Dandelion is an example of the new wave sweeping Bali. Cafes and Restaurants operated by young Balinese restaurateurs who have learnt their trade from working for many years under/with international professionals and have been able to absorb the resulting lessons.
Owner Yunus is such an example. Back in the in the 80’s the main Influences on Bali dining were Australian, American, French and Italian, much as they still are today. Yunus started his journey through all four of such managed places, Australian FJ’s [Legian], followed by the original French Café Warisan, the very U.S. Hard Rock Café [at both the original unofficial version on Jln.. Legian and later at the official one as it now is at Pantai Kuta, then the Italian Pappa’s, also in Legian. Add to that many trips with America-Holland line and the ultimate dream of opening his own Bali restaurant in Canggu became a reality.
Dandelion is best described as user-friendly. It is almost as if you are visiting family. You will be welcomed by the family pets, as fluffy, friendly rabbits run around the garden, eager to be petted and fed.
The menu is Balinese but with international touches and even a bit healthy [the fries are sweet potato] Originally it was for dinners only but Dandelion is now also open for lunch and in between.
Naturally both Lumpia [vegetarian] and Perkedel Jagung [corn fritters] are amongst the starters but there is more. Udang Galah Sambal Kemangi is coconut grilled blue river prawns in lemon basil. Udang Tim Ketumbar is coriander-marinated prawns and glass noodles with coconut and coriander, steamed in a banana leaf. Then an Indonesian-Chinese touch with steamed Siomay, chicken or fish dumplings but with a Balinese peanut sauce.
For soup choose one of the local classics. Soto Ayam, chicken and noodles in a spicy turmeric and lemongrass broth, Sayur Bobor, a mix of spinach, mushrooms and tofu in coconut milk, and Jukut Gedang that fragrant Balinese soup made with young papaya and spices.
Fancy a grill? Your choice of Ahi Tuna or Chicken, it will come with sweet potato fries and a lemon-ginger sauce. The healthier option is of course to order your fish steamed. It can be Mahi-Mahi or Snapper.
From the wok there are many choices. First the three Indonesian staples; Nasi Goreng [red rice]; Mie Goreng [rice noodles] and Kare [mild coconut milk curries]. All can be had with chicken, prawns or the veggie combo of Tempe & Tofu.
Kecap Manis [sweet soy] is a common ingredient in Balinese cooking. Here you can have it with their Ayam Bakar [coriander marinated char-grilled chicken] or with a healthy mix of tempe, tofu, eggplant and red beans. Tum Ayam is just diced chicken and Bali spices, steamed in a banana leaf, surprisingly good. Be Pasih Tumis Rempong is diced fish sautéed with pineapple, lime and honey.
Pepes Ahi Tuna is minced tuna rolled in spices and herbs, wrapped in a banana leaf then steamed before grilling. If you do not know what to order there is always the good old Nasi Campur, with a little bit of almost everything. Many Bali restaurants offer ‘just seared’ Tuna, at Dandelion they use the wonderful local Butterfish instead [pictured], just a few spices and sprinkled with sesame seeds, excellent!
All of the standard Bali desserts are available. Who can resist that so sweet Dadar Gulung? Small delicate crepes stuffed with grated coconut and drizzled with palm sugar.
Budget prices, smiling waiters [and the gregarious owner, whose own style of humour adorns the menu] all leave you with the feeling that you have just dined at the house of a friend, a most pleasurable experience, just don’t forget to feed the rabbits…
The boy from Singaraja is now the man at Canggu.
Restaurant : Dandelion.
Address : Jln. Pantai Batu Bolong 10, Canggu.
Telephone : 896.2296.5413.
Open : 12 Noon to 10.00 p.m., daily.
Non-smoking Area : Yes.
Smoking Area : Yes.
Parking : Street only.
Price : Rp. 300,000 for two [+ drinks].
Credit Cards : Visa, Mastercard.
Food : Balinese.
Wine : Limited.
Service : Friendly.
Atmosphere : Family style.
Overall : Great value, relaxing.
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