Soul in a Bowl may have suffered from a few hiccups in its early days but that is not the case today. It is now firing on all cylinders. It is a small pleasant space with very professional management and a menu that makes me smile.
What a change from my early look at this strip in Sanur, 25 years ago, there were, as today many restaurants but all then seemed to have identical menus, mostly consisting of ‘foreign’ food, as seen by the locals. Sanur was boring!
What a contrast to today’s offerings and Soul in a Bowl is right up there amongst the best. All of their gluten-free items are so marked, another sign of professional management who actually know what they are doing.
It is open early [8.00 a.m.] for breakfast, which goes almost all day. There are standard breakfasts [no serious restaurant in Bali can offer breakfast without the very basic Bacon & Eggs]. Here the bacon is double smoked, the pork sausage spicy, and the toast is sourdough with toasted tomato and mushrooms on the side. And there are many other tasty options, many of which that are also healthy.
I am always attracted to unique breakfasts, for me it is just about the most important meal of the day. The first item I noticed was the Corn & Dill Fritters. A good start not only with poached eggs on top but with snap peas, feta cheese and watercress added, as well as a lime dressing, I could not wait to try it. Excellent!
As the name suggests there are many dishes here that are served in a bowl. At breakfast time there is their signature dish, Soul in a Bowl; red dragon fruit, papaya, apple and tangerine topped with banana, star fruit, roasted coconut, honey and flax seeds. A daytime salad is their Mediterranean Bowl, organic couscous with quinoa, cucumber, daikon, parsley, olives, tomato, roasted capsicum, feta cheese, falafel, hummus, pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds with a lemon tahini dressing. Not only are they super healthy but as a bonus they also taste great! In fact ‘food with taste’ is my overall summing up of the food on offer at Soul in a Bowl.
Snacking appeals to me as does that section of this menu. The Duck Rice Paper Rolls are perfect. A variation of this Vietnamese special is now on many Bali menus, but sadly the wrapping too often almost like chewing plastic, Here they get it right, as they do with all their other menu items. The duck meat is combined with cucumber, carrot and basil inside the rice paper wrapping, then drizzled with a rather subdued Thai nahm jim sauce, very, very good!
The most amazing offering on the small plates list is their Salt & Pepper Squid, another that often appeals on the menu but ends up tough and leathery. Again here it is quite sensational, just enough ‘chew’ but never to be called tough, small crumby pieces served with a garlic aioli and tomato chutney, perfect with a drink or two.
The Lamb Kofta is served almost sate style on skewers, the well spiced minced lamb combined with harissa, lemon olive oil and mint. The Pop Style Corn Fritters, with just a touch of chilli, are also a great bar snack. As are the Beef Sliders [mini hamburgers], three on the plate with caramelized onion.
For the vegetarians; the Trio of Dips, Tomato Bruschetta or Falafel, all are very healthy, but still with taste!
A big variety of Salads include those with duck and yellow fin tuna, the Hawaiian Shaka Shaka is passion fruit grilled chicken with Japanese rice, red radish and cabbage, corn, avocado and cucumber. There are also pure vegetable salads, including a Pumpkin and Barley.
Sandwiches [smoked bacon, ham, chicken breast, roasted pumpkin and capsicum with Dijon between sourdough toasted slices], pasta and burgers that include a Mac & Cheese Burger and a veggie Kale Burger complete the lunch time menu section.
Dinner time sees many of the early course options retained. Heavier mains include the universally popular Lamb Shank [from NZ, braised in red wine, rosemary and tomato]. Seafood options can be Tuna or Herb Crusted Barramundi or that standard of English dining; Fish and Chips! Then there is a fusion of Bali and Singapore, Duck Laksa, nice and spicy.
As is necessary a selection of local dishes are also included, Opor Ayam is one the stars of Indonesian cuisine, if prepared properly; first steamed with spices then finished off with coconut milk in the wok. Sticky Chicken, a strange name but an interesting taste! Soul Ketoprak is a Javanese vegetarian option; rice vermicelli, bean sprouts, green beans, crisp tempe, rice cake, baby potato, purple sweet potato and fresh chilli with peanut sauce.
Soul in a Bowl is a perfect sample of the new Sanur, I like it!
Food with taste!
Restaurant : Soul in a Bowl
Address : Jl. Danau Tamblingan 180, Sanur.
Telephone : 472.0063
Open : 08.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. daily.
Non-smoking Area : Yes.
Smoking Area : Yes.
Parking : Street only.
Price : Rp. 400,000 for two [+ drinks]
Credit Cards : Visa, Mastercard.
Food : Modern International.
Wine : Medium well balanced list; by glass, carafe or bottle.
Service : With a smile.
Atmosphere : Relaxed.
Overall : Food with taste!
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.