It seems Hikkafest won’t be as happening this year as the last, but don’t fear, there’s still stuff to do down south. One is to eat. I would’ve never thought that you’d find good food at Hikkaduwa of all places, a town known for its notorious party scene. A few kilometers from the town you’ll find two particularly good restaurants, Spaghetti & Co. and Top Secret, conveniently located right opposite each other on Galle Road itself.
Walk down a shady little lane by the side of a house and you enter Top Secret. The entire place is under one big straw hut, you’ve got cushions laid out on the floor around a knee-high table, and some regular chairs and tables around as well. You could even dine outside under their little beach beds, there’s plenty of space and plenty of choice as to where you want to rest your parker. The cushions aren’t as soft as you’d like them, though. But the food definitely makes up for it.
I’ve been to this place maybe 4 or 5 times so far, and every time has been satisfactory. The prices are very reasonable, especially considering this is a restaurant frequented by tourists, the prices aren’t touristy at all. You could get a decent meal for a thousand rupees easily, and not have to compromise. If you’re going for alcohol though, you might have to chip in a little extra. But all in all, it’s value for money food.
Looking at the menu, you’ve got the obvious choices of seafood; crab, calamari, lobster, and even octopus. I’ve never had the more exotic dishes, so I can’t say much for the octopus, but the crab is well-done, with a lovely sauce, if you’re getting it grilled. The calamari however isn’t as great as the stuff in Colombo, surprisingly. I tried it grilled and batter-fried, both were disappointing. The batter was so thin it was just a light, salty, crisp over the calamari. I doubt these guys would be able to pull off an HBC, but let’s leave that to Colombo. The grilled prawns are pretty darn good as well.
What surprised me about the place was how well they did their meat. You can get beef steak, hamburger, with chips and salad or mash potatoes. The beef is well cooked, you can tell them how you want it. The chicken cordon-blue is lovely, there’s not too much cheese, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. And then there is the pasta, which is surprisingly pretty good. The rice is also always good. There really is very little these guys do wrong.
For drinks you’ve got a good variety of alcohol, besides that there’s the lassi, fruit juices, and the regular soft drinks. There’s nothing particularly astounding though, it’s all pretty average in terms of beverages. I usually go with either the sweet lassi, though it tastes like yoghurt, or a martini. Or just a bottle of water, it isn’t it ridiculously overpriced, unlike some places.
Oh and the ambience is great thanks to the music in the background. Very chilled out, laid back and just buzzing and bouncing in the background. With a little wine, or martini, or even a Vodka Redbull if you like, it’s the perfect getaway from the party scene. And it won’t empty your wallet. But please, try to keep it a secret. You don’t want everyone going there now do you?