In what seems to have become an annual post for me (probably because we have been heading up to Bali so frequently over the past 4 years) I had the chance to visit some old favorite as well as try out a couple of new ones on a recent 8 day trip just after Christmas.

This is normally rainy season for Bali but over the course of the 8 days that we were there we only had 1 hour of rain on the second last day!  Climate change and El Nino are taking their toll here.  It was really hot and humid just about every day but that did not stop us from venturing out to dine at some fabulous establishments.

There were 4 real standouts for me this trip and as I am heading back in 8 weeks for another 2 week break I will probably have some other new ones to talk about then.

This time we were fortunate to be able to stay in a stunning villa that is part of Peppers and really set the scene for a peaceful, relaxing post Christmas break.  The staff at this resort are friendly, professional, courteous and the resort itself is beautifully maintained and we even took advantage of their in villa dining to have a dinner party for 6 which was another highlight of the trip.

We had a wonderful villa with a stunning pool, large bedrooms, large bathrooms, outdoor showers and a stunning lounge and dining area that we shared with our dear friend Karen and Ken and the setting made for a fabulous break.

I am not including the Peppers dinner on the list because it is something that you can only experience if you stay there but I will say if you do end up at Peppers then do take advantage of this.  We had our own private chef and waiter who cooked and served a stunning 5 course meal that we all enjoyed and made for a really wonderful night.

Check out Peppers at http://www.peppers.com.au/seminyak/ and see some of the amazing villas that are on offer and of course all of the other facilities that this sort of resort has to offer.

Now for my favorite dining experiences from this trip…

  1. Merah Putih

What can I say…I have reviewed this amazing restaurant before and it really is one of the stand out places to dine when staying in Seminyak, or for that matter making the time to head there from anywhere else in Bali as the food, service and the ambiance are first rate.

This restaurant never disappoints from the moment you walk up the steps until the time you leave at the end of your dining experience.

The staff are never over bearing but always there when you need them and keep a respectful distance whist always serving you with an amazing attention to detail.

It has also become a bit of a tradition for us to have the Taste of Indonesia menu and we opted to do the same this time.  Offering ten different dishes served over 5 courses this is the way to get a real sense of the food on offer here and the high quality of it.

The menu this time consisted of yellowfin tuna served with a ginger flower sambal, red mullet with green chilli and coriander and chicken soup with coconut and vermicelli.  These were three stunning dishes to start the meal with.  Each offered some distinct flavors and complemented each other.  The yellowfin tuna was the stand out dish here as it was cooked perfectly and you could really taste the tuna with every bite.

Then it was roast lobster, nasi jagung, grilled salmon served with long bean and quail egg and duck leg, smoked breast and rendang.  The flavors in each of these dishes were again complex, delightful with each bite and complimented each other perfectly.  The duck was cooked to perfection and the rendang added a complexity that still allowed for the full flavor of the duck to shine through.

This was followed by charred beef tenderloin served with peanut, soy and coconut and suckling pig with cauliflower and tamarind.  This is billed as the main course and both of these dishes each stood out by themselves and offered another highlight of the meal.  The beef was tender and full of flavor and the suckling pig was a taste sensation.

Served alongside this was coconut rice, pickles, greens and sambal.  I have to mention here how amazingly simple but tasty the coconut rice was…just delicious.

Then it was time for a lime sorbet to cleanse the palette and this was followed by  shared desserts plates that included the most heavenly lemon meringue served with a jelly that just added yet another dimension to the dish.  The desserts were a perfect end to the meal!

It was Karen and Ken’s 17th anniversary and the kitchen presented them with a plate with Happy Anniversary on it and some delightful home made ice cream. Just wonderful.

This really continues to be one of the best restaurants in Bali and one you really must seek out next time you are there!

The perfect meal for an Anniversary Dinner at our favorite restaurant!

Merah Putih

Opening Hours

Monday – Sunday: 12.00 – 15.00 / 18.00 – Late

Jl. Petitenget No.100x,
Kerobokan, Bali, Indonesia 80361
Phone: (0361) 8465950
Email: info@merahputihbali.com
Website: merahputihbali.com

2. Chandi

Another real favorite and a restaurant that has never failed us in serving some of the best food that is combined with the most wonderful service is Chandi.

We headed to Chandi for our New Years Eve dinner and we were not disappointed.  This restaurant comes in a close second to Merah Putih and this was our fifth time that we have had dinner here. Whilst the menu does not change much in between visits it is still extensive enough to offer some great variety and they always have some delightful specials to taste as well!

