Bali Eats

Som Chai in Kerobokan was our feature in depth review in the previous issue of The Bali Advertiser. However that restaurant has now been permanently closed as it is being moved to Ubud [Jln. Monkey Forest]. It will be the first time that Ubud has ever had a Thai restaurant of this quality, in the past just a few warung style operations and more than 15 years since any Thai restaurant existed in Central Ubud on Monkey Forest Road. With the esceptional quality of Will Meyrick’s food from the villages and hill-tribes of northern Thailand, Som Chai is assured of success in Ubud, particularly if they can moderate the pricing structure as central Ubud is very budget conscious.


Yamato is a Japanese restaurant in Sanur. There was already a Yamato in Ubud but this one is on Jln. By Pass Nguragh Rai, is almost directly opposite the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites, and it has has no connection. Evidently Yamato in Japanese means Cheap, and this Yamato is certainly very reasonably priced. There are two areas, inside a traditional Japanese setting, in black, with your choice of seating at the bar, at normal tables or at ground level. The outside shrub covered garden terrace is perfect for evening dining. The menu is large and covers many styles. At lunch there is always a selection of Set Menus [Tempura, Sashimi, Teriyaki, Katsu, noodle, Fish or Beef Curry]. For dinner traditional entrees include Chicken Katsando and Seaweed Salad, non-traditional ones include Escargot in Butter and imported Sausage. Mains include Grilled [Scallops in Butter], Steamed [Chicken Katsu-Ju], Fried [Oysters] and Tempura [Prawns]. A Genghis Khan BBQ [lamb in spices] and Shabu-Shabu feature prominently on the menu. A very large range of Sashimi is always available including the usual [wide variety of seafood] and the unusual, the first time I have ever seen Horse Sashimi on a menu [imported from Japan, obviously a slow racehorse].


Wild Habit is a pizza house on Jln. Kunti, Seminyak. Their pizzas are in the original Naples style, thin crust with puffy edges. All the normal combos are available plus a few special ones; Mushroom and Goats Cheese, Bacon and Baby Leek and Italian Sausage Crumble with Spring Onion. The pasta can be spaghetti, linguine, pappadelle or angel hair.


Bali Owen is a large spacious new restaurant on Sunset Road. Not only is it offering Indonesian cuisine but is obviously under Indonesian management as well. Its menu is not up to the standard needed for Bali, with just a list of dishes with no explanations added. That may be OK for Jakarta, but is useless here, if they want more than just a handful of customers. Local delicacies such as the Barramundi Fishhead Soup and Salted Egg Squid.


KaBar is a German restaurant and beer house. I have always been quite surprised that there are so few German restaurants in Bali, as many German nationals visit or live here. KaBar is one of a string of small restaurants in front of The Bali Garden Hotel [parking is permissible in the hotel grounds]. A slice of meat loaf [leberkase] topped with a fried egg and onion sauce makes a great breakfast, brunch or lunch. Think German cuisine and you thing ‘sausage’. There are a variety of German and Swiss sausages available here, either to snack on, piece by piece, or to enjoy as a full meal; Cured & Smoked with pickled gherkins, Grilled Curry sausage, Thuringer Pork Bratwurst or Sausage & Sauerkraut Fritters with honey-mustard dip.. Other snacks to nibble on whilst sipping your beer of choice include Pretzels with cream cheese & pepper dip, Fried Brie Cheese with cranberry sauce or Brats in a Bun, with mustard. Heartier offerings can be a Goulash Soup or Fricadels [German meatballs], that are served with mustard. Easily the most popular dish from central Europe is the Schnitzel, claimed by Germany, Austria and Switzerland as their own although the original Wiener Schnitzel is pure Vienna. At KaBar your schnitzel can be of chicken or pork [pictured]. Good taste and great value! Another great central European dish is their Lentil Stew, with slices of smoked sausage and potato making a very hearty dish indeed as is the Platter of Smoked Fish [marlin, tuna and rollmop] with horseradish cream. Interesting side dishes can be Kartoffelsalat, the original German potato salad, Caramelized Beetroot Chips with coriander or a Cucumber Salad with dill. KaBar is a place to relax and enjoy your food and drink, simple and great value.


Warung Little India is amongst the smallest Indian restaurants in Ubud but it is amongst the best. Tucked away at the bottom of Jl. Tebesaya, almost hidden by greenery, it offers simple Indian with a smile. Great crunchy Samosas and reasonable Thali keep the customers coming back. One of Ubud’s survivors.The Dahl Soup is a long time favourite of mine.


Machinery Café is packing them in on Jln. Batu Bolong, Canggu. It is a typical local café with a strong American influence, doing all day breakfasts and brunch. Pancakes are not my scene but according to American friends these are amongst the best in Bali.


Zibiru is a small garden restaurant on Jln. Drupadi. It serves Italian cuisine with pride by chef Luigi Calcagno. Antipasti can be simple just some cured meats with salted ricotta and a pot of honey or more exotrtic such as braised and compressed octopus with mustard orange and fennel puree, There is a wide range of pasta from all the regions of Italy. Tagliolini al Ragu di Quaglia from Toscana [white quail ragu with porcini mushrooms and bacon], Strozzapreti al Ragu di Coda from Lazio [Short pasta with slow-cooked oxtail, and tomato confit], Fregola ai Frutti di Mare e Asparagi from Sardegna [small, round pebble-shaped semolina pasta served with squid, prawns, clams, asparagus]. Mains can be seafood; Tonno in Crosta di Pistacchi [crumbled pistachio crusted tuna fillet served with colatura di alici (essence of anchovies) mayonnaise, grilled asparagus, and frisée salad], or Salmon or Barramundi. Meat mains include Odo Bucco [slow-cooked beef shank and its marrow with saffron risotto], Anatra Confit [duck confit with vegetables, fig and red wine sauce] and . Coniglio in Salmì [rabbit legs slow-cooked with brunoise vegetables, served with gorgonzola-sage creamy polenta]. For dessert what is better than a Sicilian Cannoli.


By Gerry Williams

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