208 Church Road, Hove BN3 2DJ
01273 202 151 | Website
Bringing the warm, amber glow of the late afternoon Galle sunshine to Brighton might seem like a big ask, but Moonstone, just over the border in Hove (actually) and a five-minute walk from the sea, does just that. Moonstone's Sri Lankan-born owner Dimu grew up in Kosgoda, a village north west of Galle. He developed a love for cooking as a boy, getting under the feet of his aunts and grandmother in their kitchens, before spending his early working life refining his expertise for creating traditional Sri Lankan dishes. Inspired by the tastes of his childhood, Dimu opened Moonstone 10 years ago, and many of the restaurant’s dishes are still family recipes passed down through the generations.
Refreshing mango salad is followed by sweetly-spiced chickpea dumplings, and crispy capsicum peppers stuffed with shrimp. Sizzling deviled prawns sit beside earthy dal, fluffy rice and punchy coconut sambal with kale, softened with a trio of roti, paratha and rice hoppers. Creamy coconut sauces full of roasted cashews and caramelised onions cover fillets of freshly-caught fish. Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan cricket great, once described Moonstone’s cuisine as “the best Sri Lankan food in England”, and we couldn’t agree more.
Through sharing his passion for Sri Lanka food, Dimu has created a real community, which you experience first-hand in the restaurant.
Many hugs and hellos are exchanged, and there’s a genuine camaraderie that we’re honoured to feel part of whenever we eat there.
Hitting the road in Sri Lanka with Dimu
Spending time with Dimu was a genuine pleasure, his love of Sri Lankan cuisine was evident from the first. He shared fond foodie memories of the fantastically abundant seafood and communal eating that are integral to Sri Lankan culture. Sri Lanka is such a varied country to travel in - with over 20 national parks, 830 miles of coast and 8 UNESCO heritage sites, how could it not be? Sri Lankan cuisine is just as varied.
Raised near the beaches of Kosgoda by his mother Kanthi, Dimu was also very close to his grandmother Dulsy, whose dishes he so carefully recreates at Moonstone today. He still loves visiting his aunts in Negombo, Kahathuduwa, Kalutara and Galle - after all, there’s nothing better than a trip home and some hearty home cooked food. I for one would like to say a big thank you to Kanthi, Dulsy, Kamani, Priyani, Anoma & Airangani for passing down such fantastic recipes!
Whilst the south west coast is undoubtedly beautiful, and Galle is by far my favourite place in Sri Lanka (curry crab anyone?!), no holiday on the island would be complete without enjoying a few more of its riches. I’d suggest a stop to see the elephants at nearby Udawalawe NP, before enjoying the cooler climes of Tea Country. Finish off the journey perfectly with a few days exploring the history and culture in the Cultural Triangle.
One of Sri Lanka's seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites this fortified city is full of charm and history with an exceptional offering of boutique hotels and a vibrant cultural scene.
Find out more about Sri Lanka
“We’re trying to create that small boutique taste of the villages.”