Golden Monkey, on Jln. Dewi Sita, is still Ubud’s only complete Chinese restaurant. That it offers mainly Cantonese cuisine is obvious by that world recognised trademark of Cantonese style Roasted Ducks [pictured] hanging for all to see. They are prepared on the premises, every day, along with a range of other roasted meats such as chickens and Char Siew [they prepare both pork and chicken]. A non-Cantonese option is their perfect Peking Duck which is served the traditional way, sliced at the table. Mandarin pancakes are provided to wrap your pieces of outer flesh and crisp skin in after adding a dribble of Hoisin sauce. The body of the duck is then taken away to prepare a further course; your choice of Kung Pao, Black Pepper or San Choy Bow [course minced, to be wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves]. Whilst everyone loves dim sum for lunch the Mixed Dim Sum Platter is a very popular starter for lone diners, with five items; some steamed, some fried. A new addition to the menu, for a late breakfast, is traditional Congees [rice porridge] which can be with duck, pork, chicken or just vegetables. For me the crisp iced cucumber sticks with sesame sauce are a must to nibble on whilst perusing the rest of the menu. Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab is another new dish worth trying, although the old standards [sweet & sour, black pepper, ginger and spring onion and kung pao] are always hard to resist.
Graze is an all day diner at the southern end of Jln. Tamblingan, Sanur, and it remains as one of my favourites for a quiet, quality, good value lunch. They have updated their menu with a number of new options. Their house-smoked salmon is enough reason to visit here any time. Whilst the Smoked Salmon Salad, sitting on a shallot salad with Dijon potatoes and a split boiled egg is a long time special there is now also a Smoked Salmon Club on rye with horseradish mayonnaise and potato wedges. The Steak Sandwich is in a long roll with caramelized onion jam, rocket, aioli and roasted tomato, with fries on the side. Best of the burgers is the Prime Angus, triple cheddar, double bacon with mustard mayonnaise. A Thai Minced Chicken Salad is a westernized version of the popular Kra Pao, with basil and chilli but without the egg on top. Dinner time and you want more substantial mains then there is now New Zealand Lamb Chops, marinated with smoked chilli and mint pesto and Jumbo Prawns with ginger lime coriander. Their 7 country breakfasts are all still available and served all day. I prefer the European, with its perfect Eggs Benedict or the spicy Mexican, with a jalapeno and corn fritter.
WEST is the latest example of the ever growing relevance of the local work force in Bali’s food & beverage industry. It is a school for Sommeliers, a first for Bali, maybe even Indonesia? It has been set up by a group of well established Bali professionals led by Mozaic’s Tjok Bagus Senajaya and SIP’s Made Puniasa Eka Putra. There are four different class levels; Beginner, Basic, Sherif and Expert. A pass in one makes you eligible to attend the next higher level. All are open to both local professionals in the industry and to those who are not but wish to improve their knowledge and appreciation of wines. The college is in Gianyar [Jln Astina Selatan, 109], It is sure to prove a boon to F&B Managers wanting to improve the skill level of their staff. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shima, Bali’s only dedicated Teppanyaki restaurant [on Jln.Petitenget close to the Jln. Raya Kerobokan lights] now has four special menus for lunch. The full dinner menu is also available but these lunch specials are just extra options. All four come with starters of soup [or salad] and mixed vegetables, and are served with fried rice from the teppan, but they all have their own individual main course. They are as follows; Chicken Teriyaki Set [chicken thigh teriyaki with sweet sauce and fried rice – Rp. 120.000++], Barramundi Shogayaki [barramundi with ginger sauce – Rp. 165,000++], Beef Yakiniku [marinated beef with special yakiniku sauce – Rp. 185,000++] and Ikatama [calamari and egg mixed with tonkatsu sauce – Rp. 160,000++].
River Café has long been a pleasant diversion from the hectic Ubud scene for those locals who were in the know. It is found at the extreme southern end of the Maya Ubud property, after passing through the foyer a relaxing stroll to the lift that takes you down to where the rivers meet and overlooking one of the hotel’s many swimming pools is the River Café. Just sitting there in the peace and quiet makes you think that you too are on holidays. Late last year the hotel welcomed their new Executive Chef [actually Director of Food & Beverage] to Bali. Though Belgian Geert Dirk Vermeulen is hardly new to Bali as he once operated the Pala restaurant on the ByPass, Sanur, since then he has been for many years at the Grand Melia in Jakarta and other leading 5 star hotels in Indonesia. New things on offer at River Café include a refreshing soup of Tomato & Ginger with pumpkin seeds and basil. The Pizzas at River Café are now available either standard or gluten-free. Lingering lunches are perfect for indulging in very sweet sweets whilst no one is watching! If the Passion Fruit Semi-Fredo, with mango, and strawberry added, does not appeal how about their Espresso Tiramisu Cake with mascarpone and amaretto cream or the Chocolate Layer Cake with raspberry coulis and caramelized orange?
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