Serendib Leads Negombo’s Fun Experience
Whilst Mount Lavinia may well be the resort of choice for discerning beach lovers and known as “Quickie Central” amongst lovers, Negombo is the epicentre for tourists arriving in Sri Lanka. Negombo lures visitors with exciting possibilities: fun, sun, wine and song. I had to leave out the ‘women’ in that description because Joe Berger really does feel it is rather sexist in this day and age. One of the best value-for-money experiences in terms of food in Negombo is at Serendib Pub & Restaurant.
The ‘pub’ bit is in the front of the restaurant on the main road not too far from the Jetwing Beach hotel. The restaurant is at the back end overlooking the fabulous Indian Ocean. The staff whilst they may not speak ‘good’ English speak enough to help your ‘Serendib’ experience to be memorable.
The food – each time we have been there – is served fast and is actually good. Depending on stock and availability the Lobster may or may not be a good experience but the trick is to ask first. Serendib is a real ‘seafood’ restaurant. Some of the more senior staff do speak enough English to advise guests on this aspect. The portions are very generous and the sea food platter or the mixed grill of meats is actually superb value. How on earth they do it in light of rising prices is still a mystery. Perhaps the owner believes in the Jack Cohen theory : pile’em up high and sell’em cheap. Jack Cohen of course being the founder of Tesco – the 15th largest company on the London Stock Exchange – must have known a thing or two.
The Serendib Pub & Restaurant is also a great place to listen to music and its DJ entertains to a rather packed house of mainly foreigners especially at the weekend. The barman conjures up cocktails some of which is clearly mind-blowing stuff. In not many places have we seen the staff having a great time during the proceedings and their bonhomie is contagious. Joe Berger did feel that it was all part of the ambiance. When the pub gets full they do padlock the place and try to be selective with their guests who seek entry. We noticed that it was the locals who appeared to be kept out although they did so as discreetly as they could. As Serendib is a pub and restaurant it has no entry charge but the music is very good indeed – just a bit different from its equally great neighbour the Rodeo Bar.
Joe Berger can also recommend the grilled prawns and the steak in pepper sauce. The menu is full of International cuisine, Thai, British and Sri Lankan classics. Clearly Serendib is a favourite amongst the many tourists and beer flows freely. The pub area is not air conditioned but the proximity to the Ocean and the fans does help although if it was air conditioned it would have been that much more comfortable. Serendib is made by its great staff, the exceptional barman and the great chef. It’s prices are very keen and helps to make this restaurant a place where indeed “Good Food Served Well” is very much alive and very well.
Serendib Pub & Restaurant is on the Poruthota Road, Ethulkala, Negombo. A meal for two is likely to cost around Rs. 2,000.