Maya Sari, the lead restaurant at Maya Ubud, Peliatan, has seriously upgraded their menus under the guidance of their new food and beverage management. Dining can be inside the main room, on the garden terrace or outside above the passing river. For a starter the Beef Tataki is served with daikon, radish, mint, horseradish and a ginger, lemon and soy dressing. Interesting, healthy salads are now a feature of this menu. Passion Fruit & Seafood is with poached salmon, scallops, prawns and tropical fruits. Thai Chicken is tossed with mesclun salad, cabbage, avocado, mango, red peppers, cilantro, green onion, bean sprouts, cashew nuts, soy and sesame oil. The Quinoa and Rocket is about as healthy as you can get; chick peas, lemon, garlic, turmeric, paprika, zucchini and pecorino cheese. New additions to the menu include Laksa Lemak, a spicy seafood soup and Atlantic Salmon, served with an orange beurre blanc sauce. Old favourites are still there, top of my list are the New Zealand Lamb Chops [pictured] perfectly prepared, with pink flesh, crisp surrounding skin still attached.
The Clubhouse, is it Sanur’s best kept secret? Specialisation is rare in Bali restaurants where most menus try to cater for the world with oversize menus. The Clubhouse is simple; just steaks, hot dogs and fish & chips. However most go there to enjoy one of the best steaks in Bali. Meat that is genuinely imported from Australia or New Zealand [not Aussie beef cattle raised in Sumartra] and then dry-aged on the premises. Hidden away on the back streets of Sanur it is not easy to find for the first time. It is in behind Hardy’s and The Oasis; Jln. Kesari II Gang Penjor No 15, sign-posted on Jln. Danau Tamblingan. The Steaks can be ordered in various sizes from 250 – 400 grams. They come with very large potato wedges, and salad. Or if you prefer the smaller steak can be had in a Sandwich or Burger. They also come with the giant wedges and only Rp.120,000.
Malabar is one of Ubud’s many Indian restaurants. It is small, intimate and reeks of Indian spices. Indian restaurants are the only ones that you can recognize by smell from 20 metres. You can almost taste the smell! This one specializes in India’s cuisine of the south, Malabari, from the famous area of Kerala, where the curries are milder and more aromatic. You do not come here expecting a fiery curry! The restaurant is located down a small gang [Arjuna] that runs off Monkey Forest Road at the top end. As with 90% of Ubud’s restaurants these days, parking is a problem although the ban on Monkey Forest Road seems to be relaxed in the evenings. A small menu and that is very welcome. Malabar specialises in chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes. Good samosas that are different from the norm! It is family run and all is prepared to order so a small wait is often the case. When the food arrives, you have already forgotten that. Great value for money!
Le Patio actually has one, or two, but it is also nice to eat in the open central garden area, very relaxing. It is just metres away from the throbbing noisy Raya Seminyak. Whilst it is under French management the menu is a mix of local and Mediterranean dishes. If you want French you can order a real Salade Nicoise [greens tossed with tuna, tomato, corn, onion, black olives, potato, boiled egg and honey vinaigrette], Steak Tartare or the very French Fish a l’estragon [mahi-mahi in a wonderful tarragon cream sauce]. There are unusual dishes on the menu such as the Tuna Sesame Steak [with a balsamic caramel sauce] or Grilled Chicken, greens, cashew nuts and pineapple, served in a pineapple boat. There are Sandwiches on Ciabatta or Burgers, if you just want a snack. The local menu leads off with a Ginger Chicken and includes the ever popular Indo-Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken [Ayam Asam Manis]. The kids love the Gelato Twists.
Hai Ling has replaced the long closed Feyloon Restaurant on Raya Kuta [opp KFC]. Still serves Cantonese cuisine with a large selection of dim sum, in fact nothing much seems to have changed since it was Feyloon.
The Hub has been all the rage in recent months, in the Sanur area, and threatens to be one success among many failures to open on The Bypass. It is on the northern end and is a giant glass house which seems to be the latest fashion in Bali restaurants although this one is almost always busy, the others almost always empty. Although what a yellow Volkswagen, hanging from the roof, does for the atmosphere I know not. The Hub is offspring from the well established Bali Kopi House of Butterfly Coffee fame, at the southern end of The Bypass. Unlike its brother restaurant the clientele here is 90% local [most with large SUV’s] which says something but I am not sure what? The food is normal modern café fare seemingly with the emphasis on presentation.
Botanical is about to open on the street where it all began, one that has continually kept changing its official name but I still call it what I christened it back in 2002, Eat Street. Back when Mykonos and Christalada were the only restaurants, surrounded by rice paddies, and everyone else was beginning to move in. Under experienced and successful management Botanical promises to be a welcome change with its modern and innovative café style menu, not same-same like most of the rest. A sure success!
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