Bali Eats


Cafe des Artistes is a survivor. Once a lonely warung on a dead-end road on the outskirts of Ubud [Jln. Bisma] it has been a thriving restaurant now for many years. The secret has been reasonably priced comfort food, served with a smile. Many of the staff have been there for the almost 20 years of its existence, always a sure sign of good management. Whilst their steaks are easily the most popular dish ordered here [pictured] my favourites have always been the Chicken Breast Provencale and their 100% perfect Thai Beef Salad, Yum Neua, a dish that is butchered all over Indonesia. Consistent quality and service with a smile, always a success!  They also offer a monthly list of specials [separately priced], this month, December, it will still be available as their Christmas special. Start with a Sharing Platter [samosa, spring roll, pakora and devlled egg] and dips], followed by either a Seafood Chowder or Burmese Lentil Soup

[with spicy croutons]

, then your choice of a rich Beef Curry [rice, pasta or fries] or Harissa Egggplant [rolled slices stuffed  with vegetables and herbs]. Finish with Pannacotta [with mixed berres]. Always a relaxing night at CDA!

Monsieur Spoon, the popular French bakery and café at many locations in Bali, has gone Halal! An amazing decision as their clientele is almost exclusively ‘western’ expats and tourists. So no more of that traditional international brunch special, Ham & Cheese Croissant, the alternative is beef bacon, yuk! At least in Halal Malaysia they offer an excellent turkey ham which is almost as good, or maybe even better, than the original pork product. Bali, the home of the great Babi Guling is NOT halal, nor is there a need for it! Even 5 star hotels in Jakarta offer Bacon [pork] & Eggs,  Ham & Cheese sandwiches, BLT’s etc. No more Monsieur Spoon for me!

Massimo, on Jln. Danau Tamblingan, has for many years served the most complete and best value Christmas dinner in Sanur. True to Catholic tradition it is served on the eve of Christmas [24th] rather than the protestant one of lunch on the 25th.  It begins with a pre-aperitivo in the garden and is followed by a sit down meal of Antipasti, Tortellii all’Ossobuco, Roast Chicken [with stuffing, mash and red cabbage], Panettone Cake [with walnut gelato and chocolate sauce]. There is NO a la carte served on this night and children are welcome [special price] and receive a present from Santa Claus. On January 6  [the eve of the Orthodox Christmas day] Massimo’s also celebrates an old Italian custom; ‘Befana or Epifania’. Custom has it that a very old and ugly lady dressed in black drops the final Christmas present into the children’s socks [your kids will love it]. Different Stations are set up all around the property from where you can sample a vast array of cold and hot dishes. Prior reservation for either night is essential.

Café del Mar has opened at Canggu. It joins other group beach clubs already operating in The Maldives and Thailand and is yet another beach club for Bali. In an attempt to create a Mediterranean feel about the place [blue and white] this concept follows with the food on offer which is a mix of Mediterranean. Middle Eastern and creations from the other beach clubs in their group [Jackfruit Sung Choi Bao]; Morrocan flat bread with zaatar, dips and relishes, Moroccan style lamb meat balls with harissa, Greek Gyros with tzatziki, falafel, Pizzas and Salads.

Warung Nia, Kayu Aya Square, Seminyak, seems to have done what no other in this location has, opened busy and stayed that way. Ostensibly a Balinese restaurant it also offers all the current goto dishes [pork ribs, etc]. The sate combination plates are a big attraction especially the prawn sate. The friendly service helps the satisfaction factor.

Sukun is the restaurant at the Amnaya Resort just off Jln. Kartika Plaza, Tuban [Gang Puspa Ayu]. Indonesian is the main cuisine although being in a resort there is a very International menu. Set in tropical gardens the setting was fittingly designed by the late Made Wijaya, who was once a young Australian tourist who made Bali his home and left many landscaping monuments, such as this, behind. It is a nice place to escape to in downtown Kuta/Tuban. Being a hotel the breakfast only goes to 11.00 a.m., something that I can never understand as many people, tourists and locals, often prefer a brunch to an early morning breakfast [and those who cater well for that are often busy all day as a result]. The product is good enough for that to happen here. Eggs dishes are to the fore with an excellent Benedict leading the way. An unusual but interesting breakfast offering was to combine eggs with soft shell crab. Balinese and standard Indonesian dishes are what is presented and there is a Balinese Megibung that offers a wide range of carefully selected local tastes.

By Gerry Williams

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