Hairy Balls!

The Hub is a large glass-fronted building on the western side of The Bypass in central Sanur. Its cuisine is innovative café style, and it is already popular with many local customers, mainly those who drive cars rather than motor bikes. It has hit the ground running, busy from opening, the first western restaurant that has done that, on The Bypass, since Olaf took over Arena, many years ago.

An impressive setup that according to the international athletes in Bali for the recent wheelchair rugby tournament is the most accessible restaurant in Bali. This was referencing not only the front access ramp but by the spacing between tables and toilet access. So few restaurants in Bali are wheelchair friendly.

A Yellow Volkswagen sedan car hangs in the foyer, a rather expensive piece of decor.

The word ‘Thai’ appears often on this menu, however that refers to the liberal use of Thai spices and sauces rather than to any serious attempt to offer traditional Thai cuisine.

Hairy Balls [pictured] is a strange dish title,in fact they are balls of prawn/chicken meat wrapped in wonton strips, the accompanying dip one of Thai sweet chilli sauce. The name reminds me of a sweet rice dish I was served at an Armenian dinner in Tehtran. I had wondered what the sweet white meat escalopes were until someone so gently informed me….sheep testicles. I had often seen them in the supermarkets, always strangely in packs of three.

There are many bar style snacks on this menu. Another is the Prawn Mayo, battered shrimps, each sitting on a lettuce leaf with cubes of red dragon fruit, potato and a dab of mayonnaise, tasty! And then there are the Fish Cakes. Westetn style but with that great Thai sweet chilli sauce.

The Thai Beef salad is no Yam Neua. In fact it is the Indo/Thai style that appears on menus all over Indonesia, a Western salad [lettuce,tomato, etc] with seared beef, basil, coriander and mint, still quite good.

An interesting salad is the Green Mango. It is without the bite of the Thai version but has a generous slab of grilled salmon added to it. You can order it without the salmon but who would want to do that?

For soup there is a reasonably good TomYum with lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves, though more sour than hot. This version has fish and squid added to the normal prawn base. And then there is the Goulash soup, a meal in a bowl, beef, potato and paprika, toast on the side.

Standard for all new cafes a selection of Pasta [excellent Ravioli, large round sachets stuffed with a mix of mushroom and spinach, in a creamy sauce, and an interesting Bacon Pesto] and Pizzas. For the pizza [thin crisp base, as I like it] you select how you want them made, with a normal dough base or with Black Bamboo Ash added, a detox special. The range of pizzas includes all of the basic ones except that the Hawaiian [so popular with the Aussies] uses beef ham instead of the real stuff…..a shame as this is Bali, not Java and there are many other pork dishes on the menu! Although recently in Kuala Lumpur I was served turkey ham and could not detect much difference from the original.

As expected there Is a range of Sandwiches, Burgers and even Pork Belly, nice and crisp drizzled with fermented soya bean sauce. Mains are almost a pork fest; Baby Back Ribs, Pork Chops and even a Pork Knuckle. There ia also a Lamb Chop [but two on the plate] and a Lamb Shank.

Steaks, of course, meat from Australia, Tenderloin, Rib Eye, or a chop still on the Rib, all served with your choice of side dishes [the trendy waffle potato fries are all the rage].

The Asian menu [read Indonesian] is very well priced which has no doubt contributed to the big local following The Hub has already achieved.The Nasi Goreng Espresso is a house creation, all the others [Kuug Pao Chicken, Rendang, Oxtail soup] are standards.

For dessert, Bali’s two most popular imports; the Italian Tiramisu [served in a jar, no idea why], and from France a Creme Brulee. The place has a fresh clean feel about it, the serves are mostly large and the prices are mostly cheap, a sure winner. A happy place to visit.



Restaurant                   : The Hub.

Address                         : Jl. ByPass Ngurah Rai 66, Sanur.

Telephone                     : 4762-9142.

Open                              : 11.00 a.m. till midnight.

Non-smoking Area     : Air-con, inside.

Smoking Area              : Front terrace.

Parking                         : Secure private parking.

Price                              : Rp. 400,000 for two [+ drinks]

Credit Cards                : All major cards.

Food                             : International.

Wine                             : Limited, glass, bottle.

Service                         : Efficient.

Atmosphere                : Eating house.

Overall                         : Professional, good value.


Copyright © 2018 Gerry Williams

Reviews that appear in Bali Advertiser are based on actual visits to the establishments listed, without the knowledge of the restaurants, and are not paid for by the individual restaurants.

Opinions expressed here are those of Gerry Williams and not necessarily those of Bali Advertiser. Gerry Williams attempts to write from a ‘typical’ diner’s perspective and, whilst quality of food is the most important criteria overall, value for money is the real measuring stick.