Fresh Sushi & Sashimi – From the ocean straight to your plate

The Spice Trail is the only Japanese fusion restaurant in Arugam Bay…

Since we have such a strong passion for food, we would like to share the step by
step process of how our Sushi reaches your plate.

In the morning, the fishing boat returns from a fishing trip lasting from 4am to 10am at the area we all know as Main Point, Arugam Bay, a reef-bottom surf break highly regarded by surfers all over the world. The fresh Yellow Fin Tuna fish is delivered via tuk-tuk to the Spice Trail kitchen, where the preparation commences ready for that evening.

Chef Kasun handles the gutting of the fish, taking care to remove the scales and fins first. He leaves the head, whilst cutting the first loin (essentially one quarter of the fish). This filleting process takes approximately 1 hour.

From here, Head Chef Nuwan (who has over 25 years of experience, with specific Japanese culinary training living in Thailand, Singapore, Maldives and the U.A.E.) manages the process of rolling the sushi with the specially prepared rice.

For this he uses a bamboo rolling mat and dried seaweed (nori) sheets. This nori is edible, and is toasted for flavour and texture. The Japanese have recognised seaweed as a food of longevity, and it has more recently become well known as a ‘super-food’ due to its impressive nutritional profile rich in potassium, fibre and proteins as well as iodine.

The 12 piece sushi and sashimi platter we serve at The Spice Trail has a variation of cuttlefish, prawn, pickled vegetables with homemade pickle, tomago (egg omelette) and yellow fin variations served with wasabi mayo and ginger.

How to Travel to Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Transportation in Sri Lanka doesn’t come without its challenges. This is a diverse and still underdeveloped country that meanders through jungle, forest and more; meaning that travel via public transport takes longer, and is a less direct route often requiring changes or stops in remote areas. Below is listed the range of options available to you for reaching your home in Sri Lanka at The Spice Trail in Arugam Bay.

OPTION 1: Private Taxi

The quickest but most expensive option. You can travel directly from Colombo to Arugam Bay in the comfort of an air-conditioned and quiet vehicle. If you take this option at night you can sleep and wake up in paradise! It is usually a 6 hour journey and costs 150USD. Contact Surf n Tours for a reputable transfer service.

OPTION 2: Local Bus from Colombo – Pottuvil

This is your cheapest option, but for good reason. The buses here can only be described as whacky in design, fast and very noisy. There isn’t a lot of legroom at all, and they love to play loud jingly music throughout the entire journey (which usually takes 10 hours, depending on the number of stops). The number 98 bus departs twice a day from the Main Bus Terminal at 5am and 8pm. The cost is $3 – $5 USD for the bus, and an extra 300 rupees for a 10 minute tuk-tuk to Arugam Bay.

OPTION 3 – Direct A/C Bus

There is a direct AC bus that departs daily from Maradana Zahira College (opposite Maradana Train Station) at 8pm and arrives at Pottuvil Bus Station at around 3:45am. The cost is 12 USD plus $3 for extra luggage. It gets booked up quickly so reserve your seat in advance. Contact number: 0711923997.

OPTION 4 – Panama Bus

This bus departs from Colombo Main Bus Station at 7:30pm, and will pass through Arugam Bay with the final stop being Panama. Arrival in A-bay will be around 5:30am.

Alternative Travel Options

Ella to Arugam Bay:

Private van: cost around $80 and journey time 3-4 hours.

Local bus: Ella to Wellawaya, then Wellawaya – Pottuvil and tuk-tuk from there to A-bay.

Trincomalee to Arugam Bay:

Taxi is the easiest way for this. The cost is approximately 17000 rupees. c195051/Sri-Lanka:Public.Transport.html around/local-transport lanka/arugam-bay- travel-guide/

Take A Trip To Peanut Farm…

A mysterious jungle surf spot that was once only accessible by boat, is now popular among those wanting to venture out of Arugam Bay and explore the surrounding tropical scene. The man-made path forged into jungle territory makes the route to Peanut Farm reachable by tuk-tuk or jeep. Surprisingly these nifty tuk-tuks are more than able to manoeuvre through sand that would get your average car stuck!

One highlight of Peanut Farm, besides the beautiful scenery, is the beach break with perfect right-handers peeling from a boulder-shaped rock. It’s an ideal place for beginners and intermediate surfers alike. If you’re looking for a more advanced option, just walk 5 minutes past the boulders and you’ll find the second point. This spot usually gets a bigger swell due to it being more exposed, but there are a couple of rocks under the water to watch out for here.

There’s a café offering shade from the sun, refreshments and light bites. Grab a king coconut to rehydrate! When it’s time to sunbathe or take a nap, hop on one of the recycled pallet swings dotted around. Look out for the jungle shower located around the corner. What better way to rinse off the salt than in the open air with water shooting directly from a tree! What makes this place so special is that it offers a cool little jungle hangout complete with slack-lines for the energetic, or swings for the loungers, a beautiful beach great for swimming, as well as two surf spots to ensure every level of surfer has a good session!

What’s more is that not long ago, this space was used for a music festival and some of the artwork using old coconut shells has been left behind, adding to the epic backdrop and making that mysterious spot even more enigmatic…

We hope this helped you learn a little more about this amazing place and can hopefully experience it for yourself soon!

