Merah Putih does a modern version of Indonesian food, but I have a problem here. I always prefer a variety of tastes in my meals and the small plates and appetisers are so good here that I usually just have 3-4 of them rather than ordering any mains.
There are separate menus for lunch and dinner but many items are on both menus. One starter that is always on my list, lunch or dinner, is the Bak Pao [pictured], chef’s interpretation of that popular Indonesian street food regular, this one using pork shoulder meat with soy and chilli in an open pocket steamed bun, pickles on the side
Another snack that is hard to resist is the Tongkol Gahu, slices of Yellow Fin Tuna with tomato, smoked chilli and kemangi [lemon basil]. A great taste to start the dining experience. Perkedel Sapi is a croquette made from beef shank with eggplant, green chilli and cashews. Ayam Paniki is chicken thigh with corn, papaya, greens and sambal. Kerang Nangka is also one that you will be tempted to try, tempe crusted scallop in jackfruit rendang and onions.
Rujak Kakap consists of raw Red Emperor with pomelo and herbs. At the top of the list is the Pangsit Lobster, a bamboo lobster dumpling with coconut laksa and red peppers. Only available on the dinner menu is the Rissole Jamur, an oyster mushroom fritter with leek, jicama [an unusual root vegetable, sort of like a cross between an apple and a potato] and balado sambal.
There is also a further selection of small plates, most of sufficient size to be shared between two persons if enough are ordered. Not to be missed is the Labu Iki, a zucchini flower fritter with eggplant and red beans. Garita Parape is octopus with shallots, tofu and fennel cooked rica-rica style. The only Sate on the menu is Lidah Padang, beef tongue and oxtail, curried. Udang Kipas Woku is slipper lobster and catfish with taro, chilli, leeks and fern tips.
Then come the exotics; Bebek Goreng, crispy duck with cucumber and daikon, cooked hot and spicy [colo-colo from Manado] with rice pancakes. Kambing Sambal Hijau is smoked goat belly, with green chilli cabbage and onions, surprisingly good and then there is Puyuh Tangkap, Aceh style fried quail with coconut, chilli, pandan and curry leaves, a dish that can be ordered in two different sized serves.
Dinner service only there is Mie Udang, home-made ink noodles with yabbies and sea urchin. Lunch time also offers a range of noodle dishes, an Ayam Betutu and a vegetarian special of Sayur Sayuran.
The mains are all invariably an explosion of taste, most of which are available for both lunch and dinner. Seafood can be Barramundi [Balinese curry], Whole white reef fish, or Tiger Prawns [served with clams in a stew with daikon, turmeric and kemangi]. The beef is a wonderful soy-glazed beef cheek and the pork a combination of belly and neck.
Extra mains for dinner only are a Lamb Shank and two special dinners for two persons. First is Duck, breast and leg, with soy and star anise, jicama and pickles served with steam buns so you can eat it Peking Duck style. Second is an Angus steak dish, both rib-eye and oyster blade with a cashew sambal.
There is also a special Vegetarian menu with an impressive list of options, many unusual dishes, veggies with taste!
Any visit to Merah Putih is for a meal to remember, basic Indonesian with amazing twists.
Food for the taste buds!
Restaurant : Merah Putih.
Address : Jln. Raya Petitenget, Kerobokan.
Telephone : 846.5950.
Open : Lunch [noon to 3.00 pm] [Dinner from 6.00pm. daily].
Non-Smoking Area : Main restaurant.
Smoking Area : Bar area only.
Parking : Limited space front and rear.
Price : Rp. 700,000 for two [+ drinks]
Credit Cards : All major cards.
Food : Modern Indonesian.
Wine : Good list.
Service : Functional.
Atmosphere : In a glass cage.
Overall : An experience to remember.
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 © 2019 Gerry Williams