|In a word: Special|
|Food: Sri Lankan favourites freshly prepared for you in the family home|
|Service: Saman is wonderful, his smile & laugh will keep you going for weeks!|
|Presentation: Rustic look, food served on the family’s best china|
|Ambience: Chill to the sounds of nature, just remember the mosquito repellant|
|Location: Set back behind the beach on the family’s property amid lush green foliage|
|Value for money: The whole experience is worth every penny and a feast of rice and curry is less than £3|
|Worth a visit?: What could be better than eating authentic, freshly prepared Sri Lankan cuisine in the knowledge that you’re directly helping a family and supporting a young entrepreneur?|
I met Saman on Marakolliya Beach near Tangalle in Sri Lanka, he was searching for shells along the tide line as I walked down the beach before breakfast. He was collecting shells to make bracelets and necklaces to sell to tourists like me that he meets on the beach. It turns out he also runs the sweetest little homestay guesthouse and tiny restaurant from his family home. Being desperate to find authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, I wasn’t going to pass up on the opportunity to eat at his little restaurant.
Late one afternoon, we walked down the beach and predictably found him collecting shells for his jewellery, he walked us down to his restaurant about 100 meters from the sea.
The set up of Peacock Guesthouse is super cute, Saman has built a traditional mud house for guests to stay in next to the family house, separated by a low fence and surrounded by the garden of his property – full of luscious green vegetation. The house consists of a spacious bedroom with double bed and a desk, and decent size shower room.
The restaurant is between the guesthouse and the family home, it’s a small construction, again using traditional material and building methods, with two plastic tables and chairs. The place itself is rustic and I found the whole set up just charming- little strings of shells hanging down from the roof, buffalo skulls as decoration, and you’re surrounded by coconut palms, mango, avocado and jack fruit trees, cows walk past the front entrance of the grounds pulling off bits of hedge as they go, and wild peacocks come into the garden.
This is a proper local experience, one that wouldn’t be to everyones taste, but one that I absolutely loved!
Saman has put together a decent size menu covering breakfast, lunch and dinner, which his mother and sister cook from the family house. Everything is freshly prepared just for you, which means you’ll have to wait around an hour for full rice and curry but that doesn’t matter, you’re in Sri Lanka, you’re on holiday and you’ve nowhere else to be!
I really enjoyed the time as it gave us the opportunity to learn about Saman, his family and his hopes for his entrepreneurial business ideas. He is just the sweetest guy with the cutest laugh. His simple life consists of collecting shells, making jewellery, chatting to tourists, hosting guest and the odd trip into the town of Tangalle or perhaps further along the coast to visit friends. I wanted to support Saman by eating at his little restaurant, and helping to spread the word about this delightful eatery at the Peacock Guesthouse and the great authentic Sri Lankan dishes that they serve up.
I chose the rice and curry, and my partner had the vegetable rotti, with a couple of King Coconuts to start with.
The rice and curry came as a potato curry, dahl, coconut sambal, poppadums and a huge plate of rice. As is usual in Sri Lanka, this is way too much for one person!
We shared and feasted on the medium spiced dishes, nothing blew my head off, but I was left with a lovely warmed spice feeling in my mouth, which is exactly what i’m looking for in a curry. The potato curry was particularly tasty; a flavourful curry sauce with soft chunks of potato floating around.
The Vegetable rotti was three big rotti with veggies mixed into the coconut flatbread mixture.
I love that fact that everything is made from scratch for you, that doesn’t happen very often anywhere you’re served a mini banquet for one person!
This little restaurant is so special, everything has been built by Saman and his family. The tables, cutlery and crockery are all clean, and I suspect that the best family china is used to serve your meal on.
Saman speaks excellent English (French, a bit of Italian and German too!), he’s super friendly and not at all pushy, and he really cares about making a success of his business with his limited means. His Mother and Sister both shared this same warmness and big smile.
Value for money:
At 600 Rps, that’s under £3, for the Rice and Curry mini feast and about the same for the rotis, a meal at the Peacock Guesthouse and Restaurant is hardly going to break your holiday fund. Coconuts were fresh from the garden and cost 100 Rps each.
We left with a wrist full of bracelets as presents for friends and our bill, including food, was just over 3,000 Rps.
Peacock Homestay & Restaurant, Marakolliya Beach near Rekawa Lagoon, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Just phone Saman (he speaks brilliant English) and he will be able to guide you to their location, or alternatively just walk from Mangrove Beach Cabanas eastwards until you find Saman or his sign!
Tel: +94 77021 3810 or +94 77057 8980