December 6, 2017

Reef is an amazing seafood restaurant. It is located at the beach, in front of the Maya Sanur. Their French F&B Manager, Emmanuel Baroiller is a perfectionist and goes to great lengths to produce quality product at very reasonable prices. For a 5 star hotel their prices are more those of a good restaurant and are still cheaper than most top Bali restaurants. The Salmon Steak [pictured] is as close to perfect as you can get. The salmon is imported from Tasmania, every day, it arrives FRESH, chilled not frozen. The accompaniments here always complement the fish never overpower it [at another hotel restaurant I was recently served Tuna with sambal matah, it may as well have been cardboard as you could not taste the fish]. Prior to this perfect Salmon dish I had also been very impressed with two earlier ones. The Thai Squid Salad achieved that so difficult result of not being tough and rubbery but still retaining a slight crunch, it was so good. The Thai name was not in vain either, the real taste of Thai. Another Thai dish that they have on their menu is the unique Banana Flower Salad, rarely seen in Bali restaurants, excellent. Following the Squid was a Spanish style Garlic Prawn dish so different to the many such servings I have had at Spanish restaurants around the world [more often than not mini prawns served in a bowl of hot garlic oil]. Large jumbo prawns pan fried in white wine, salsa picada and a touch of chilli, garlic bread on the side. For my money Reef is the best Seafood restaurant in Bali, quality and value.


CasCades @ The Viceroy resume their guest chef dinners with Michelin rated Belgian chef Piet Huysentruyt of restaurant Likoké, who joins with CasCade’s Belgian exec chef Nic Vanderbeeken to present a special 8 course dinner, Sunday December 10. The cost is Rp. 1,200,000++ [food only] or an extra Rp. 950,000++ for wine pairing. It is in fact one step in a traveling tour by the complete kitchen staff of Likoké [to 5 countries], in the style of Noma. Prior reservation is essential [972.111].


BC Steakhouse. Jln. Raya Petitenget, evolved from the Butchers Club that had been operating on these premises for the previous year and it is a high temple for the beef-lover! By now everyone knows about their dry-aged beef, used for their steaks and in their incredible hamburgers. Now they are adding organic grain fed beef from Australia. It is all NASAA certified organic and USDA organic as well as the cattle having been slaughtered according to Halal rules. On the menu will be two cuts; Grass Fed Rib-Eye [300gm] and a Grass Fed Tenderloin [200gm]. Just to break away from a mainly beef menu a Lamb Shank is also about to be added.


Xiao Chu is Chinese for ‘little kitchen’. That is what the restaurant of that name has on the southern stretch of Sunset Road, Kerobokan [next door to Istanbul]. Small clean and open for all to see, In fact the restaurant itself is also small, just a few tables in simple air-con comfort with another couple for the smokers on the street-front terrace. The Chinese menu is basic, tasty and VERY cheap with the majority if the dishes priced around the Rp 30,000 mark. Congee for breakfast? You have a choice of chicken, pork, fish or Century Egg. The soups are Szechuan, Hot & Sour Chilli or Preserved Vegetables with Sliced Pork. Simple snacks; Fu Yung Hai [Chinese omelette], Fried Egg with chilli sauce or Prawn Spring Rolls. Noodles can be Kwetiau with chicken, pork or prawns. The healthy vegetarian delight is Stir-fried Kale in oyster sauce. Mains include Steamed Scallop with ginger and spring onion, Chicken in lemon and Crispy Roast Pork. Great value, when you can get 3 dishes for only Rp.100.000.


May’s Urban Thai on Jl. Petitenget is a franchise from the well known restaurant of that name in Pattaya, Thalland. The use of English names for the dishes rather than the original Thai always suggests a menu designed for non-Thais. So the Tod Man Pla is Fish Cakes, etc. Most of the standard traditional dishes are here just missing the more Thai specials such as Kra Pao, Larbs, etc. The two main soups are so well universally known that they retain their real names, Tom Yum Goong [hot and sour prawn] and Tom Kha Gai [chicken and lemongrass in coconut milk]. Chicken in Pandan, Pomelo, Papaya and Green Mango salads and Thai Spring Rolls are all here. The mains include many seafood dishes although the yellow, gold and southern names for the curries are confusing. The Massaman curry, from Thailand’s south, is beef although the mains mostly look Thai style rather than Thai traditional…nothing wrong with that as long as it tastes good. Adding a good Duck Red Curry would not go amiss.


Pizza Bagus is on the move. Roberto brought traditional Italian Pizzas to Ubud more than 20 years ago. Many have copied since. Initially just as keyhole operations, once in the now defunct Padang Tegal car park, more recently as a full restaurant and Deli on Jln. Pengosekan. Now the final move to location No. 4, a purpose built site, modern restaurant, with full parking, 400 metres south of the present location, just before the Nuh Kuning turnoff but still on Jln Pengosekan, a location that once housed my then favourite breakfast spot, Panilli Vanilla, for their wonderful savoury French crepes from Brittany.


Gerry Williams

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