Pekandelan Warung, at the entrance to The Tegenungan Waterfalls at Kemenuh, continues to amaze with the quality of food served at such surprisingly cheap prices. All the key staff are ex the fine dining restaurant, CasCades @ The Viceroy, so maybe that is the reason for their quality even if they do just call it a warung. The dishes are simple, some quite innovative, but all are very well executed. An interesting Cordon Bleu [in a roll, cross sliced] was the first to catch our eye followed by the strangely named O’Mince [crumbed meat balls with a nut of cheese inside] and the Bread Bowl [a hollowed out bread bun filled with chicken curry]. Their signature dish, in true Ubud style, is a version of Crispy Duck, this time marinated and served in a tamarind sauce. Now they have expanded the menu with more interesting items. Top of the list is a Soft Shell Crab, deep fried and crispy, in a yellow coconut milk curry [pictured]. A Thai Beef Salad is very good even if it is a bit more Indonesian than Thai, coming with lettuce, but it still has enough of a Thai kick. Chicken Gigollo uses a de-boned chicken leg [much better than breast], stuffed with a herbed mushroom mix, very tasty! It is such a relaxed environment here, set in a spacious area, inside and out, even with one table up in the overhanging tamarind tree. Easy to eat here for less than Rp.100,000!
Ti Moris is Mauritian, now that is different! Found down toward the end of Jln. Batu Belig, Kerobokan, it is a lively and colourful place serving very traditional food from the Mauritius. Mauritian is one of the great Creole cuisines; Mauritian food is a combination of native African, French, Chinese and Indian, with many dishes created that are unique to the island of Mauritius. Indian curries, breads and pickles are cooked alongside slow-braised European daubes and stir-fried noodles from China, all using locally available ingredients. The restaurant is air-con inside with a pleasant rear courtyard where the bar is located, a great plaace for a party! Smoked fish, meats and cheeses are often used particularly in the salads. Starters such as Gato Pima, balls of ground yellow split peas and spring onion, Chicken Curry Bites, Smoked Salmon Blinis and Beef Bone Marrow Brulee. Mauritian Creole mains include Rougaille, a tomato and herbs casserole of pork, chicken or vegetables with mango kutcha and coconut chutney. Vindaye is fish or vegetable in mustard and garlic-ginger with a chilli dip and peanut chutney. The Lamb Stew and Mutton Curries are real island dishes. Ti Moris is a great newcomer to Bali.
Salazon is the latest restaurant opening with one of those ‘million dollar fit-outs’! Where is it? It is that street with many names. Once just called Jln. Oberoi [on the way to Oberoi], then Laksmana and since then an almost annual change of name. Back in 2001 when Chitralada and Mykonos opened on the street, amongst the rice paddies, and everyone followed before the rents went up, I simplified it by just calling it Eat Street, and that is what is now best known as. Over the years many places have come and gone along this street, some good and some bad. Salazon is the new boy. It has had a magnificent fit-out to market their smoked and wood-fired product. Baked Stracciatella cheese, Chorizo sausages, dry-aged Ribs and Salt-baked Mackeral are among their special dishes.
Warung Modus is new, and immediately popular, on the Renon loop at Jln. Merdeka. Quite stylish for this area it serves basic Indonesian cuisine but well plated [Bakmi Modus, Bubur Ayam, Soto Ayam, Nasi Goreng Kampung and Ayam Sambal Matah] and a range of very Indonesian style coffees [Devil Caramel, Irish Banana Nut Latte, Black Forest Latte and Coconut in Paradise], Judging by the quality of the cars parked outside each day it is giving the well-healed locals exactly what they want.
Bo & Bun is Asian, highlighting Vietnamese cuisine but with many Thai and other Asian dishes on their interesting menu. Start with Vietnamese entrees; classic Rice Paper Rolls prepared fresh or order your base [pork, chicken, prawn or tofu] and roll your own at the table, with all the extras supplied. The deep-fried variety are different to all else, stuffed with chicken, shredded cabbage, wood ear mushrooms and glass noodles inside a crisp casing, dip in the traditional nuoc cham sauce. Or you can order Korean style Chicken Wings, Thai Fish Cakes [pounded snapper with Kaffir lime, finely chopped snake beans, red curry paste and sweet chilli sauce on the side] or a strange version of Thai’s Gai Hoey Bai Toey, just the chicken wing meat wrapped in pandan leaves. A Vietnamese Salad to share is a must when visiting here, such fresh clean tastes, palate refreshing. The mains are almost all Thai; Chicken Cashews, Chicken & Basil [Kra Pao without the chilli], or Grilled Pork; ribs or chops. Bo & Bun is on the road that changes its name as it passes through different banjars; Jln, Legian, Taman, Kerobokan, etc. Here it is called Jln. Basangkasa [half way between Jln. Kunti and Sunset Road].
Il Tempio is found on Jln. Kartika Plaza, in front of The Bali Garden Hotel. Italian for ‘the temple’ it faces the small Balinese Hindu temple at the street front corner of the property, and serves Italian cuisine, classic but with a modern touch. Now they have welcomed the arrival of Dante Pagliani their new chef. An Italian chef for an Italian restaurant! The food here has always been special but now it promises to go more traditional and maybe regional.
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