08 January 2013

Dinner on the Beach in Tangalle: Sha Sha Seafood

Oh, you went to a revolving restaurant? That's cute.
Sometimes all you need to be happy in life is a perfect post-apocalyptic beach setting, a candle, cold beer and a cooler full of the day's catch.

We ventured from Tangalla to Marakolliya beach to find Sha Sha Seafood, a small beach shack perched high up on stilts, famous in Southern Sri Lanka for fantastic fresh shellfish. After a long walk along the sand under eerie, pre-storm skies we finally reached the hut (whose name means "Little Sister" in Sinhalese).

A stilted, candlelit hut on an idyllic beach

The sun set behind bruised clouds as we skulled a cold Lion beer and selected our meal from the menu - a platter of the fresh catch of the day. Our options were still-wriggling prawns, lobsters, squid or an entire fish. Mum hopefully asked, "any crab?" and our waiter/owner/awesomeguy went into the candlelit kitchen to inquire. We were in luck - there was a single live crab just walkin' around and waiting for us. We ordered him, as well as prawns, some grilled calamari, 3 lobsters and a plate each of Sha Sha's famous potatoes.

Garcon, may I see a menu?

The food arrived, piping hot and slathered with gingery garlic butter. Each bite was delicious, and though I am normally a crab gal (really, Dear? Are you?) the lobster was sublime, my favourite part of the meal. The rain pounded heavily on the roof of the hut as I demonstrated my mad skills crustacean disemboweling skills (with my bare hands and teeth). I rescued many a crab leg and lobster antenna destined for the trash plate and amazed the table with the additional meat I was able to suck out of the shells. Like a true foodie - or, like, a dirty little raccoon.

The bill ended up being less than a third of the cost of Ministry of Crab (and for 4 of us rather than 3!) and the food was impeccably fresh, expertly prepared and - oh, let's ditch the fancy words - fuckin' great. The rain may have come down hard and the beach been deserted, but my tum was full of Lion beer, crabby goodness and a massive lobster tail - everything was right with the world. My inevitable deathrow meal (I figure it will be espionage or a sexy crime spree) is finally settled - I'll be ordering from Sha Sha.

I'm sorry I keep eating you and your friends, Mr. Crabbly. But I gonna keep doing it.

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