted butter sauce. Other offerings from the still grinning menu included a Fisherman’s Basket of deep fried fish, Bouillabaise Colombo, Broiled Giant Prawns, Whole First Baked Chinese style or with Garlic Herb Butter, Grilled or Poached Seer, Fish Brochette and Lobster Feast – grilled, boiled, thermidor or cinet. For dessert, fresh fruit, mousse or ice cream. All entrees are served with salad and rice and are priced from Rs 90 to 185, Rs 300 to 380 for lobsters. An added attraction each evening at The Pearl Seafood Restaurant is a melodious group of Calypso singers, The Sri Lankans, who stroll the patio in their colorful Batik garb. Monday nights a Cultural Dance show is presented from 8. 30 to 9. 30. Wednesday night is Lobster Night and every evening from 6.00 to 7.00 is cocktail hour with discounted prices. The Pearl Seafood Restaurant is open daily from 7 to 11 p.m. Step into the Ceylon Intercontinental to try it, or one of the other fine restaurants-The Emerald Tea and Coffee Shop, The Palms Avenue One, The Aquamarine Bar, The Pizzeria or 100 Pipers Pub.