Warung d’Uma Tapan is my latest discovery. A new style warung, it serves restaurant food at warung prices. A team of talented young Balinese professionals have taken over this site and are making an impact with their mix of local and international dishes. It is a simple, yet attractive, two level site just past and opposite to the entrance to the Kasih Ibu Hospital at Saba, in Gianyar. Starters can be their excellent Vegetarian Spring Rolls or an interesting Pomelo Salad with prawns. Chicken Wings are on hundreds of Bali menus but the ones here are the best I have ever tried; soft flesh covered with a tangy, slightly sweet BBQ sauce, this dish is almost too good to share, so order one each. A great snack dish is their Rice Bowls; Teriyaki Tofu or Chicken, Babi Kecap, Chicken Sambal Matah. For me the best one was the Pomelo Chicken, tender chicken, crumbed and coated with a tangy pomelo and orange sauce, quite outstanding. Mains are highlighted by their house special, Kwetiau; Chicken [pictured] with an egg roll on top, Pork, Seafood or Tofu. The international mains are all chicken based, Parmigiana, Black Pepper Steak or a surprisingly good Cordon Bleu [even spelt correctly]. With Buckets of Beer [5 bottles and a small bowl of French Fries] for only Rp.95,000 the place is even becoming popular with the passing surfing community on their way back from the nearby beach.
Raja Rasa Waroeng on the Bypass at Nusa Dua is a special spot for their version of a Rijsttafel, Rp. 490,000 for two persons. Many a la carte items as well, local [duck curry, satays] and international [schnitzels, burgers, etc].
Sala Bistro, Jln.Danau Tamblingan, Sanur is a popular café, in front of the Swiss-Bel hotel, serving burgers of every possible colour, including the charcoal ones so popular with the Japanese. Good breakfast and great coffee. Their Lava Cake is the attraction for many chocolate lovers. Both international and local dishes are on offer, BBQ Pork Ribs and Nasi Goreng which they treat almost as a specialty of the house.
Usha Café is found on the hill between Lod Tunduh and Pengosekan. It is with parking and offers Russian food from the Ukraine including that famous soup Borscht [beetroot], Chebureks and Varaneki [dumplings]. This location has been a previous failure but this management change seems to have worked as now quite often very busy. They offer something very different for the Ubud area. Open early for breakfast, their black currant lemonade is amazing! Great value too.
Cosmic Diners began with their first one on Sunset Road. They are retro American, straight from the 50’s. Now there are three; Lippo Mall in Tuban and the amazing train carriage on The Bypass, just South of Sanur. So Burgers and Milkshakes [giant ones in a glass boot] are their forte, but there is much more as well [terrific rice bowls, hearty breakfasts, etc]. The Caesar Salad is a classic and you can even order extra bacon [crispy of course]. There are also many healthy options, avocado many ways. The first one on Sunset Road is almost next door to the Golden Arches, yet hamburgers are still their best seller. Meat, hand processed in the kitchen always beats the factory processed patties. The always-smiling staff also help to produce a relaxed and enjoyable visit.
Da Romeo is on Jln. Pantai Berawa, Canggu. It is very Italian and very popular. Carpaccio can be traditional beef or tuna but the starter that most regular diners order is their Burrata con Pomodorini, an amazing Italian cheese, mozzarella on the outside and cream inside, simply served with just tomatoes and basil, drizzled with olive oil. The marinated sardines are another favourite. Many different pastas but Pici is their specialty, an unusual pasta from Tuscany. Also Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Ravioli and Ravolini, Lasagne and Gnocchi. Only the Fettuccine is alla Bolognese as true Italians would never do it with spaghetti, as it needs a wider pasta with the thick meat sauce. Mains include Chicken in lemon butter, Veggie Balls and Octopus, something only the Italians know how to cook, here simply grilled and served with a salsa verde. They also have a full range of Pizzas, of course. Indoor and outside seating, but only open for dinner, only a small space so prior booking is advised.
Kokoyo is on Jln, Danau Tamblingan, Sanur. Established for many years and on the outside looks a bit dated but still enjoys a faithful following. All the standard Japanese dishes with a large selection of Sushi. The Fried Salmon Skin is a great starter, better than crisps. As with most Asian restaurants, there is quite a good vegetarian selection. Open for dining much later than is normal in Sanur.
Jasmine Kitchen is one of Bali’s better Thai restaurant, yet it is hidden down a small laneway in Lovina, unknown and unseen by millions. A large table downstairs and a scattering of small ones on the upstairs open area [there is a small breeze on even the hottest day] combines with knowledgeable service and real Thai tastes from the kitchen. Their Banana Flower Salad [shredded banana flower, chicken and green beans tossed with coconut milk, lemon and chilli and served in a full banana flower] and Green Papaya Salad [chunks of papaya with finely grated coconut, chilli, lemon juice and crushed peanuts] are both very traditional and done to perfection. All of the Massaman Curries [chicken, prawns of just vegetables] are luscious with that rich tamarind flavour in the thick coconut milk sauce. Occasional daily specials can include the most perfect Rice Paper Rolls [fat ones stuffed with prawns, bean sprouts, spring onions and crushed peanuts] the accompanying dipping sauce of pureed coriander and lime is pure Thai! From time to time the food can be a little bit too much on the sweet side, good Thai should always be a mix of hot, sweet and sour, but for Lovina, quite amazing!
By Gerry Williams
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