Unawatuna is quite an upmarket beach destination on the south coast of Sri Lanka drawing in lots of holidaying tourists. With lots of big hotels and swanky beach side restaurants it can be quite hard to find something affordable for those of us eating out on a budget!
Coming from India we were already quite surprised at the price of the food in Sri Lanka but then we figured it wasn’t really fair to compare everything to the ridiculously cheap street food prices in India! Sri Lanka certainly has less “local” food joints and this rings especially true in places such as Unawatuna where tourism has really taken its hold! However, if you look hard enough you can always find something!
In Unawatuna this came in the shape of Happy Spice! Nestled in between some more open fronted restaurants this place would be easy to miss but look out for its little wooden sign on the main strip behind the beach and jump inside to the orange glow of candlelight.
Happy Spice is completely family-run with everything from the delicious fresh cooking to the waitress who serves up your meal with a big Sri Lankan smile having that warm, homely feel. We think, this place serves not only the best Sri Lankan rice and curry around this area but also does some absolutely banging cocktails!
We ate in Happy Spice twice in our first stay in Unawatuna and just had to go back again and take Josh’s Mum when we returned with her! Each time we were not disappointed! The traditional rice and curry dish comes piled up and can be had as pure veg or with a variety of meat and fish – we tried both and each were as mouth watering as the other. Josh’s Mum chose the fish of the day which was fresh and delicately flavoured with coconut and spices! These combined with the sweet yet punchy little mojito’s flowing freely we had some lovely evenings in here playing cards and telling all our travel stories!
At 850 SLR (£4.50) a plate it was more than we’d usually spend on food but in comparison to the food prices in this area it was certainly on the cheaper end of the scale. Plus, to stay within budget we made sure to eat smaller snacks such as Roti or Kottu for lunch which meant we had more to spend on these evening flavour sensations!
C & J