Fish Bone Local is a rarity in Bali, a specialty seafood restaurant. It is under the same Australian management as the nearby Mason, and is of the same similar design, just a large barn-like space.
Entrees can be familiar; Prawn Toast [with sesame and chilli, Squid either as a Salad with Thai herbs and nahm jim or pan fried crispy with chilli salt, or Tuna Crudo with mustard and soy] or the more unusual Tuna Tostada [with sambal matah], Smoked Fish Dip [with wonton crackers], Miso Eggplant or a touch of Japanese with a Prawn Gyoza. Then there is the excellent Lobster and Chicken Dumplings [pictured], they arrive in a sea of black vinegar and chilli.
Checking out most restaurants often begins with testing the cheapest dishes, it all begins there. For a seafood restaurant that has to be the good old Fish & Chips. Fish Bone offers Beer Battered Fish but no chips. The fish is three cylindrical fingers of OK fish in a nice light batter casing with a large dip of tartare sauce. Instead of chips they offer Chat Potatoes, which were burnt, dry and rather boring.
No doubt they think that they are trendier? What is wrong with old fashioned hand-cut potato chips [call them French fries if you must]? Some places try too hard to be different when what most people want is what they are used to, comfort food.
The balance of the seafood menu covers most species and styles. The Grouper is steamed [served with burnt cabbage, mushrooms and soy] but most of the rest are just pan seared. Barramundi with sambal matah, Tuna Loin with chimichurri, the Dory Filet with a Balinese curry, eggplant and basil. The Black Cod is grilled over coals with chilli paste and Kaffir lime.
Alternate dishes include interesting Fish Tacos with grilled pineapple, Korean style Fried Chicken with gochujang chilli, and for the vegetarians a Vegetarian Poke Bowl [with avocado, edamame and wakame, on sushi rice] and Beer Battered Nori Tofu. Pasta dishes include Rigatoni with tomatoes, Spaghetti with prawns, chilli and garlic and Linguini simply with blue swimmer crab, chilli and lemon.
Yes, as with just about every other restaurant in Bali, they have a Burger on the menu but this one [Angus] is on a brioche bun with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and the Australian touch of sliced beetroot, an Aussie Burger!
A large selection of sides offer more than just those Chat Potatoes, there is a Vietnamese Slaw with cashews, Sweet Potato & Ginger Puree and much more. It is amazing just how much both Thai and Vietnamese cuisines are influencing what is now called Mod Oz cuisine, one that is based on French/Italian kitchen techniques combined with the tastes of Asia. But then most suburbs in Australia have a Vietnamese restaurant and many Thai ones, to go with the Chinese that were always there, [as well as an occasional Italian and sometimes, a very rare French].
Fish Bone Local serves the ever increasing expat and tourist population of Canggu, giving them what they want.
Restaurant : Fish Bone Local.
Address : Jln. Batu Bolong 99, Canggu.
Telephone/WA : 934.2779.
Open : 12 noon till late.
Smoking Area : Inside.
Non-smoking Area : In front and in rear garden.
Air-conditioning : No.
Parking : Small area at side.
Price : Rp. 500,000 for two [+ drinks].
Credit Cards : All major cards.
Food : Seafood.
Wine : Limited list.
Service : Efficient.
Atmosphere : Eating and drinking.
Overall : Interesting.
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.
Copyright © 2020 Gerry Williams