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“Went back a second time and stayed overnight!”

Mangrovia Lagoon Restaurant
Ranked #5 of 151 Restaurants in Hikkaduwa
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 28 February 2018

THE FOOD: Simple but done well, delicious and fresh.
The grilled prawns (caught by local fishermen from that very lagoon) were absolutely divine and the chicken & pork ravioli made from scratch also delicious. From my experience, Mangrovia is also one of the only places to get a decent glass of wine in Sri Lanka. For our second time, we ordered the prawns again plus the prawn ravioli and the chicken in wine sauce. Not one dish could be faulted.

Some negative reviews on here just don't seem to understand what Mangrovia is about. This is the Sri Lankan rainforest, not molecular gastro dining in New York. This is Italian classic, not overdone or overdressed, all seafood sourced from the lagoon and bought that morning from boats that pull right up to the restaurant, meaning your meal is super fresh in addition to executed well.
Madhu (owner and chef) imports many of her non-raw ingredients in small batches from Europe into Sri Lanka at quite a cost so those reviews saying that this moderately priced restaurant is overpriced need to understand the what, the how and the quality of what they eat better or just go back to the cheap curries and watered downed cocktails along the beach.

THE PLACE: Tranquil, romantic, casual yet with it's own simple yet chic style, set in among the mangroves on a lagoon's waterfront.

The food was so good and the setting so lovely, that night we booked to come back for another dinner, and stay overnight at one of their 2 bungalows. For our second time, having got there late afternoon, my husband and I shared wine with Madhu and chatted with her while she prepared for that night's dinner.

The bungalow itself was stunning, with a quality eco-chic style making it feel high end despite the very reasonable price. It was immaculately clean. Included in the accommodation cost was an outstanding traditional Sri Lankan breakfast with multiple dishes that was worth the money alone! Waking up in that environment is the perfect way to start any day. The bungalows were only recently completed and it is my opinion that they should charge more if they want to make it worth it for themselves!

THE SERVICE: Madhu is a humble but worldly Sri Lankan who lived just outside of Rome for many years. She came back to Sri Lanka with her lovely French husband to start this place, and they have done it well. They welcome you as if friends. They live the kind of calm and peaceful lifestyle that hipster dreams are made of, and that vibe definitely rubs off on you. I was so chilled out by the time I left! We would have stayed longer if we didn't have a flight to catch!

Mangrovia was a highlight of our Sri Lankan trip.

Date of visit: January 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Katiekrackers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 - 18 of 117 reviews

Reviewed 16 February 2018 via mobile

We visted Mangrovia tonight.Service very slow considering we were only people in restaurant.(4)Food nice though over priced comparing to other restaurants in area.

Date of visit: February 2018
Thank sinatra70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2018

Actually booked on of the two rooms for two nights on AirBnB because we wanted to see the lagoon. Had dinner the first night wiith friends at a nearby very beutiful Hotel but wont be writing a review of that - underwhelming to say the least. Why didn't we eat both nights at Mangrovia? - the giant prawns and brown lagoon crabs were caught and delivered that morning - we saw the fisherman arrive with his catch. Madhu our fabulous hostess and cheff- -SriLankan who lived in Italy for 17 years made the pasta and cooked - just fabulous.
Advice?
Book a room if you can - wonderful to wake up to the tranquility of the lagoon.
Ask Madhu to give your tuktuk driver instructions
Be gracious about a short wait - everything is cooked fresh and the best things in life take a little time - watch the birds and monitor lizards while you wait!

Date of visit: February 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Patrick G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2018 via mobile

Beautiful surroundings, calm atmosphere, and more importantly: Lovely pasta. Make sure to book a table before the sunset, so you don't miss the view over the lagoon.

Date of visit: February 2018
Thank sxlx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2018 via mobile

Reading the reviews on TA I had a high expecatations...
Must say, it was a nice ambient... But unfortunetely that’s it. Food is extra overpriced for what you get... I don’t mind to pay 10 times higher price if is worth of it. This wasn’t even close. Mind 100s of mosquitos.

Date of visit: January 2018
1  Thank Mateo L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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