Bali Eats

Sardinia Café is so different from the rest, it is operated by local professionals which is probably why it was one of the first to both open at the Beachwalk Mall and be busy. Situated in a prime position facing Pantai Kuta, at the front entrance, it offers simple Italian and International, snacks and light meals, at very budget prices. Comfort food at comfort prices! Open early for breakfast they offer an Eggs Benedict that is true to its name unlike so many bogus versions on offer elsewhere throughout Bali. English muffins are split and toasted, topped with ham [from the pig not a pretend ham] and some English spinach borrowed from the Florentine, and perfectly poached eggs [firm white, soft yolk] liberally covered with a thick tasty hollandaise sauce…simply good! Being Italian the pasta and Pizzas are excellent, in fact you can create your own Pizza by selecting all of your favourite ingredients for the topping [pictured].

Lantern does Asian street food. It is located on Jln. Raya Petitenget. Their menu offers many great ideas for snacking whilst sipping, light or full meals. Simple snacks include their great Crispy Pork Belly Bites, done in tamarind with coriander. The Korean Chicken Wings are tangy and tasty, a touch of Thai with the Fish Cakes and Pandan Chicken and a couple of local dishes; Sate Babi and Tiger Prawns in a Balinese sambal. From Malaysia a Nonya Laksa, egg noodles in coconut milk with prawns, fish cakes, tofu and boiled eggs. The 12 hour slow cooked Vietnamese Pho is a standout, and Beef Shanks are used for that ambrosial Thai Masaman from the Muslim south. Minced chicken with holy basil served with rice and a fried egg, that is Lantern’s take on the classic Thai Kra Pao. From India, there is a Beef Vindaloo and a Daal from the north. For dessert, what better than a Coconut and Pandan Crème Brulee.

Folk is on Jln. Monkey Forest in central Ubud yet offers a swim-up bar. There is an entrance fee if you intend to swim [includes a towel] and a latger one for a sunbed area of up to 4 persons [includes plates of snacks]. The restaurant has been operatig for quite some time but to the rear of it has been added this pool bar area [what used to be one of the many Spas operating by Paris]. The food is diverse; smoothie bowls, cumin spiced pumpkin sandwich and a wide variety of salads. The soft shell crab burger is one of Folk’s most popular dishes.

Tiflis was Bali’s first Georgian specialty restaurant, although the old Slavyenka did do some Georgian dishes on their all Russian menu. It is found in Umalas II and judging by the language spoken by its customers the food must be very traditional. Special on Thursdays are those Georgian Dumplings, Khinkali. Also popular is the Lobiani ‘pie’, two thin layers of Georgian unleavened flat bread have a mixture of red bean and herbs sandwiched inside before baking in the oven. Georgian Dolma is so different from all the Greek and Middle Eastern variations. Finish with their homemade Chocolate Eclairs with hot thyme tea!

Herb Library on Jln. Jembawan, Ubud, specializes in raw food, but there are other options. Breakfast can be a healthy Banana Smoothie Bowl [with strawberries, and granola added], or a White Oat Porridge, but there are egg dishes if you want to be more traditional, Omelettes or Poached, with mushrooms added. Or Avocado on multi grain toast with a poached egg on top. The soups offer a big range of dishes that are purely vegetarian; Green Pea with mint, Green Gazpacho, a Carrot Bisque with ginger, galangal, turmeric, kencur and coconut milk, Lentil or Pumpkin and Ginger. Salads, rice and noodle dishes and some interesting Bowls; Nasi Kuning [Yellow coconut rice, fine bihoon, vegetable noodles, seasonal greens with coconut, fermented soybean cake bacem, savory corn cake & tomato sambal condiment], Tex Mex [Brown rice, tomato coriander salsa, flour tortilla, refried bean, sliced avocado, jicama, broccoli florets, fetta cotija and sweet corn on the cob]. Non-veg dishes include a Chicken Teriyaki, Udang Tesuni, Ayam Sambal Matah, and Tuna Lalah Manis.

Gypsy is found on jln. Munduk Catu, Canggu and is the home of Canadian Chef Robin Filteau-Boucher. Open all day, breakfast can be toast many ways [French, avocado, eggplant or eggs], or eggs the usual way with roasted potatoes or Hash Browns actually made on site. Or you can have Smoothie Bowls of goodness. Later dining can commence with a cold Green Pea soup made with coconut water, followed by Tuna Tacos or Tuna Tartare wrapped in rice sushi-style. Something different? A crispy Bacon Roll or a SLOPPY jack, pulled jackfruit tossed with BBQ sauce, coleslaw, avocado and cashews. There is also a Kids Menu with small serves. Refreshingly different!

Shisha Café has always been a popular spot. Years ago it moved to Jln. Sunset from its original Legian location, but its customers have followed in droves. Middle Eastern cuisine accompanies the shisha pipes. Maraq is the traditional soup to start, full of vegetables and your choice of chicken or lamb in a very spicy broth into which you dip the great fire-baked bread, or for the health conscious there is the thick lentil soup Shorbat Adas The Shakiya is the star of the mains, a Lamb Shank cooked in yoghurt. Lamb Mandi is a dish from Yemen, combining rice with meat.


By Gerry Williams
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