September 12, 2018


Habitat on Monkey Forest Road, Ubud, at the Padang Tegal end and directly opposite the giant new car park for the Monkey Forest, keeps on introducing new and tempting dishes. There is a new specials list for the high season. Chicken Sliders are two mini hamburgers with chicken meat patties and all of the trimmings, a pile of potato crisps in between [made in the kitchen, not out of a packet], they make a perfect entrée for two to share or a meal for one. Open soft Tacos topped with pork leg, boiled egg, and a wasabi mayonnaise. A gluten free Soba Chicken Salad and a Seafood Ceviche. Mains on this specials list include a Poke [Hawaiian native dish that includes raw fish] of salmon marinated in soy-ginger and those healthy buckwheat soba noodles in a miso dressing. Pork Ribs and a few Japanese dishes [Chicken Katsu-Don and a couple of Sushi combos]. All day breakfasts are all the go here especially their Eggs Benedict creations, I like the Crumbed Benedict [pictured].

 

Watergarden Kafe, Jln. Raya Candi Dasa, has a Steak Night, every Monday and Friday. Prime Tenderloin and if ordered to be cooked either Medium or Medium Rare it is then prepared using their new technique of ‘sous vide’, the result, tender and flavoursome.

 

Shima, Bali’s specialty Teppanyaki & Shabu-Shabu restaurant on Raya Petitenget [50 metres from LIO Square] is about to expand its menu to include a larger range of sushi and sashimi as well as new Tempura dishes.

 

Banh Mi & Beans on Jln. Raya Semat, Canggu is the place to go for that special Vietnamese sandwich. A Banh Mi is a French baguette stuffed with assorted fillings after its inside has been coated with a chicken liver pate, Traditionally the baguette is very crunchy on the outside, and soft inside.The Banh Mi Thit Ga [chicken] Is probably the most popular. The Coffées can be Vietnamese or the normal espresso options.

 

Sakanaya has to be the leading wet fish shop in Bali. It shares a space with Ramen Boy. At the western end of Sunset Road, Seminyak, it is operated by the Ryoshi chain of restaurants. Sakanaya offers many ways of eating fish, Japanese style. Fresh seafood is packed in iced display cabinets in the inside air-conditioned area. Outside Sakanaya shares the terrace with its neighbour, Ramen Boy. Prawns can be black [tiger] or white [normal]. Either can be cooked for you battered, in breadcrumbs or poached Cajun style. They usually have up to 9 different varieties of fish, depending on the days availability, and you can order as Sashimi, grilled, fried, battered, bread-crumbed or also poached Cajun style. The Sashimi is served as a small or large platter, the freshest [you can watch it being sliced] and the cheapest in Bali.

 

Lamak, Monkey Forest Road, Ubud, has one of the largest wine cellars for a stand alone restaurant, more than 130 labels. Wednesdays are their special wine days with a 30% discount on all botttles of wine, dining in or taking away.

 

Balkan BBQ, Jln. Kunti, Seminyak offers food from the Balkans, S.E. Europe including the popular ćevapčići, minced meat shaped like a skinless sausage and grilled on the BBQ, kebab style.

 

Warung Laota is one of the many small restaurants found on Jln. Raya Tuban [opp. Ibis Hotel], It is cleaner than most and surprisingly is open 24 hours. I was amazed to see virtually a full house when I visited last Monday evening just before midnight, and the clientele were very varied; locals, domestic, visiting Chinese and even a few of us gweilos [white ghost people or foreign devils, as they say in Cantonese]. The cuisine is Hong Kong Cantonese, the menu includes every possible combination as is common with Chinese restaurants. Congee [or Bubur as it is called in Indonesia] is rice porridge and is the early morning staple. Served many different ways; with any seafood, frog, sliced beef, etc. Steamed seafood [live in tanks at front] seem to be the most popular, but the Steamed Chicken with fermented back bean was very good as was the Stir-fry King Prawns with ginger, leek, and salted egg. Their specials include Drunken Prawns [herbs & arak] and Lobster Sashimi. The Ducks are roasted Hong Kong or Beijing style and served as whole or half bird. For Steam Boats you select your ingredients. As with most Chinese the vegetarian and soup options are many. They also have outlets at Jimbaran and on Sunset Road [as well as Makassar].

 

J n C says it all. Anyone who has ever stopped at the traffic lights at Jln. Tirta Nadi whilst waiting to cross The ByPass at Blanjong will have seen the sign, and the rotisserie at front with chickens slowly revolving, tempting your taste buds [is there any better way to cook chicken?] at this small roadside café [large communal table inside, small ones on the outside covered garden terrace]. The chickens here are always with always wth crisp skin and juicy flesh, J and C. Whilst the chickens are available every day, either whole chicken or a half [Rp.50,000] their special Spare Ribs are only barbecued Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays…the smart locals call around 5.00 p.m. to collect them hot from the grill, they come with their spicy BBQ sauce. Side dishes here can be Oven Baked Potato with a variety of dressings, Creamy Potato with onion, garlic and nutmeg or salads/slaw, or rice of course.

 

Gerry Williams

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