We have just returned from our first trip to Sri Lanka, and absolutely fell in love with it, due to its beautiful lush scenery, beaches, relaxed vibe, wonderful people, and of course, the food.
Given we only had 5 days, we opted to stay put in one place, near the old fort town of Galle on the coast of the Southern province. It was our wedding anniversary, and as such Chris had organised for us to stay at the gorgeous, secluded Satin Doll; a beach front house (or villa) with rooms flowing onto verandahs which overlook the gardens and ocean. The best part was that given it was slightly low season, we had the place to ourselves, and so were able to spend every evening sitting in the beautiful traditional pavilion in the garden, overlooking the ocean.
We were completed undisturbed apart from the discrete staff. And it was there that we tucked into various wonderful meals.
We had heard great things about the food, rustled up by the duo of in-house chefs. But it surpassed even these expectations.We’d pre-ordered a lunch for when we arrived, since the ingredients are bought in fresh every day based on what the guests have requested to eat. So it was that we had a brief pause to freshen up and unpack, before tucking into a seared tuna steak with tangy tomato and corn salsa, and a perfectly cooked mahi mahi fillet with coconut rice and green curry sauce. The first of many dishes enjoyed with the background sound of the waves.
Our breakfasts were a total treat as we were greeted every morning with a plate of the freshest fruit & each day a different juice or smoothie; avocado, papaya, pineapple.
We were then brought a basket of fresh seeded toast as we waited for our eggs – done on request daily. Between us we tried poached, scrambled, fried, and the highlight being the most perfect eggs Benedict with silky hollandaise sauce. All washed down with Ceylon tea (of course) and fresh brewed coffee.
For our first dinner we went for the traditional Sri Lankan staple, rice & curry. And it was so good that we had it again 2 days later. The MOST flavourful curries, sambals & relishes we have ever eaten, packed with coconut milk & cinnamon, with fennel seeds, cardamon, curry leaves & clove. Sweetened with caramelised onions and salty with fish sauce. Served with fluffy rice, and crisp poppadoms. Particular (and unusual) highlights were the beetroot curry, garlic curry (which was strong enough to add a lovely tang to the rice and other dishes, but with the raw garlic taste avoided & the cloves softened by the slow cooking in coconut milk) and fabulous coconut sambal.
At our dinner in between our traditional curry nights we also sampled one of the most delicious tuna tartares we have come across (creamy with avocado, tangy with lime and a kick of wasabi), a wonderful Goan prawn curry, a rich and hearty cottage pie with cheesy mash topping. And one night when we fancied something sweet but hadn’t ordered it, they even managed to produce a rich slice of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. They certainly know what they are doing!
We fell in love with Sri Lanka, with their amazing rice & curry, and with Satin Doll and their wonderful chefs. We are already planning our next trip.
Satin Doll, 792 Galle-Matara Road, Mihiripenna, Galle, 80615, Sri Lanka