10th Table has arrived. Lovina’s first luxury up market restaurant is the biggest surprise, in the north of Bali, you could imagine. Headed by Belgian industry professional Geert Jan de Meyer, it is in good hands indeed. The number of Belgians involved in the quality end of the Bali food scene, for such a small country, is quite amazing! The cuisine is French but adapted to the local produce availability wherever possible. In fact French classics adorn the menu from starters of Foie Gras [chutney and brioche] or Escargot [garlic butter, Pernod and parsley], Soups [French Onion or Lobster Bisque], Salad Nicoise [with Asian touches] to a full Mediterranean style Bouillabaisse
[redolent with saffron and herbs]
. Other items on this tempting menu include starters of Marinated Prawn, Smoked and Marinated Salmon [with delicate creams] or a Papaya Salad with shredded chicken. Their unique Burmese Lentil Soup is served with a condiments tray. Other mains can be Meat [Lamb Rack with mushroom espuma, Wagyu Beef with a tamarind reduction or Beef Curry with yellow rice], or Seafood [Dory with an Asian vinaigrette or Barracuda with dill cream, pumpkin and pineapple]. For dessert you can enjoy an oldie; Crème Caramel and fruits, flambeed with Grand Marnier. The restaurant only has 10 tables [hence the name, the 10th one is a small private dining room] so prior reservations are advisable
Velvet is hidden away on Jln. Lungsiakan, in Kedewatan, north-west of Ubud. With so many Tex and Cal Mex restaurants all over Bali it is indeed unusual to find a Mexican in the kitchen as is the case here. Whilst referring to itself as a Seafood Grill restaurant, the food is regional Mexican. Starters can just be a simple Guacamole Dip or Chorizo and Cheese or the more adventurous Antitico [barramundi, veg and tamarind served on a Jicama tortilla] or Aguachile. There is a Tostadita of pressed prawn with green chilli and coriander. Or you can start with the Velvetina, a hot seafood soup. Tramafad are chicken breast fajitas in beetroot cream and a touch [very little] of chilli. Pinche Pollo are chicken drumlets in a sweet and spicy sauce of chocolate and grains.The Baked Barramundi is a house special, whilst the Wilder Chicana combines tenderloin with paprika and prawn skewers. As with Mexican restaurants everywhere there are also Burritos [minced beef, tuna or tofu] and a big range of Tacos. Unlike most Ubud restaurants the action [and kitchen] goes till quite late most nights. Definitely worth a visit.
Flat Stanley, Jln. Taman Ganesha, Petitenget brings Californian style pizzas to Bali. Start with Salumi and Charcuterie, a selection of meats and pickles or a Cheese Board of 4 cheeses, tomato jam and olives, Small plates include Salt-roasted Beets with whipped feta, sorrel and heirloom radish, Grilled Asparagus with shaved parmesan, Charred Broccoli with peanuts and chilli pesto, Grilled Octopus and Meatballs. The main event is their Sourdough Pizzas with a host of different toppings; Peppered Salami, Chorizo & Broccolini, Meatballs, and a healthy Kale & Pumpkin or Roasted Eggplant. Alternative mains can be Salmon or Red Snapper, Pork Chop or a simple Steak and Fries.
Kisik is found on the pier at the front of the Ayana Resort, Jimbaran. Seafood is the specialty and it is the place for that very special occasion, one that is worthy of the cost of an evening here. Once at Ayana there are two different ways to arrive at Kisik; the easy and the not so easy. The best way is via the resort’s inclinator which takes you down over the cliff to the seafront in comfort. Otherwise you can brave the 141 steps and progress down the cliff face at your own pace. At Kisik they serve the highest quality local and imported seafood, prepared perfectly, as you would expect at such a location. For the ultimate romantic occasion you can book a table at the pier extremity, sitting just above the ocean waves.
Starter Lab is a bakery, found on Jln. Padang Linjong in Canggu. It has become a go to place for all the lovers of sourdough bread. Perhaps the first Bali operation to make it big in Singapore, now that really is a feat. You may have heard of the famous Tartine Bakery from San Francisco. Well, there’s a new kid on the block definitely worth checking out if you’re a big fan of sourdough. Co-founder Emerson Manibo trained at the famous Per Se restaurant in New York, and Tartine Bakery before venturing into his own bakery business, Starter Lab, back in 2017. Their outlet at Havelock Road, Singapore is their second one! The bakery cafés essentially offer a wholesome menu of posh toast (so much so they have been reviewed to serve the “Gucci Of Bread”), sandwiches and build your own bread boards. All the loaves and pastries served (other than the scones) contain sourdough/starter, and loaves are fermented over 36 hours before being baked. Mascarpone, creme fraiche, ricotta and all pickles are made in-house. Apart from the basic sourdough the Danish Rye is also very popular and worth a visit alone.
Guapa Mexican Restaurant is at Jln. Labuansait, Pecatu. It offers much more than just the normal Mex, found elsewhere in Bali. Entrees of Meat Empanadas or Tuna Ceviche are both worth ordering. Sure there are Tostadas, Burritos, Quesadillas, and Enchilladas, however their Tacos come with vegetarian options
[spicy mushroom, cauliflower or roasted pumpkin]
. They even offer Mexican Burgers as well as a range of large plates to share for a group [Oacaka spice whole fish, Butterflied grilled chicken or a large Ribeye steak served with smoked mash]. The Churros are also excellent, served with a caramel and a chocolate sauce. So much better than any other churro I’ve ever had.
By Gerry Williams
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