We won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence!

We are delighted to announce that we have won the Tripadvisor Award for Excellence for 2017.

This award, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to restaurants and accommodations that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on the popular website, TripAdvisor, and we are beyond stoked that you guys have helped contribute to this wonderful accomplishment.

Since we opened in 2015, it has been a journey of learning, development and continuous improvement. Our latest project involved doubling our lodging capacity and building a swimming pool. We have also introduced a creative healthy salad menu at the restaurant and are working alongside the Bite Bake Bar (located at the top of the path leading to Spice Trail) to provide yummy desserts and treats.

This calls for a celebration and a word of praise to all of our wonderful and loyal guests: thank you for taking the time to review your lodging experience -we could not have done it without you. The honest feedback we receive from you as our guests is invaluable. It’s great to know that even with all the changes, we are continuing to provide a 5 star service.

Here are a few examples of our reviews:

“Will definitely be coming back for another stay, well worth the money and can recommend as the go to place to stay in the bay.” – Todsurfer

“I have to say that I simply did not want to leave. From arrival to the end the staff were attentive and helpful with anything you need, the rooms are beautiful, spacious and nicely decorated. Top staff, great service. All rounder. I am already planning my next visit. Well done guys, keep up the good work.”

– Zanetta

“The real treat was their restaurant. From local Sri Lankan dishes to European and Japanese dishes too. All the food is freshly made on the premises in an open air kitchen so guests also get to witness the preparation of the food from start to finish. They also grow their own organic vegetables and spices on the property, so as a guest you truly are experiencing fresh healthy meals every time.” – Jason

We are eternally grateful for your support – so THANK YOU!


Plastic free zone:

You won’t find any plastic seating here! We like to use wood; both locally sourced and hand-made to create our bespoke furniture. All the tables, chairs and beds are solid teak wood to fit with the jungle vibe that co-exists with the tropical plants and trees in our plot. We use ceramics for our plant pots and ultimately endeavour to become a zero-plastic zone. We serve clean drinking water out of a large dispenser and will re-fill guests water bottles once per day in order to try and minimise waste by tourism.  

If you take a wander through the restaurant you will notice the hand-woven lampshades dotted all around our little eco-sanctuary. They are made entirely from the flowers of an exotic palm tree we call ‘Kithul’. The dried flowers are harvested and plaited to create a strong material that will last you a lifetime. Accompanied by bamboo blinds, you truly get an authentic Sri-Lankan experience.

Our Sustainability Practices:

We have a very organic setting here at The Spice Trail. All our spices are grown in our garden on site, so you can see (and smell) the origins of what makes the food we cook here so delicious. On that note, all our produce is sourced locally. This includes our fish, vegetables, organic chicken and even the coffee! We have chosen a blend from ‘Ruby Harvest’ where the coffee beans are grown and roasted here in Sri Lanka.

This way we are not only reducing our carbon footprint by reducing how far the product travels to reach you, but we are helping local farmers and communities.

How you can help:

Save the Rainforest and help save Kithul!

The ‘tree tapping’ technique is passed down through generations, but is a fast depleting trade, despite sustained demand from the local market.

One of the contributors for the decline in Kithul (the local syrup) is due to deforestation of our rain forests in order to make room partly for rubber plantations.  The farmers with private land are often forced to give up the ancient trade because cultivating crops is a more financially stable income.

We support local farmers by serving Kithul as a regular item on the breakfast menu. Try something new and give it a taste!

Reduce your plastic waste by investing in a ‘life-straw’ or water filter

In developing countries it’s not always easy to find recycling bins, so be mindful of your waste and invest in a water filter. The initial investment will soon pay off as you save money on plastic bottles, and you know you are taking a step in the right direction towards a cleaner future!

Our Story

#SustainableSurfers #worldoceanday2017 #saveourocean


The season starts off with a ‘Yeeeeew’ as a 3m+ swell hits A-Bay!

Well, it may still be considered ‘off-season’, but all that means here is uncrowded waves and a perfect swell. Arugam Bay had an amazing start to the summer, with the first few surfers peeping out whilst it was still dark. As the flicker of the final star faded into the sky a beautiful sunrise kick started the day. Hearing news of the swell, some have travelled from one side of the coast to A-bay and others were just lucky enough to have booked their holiday during this time.

In the early morning with no wind, the few early birds scored hard at Main Point. But due to the size of the waves (and the  not-so-forgiving reef), it deterred those that weren’t confident enough for the ride and therefore never got too busy out there.

As the day progressed, the crowds grew and there was a great atmosphere! People gathered at Upali Beach House and the surrounding area to watch the beautiful waves role through.

A Local legend was catching the bigger sets out back and definitely caught the spectators attention when he charged through this huge barrel.

A couple of people were unfortunate enough to snap a leash or even a board but the mood wasn’t dampened, in fact the excitement was only rising!  Guys were coming out for a rest, but after 5 minutes of watching these perfectly formed waves, they were eager to jump back in.

A few more people joined the line-up around sunset, including a few Aussie girls who were tearing it up!

A few chipped boards, maybe a few chipped egos’, but ultimately a fun day had by all and smiling faces all round on the beach!!

Stay posted for the next good swell coming soon!

See you in the water.