It has become something of an institution in Seminyak and once again did not fail to impress.  The interesting thing was that on New Years Eve much of Seminyak was very quiet because there had been an alert from the government about possible terrorist activity and so our Matre ‘d was telling us that half of their bookings had cancelled for the night.

This was the first time for Karen and Ken at both Merah Putih and Chandi and they were as impressed as we were with both places.

We decided that we would all begin with the Chef Appetizer tasting that would give us all a great start to the meal.

Mini Beef Rendang Envelopes, Grilled Tenderloin Frisee Salad, Black Pepper Crab Dumplings, Crisp Salt & Green Bell Pepper Squid, Seared Scallops in Tamarind Peanut Dressing, Crunchy Tofu Squares in Pecel Peanut Sauce, Crisp Tempe Manis and  Chilled Spiced Watermelon Soup made up the tasting platter and each dish offered some delightful local flavors.

The seafood is always wonderful and each dish offered a different set of flavors highlighted by local spices to added another flourish to each dish.

The Black pepper crab dumplings were simply divine and they just exploded with an intense flavor in your mouth.  The chilled spiced watermelon soup acted as a delightful finishing touch to the tasting plate.

For our main courses Karen chose to go with the Chandi Shellfish tasting which was made up of Slipper Lobster, Giant Prawns, Scallops, Squid, Soft Shell Crab, Watercress, Mango Salad on Roti Canai, in a light Tamarind dressing accompanied wth Chandi’s 6 Sambals.

She loved each of these dishes and as a lover of seafood enjoyed every morsel that was on offer.  It was cooked beautifully and presented wonderfully as well.

The rest of us chose the Ceremonial Sate Tasting which consisted of a medley of  Chandi’s Best Skewers with 6 Sambals Served with Lemongrass Steamed Organic White & Red Rice Pickled-Grilled Sweet Red Chili, Watercress & Pea Sprout Salad.  The sates were made up of Wagyu Beef Short Ribs, Harvey Tenderloin, Black Angus Rib Eye, Black Sea Bass, Slipper Lobster, Queen Prawn, Butterfish, Trio Bell Peppers with Marinated Tempe Asparagus with Beetroot and Caramelized Pineapple.

This was simply stunning and offered an amazing array of sates to indulge in and to really enjoy.  Again each one offered a unique flavor that allowed for each dish to offer its own story and again the use of the local spices just added another level to each dish.

All of the above was really filling but there was still just a bit of room for my favorite dessert the white chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream. If you have seen my previous Bali highlights you will know how much I adore this dessert and once again it did not disappoint.  Karen and Ken shared the dark chocolate version and also loved it.

The perfect end to a delightful New Years Eve!

A New Years Eve delight – great food and great friends!

CHANDI
Jalan Laksmana 72,
Seminyak, Bali 80361

RESERVATIONS
+62.361.731 060
Reservations are taken over the Phone, only
CHANDI always Keeps Tables for Walk-In Guests.

ENQUIRIES
RESERVATION@CHANDIBALI.COM

3. Saigon Street

Trevor and I stumbled across Saigon Street last year when we were in Bali and as it was another restaurant that Karen and Ken had not been too we thought it would be a great place to share one of our first meals for this holiday with and we were not disappointed!

This is more of a share plate restaurant that offers some truly amazing Vietnamese inspired dishes to share with those dining with you and offers a full variety of their own personal spin of rice paper rolls with over 10 different variations on the theme…all fresh and all delicious ( well we have tried 6 so far!)

The staff here were well versed on the menu, polite, considerate and professional and we got some great advice from the Australian owner of the restaurant who made some great suggestions from the menu as well!

We ordered 6 different dishes to share and then ordered a final course each to enjoy.  This was the perfect way to enjoy a meal at Saigon Street.  The first 5 dishes combined local seafood, rice paper rolls and salad and gave us all the chance to really enjoy the different flavors on offer here.

Green rice fried tiger prawns, chilli and lime nuoc cham, lettuce wraps and served with fragrant herbs which was the perfect start dish to share and was as delightful as it was last time we had it!

La lot leaf with caramelized minced pork & cashews, pineapple and rambutan and hot mint that was simply full of intense flavors and the La lot leaf was crispy and added another dimension to it.

Tiger prawn spring rolls, with ginger nuoc cham started our journey with the Vietnamese rolls as part of our share plates and was a gorgeous dish that was simply amazing.

Buddha roll, zucchini flower stuffed with tofu and  jimica, a spicy sauce of mung bean and coconut water was fresh, zingy and fabulous.

Peking duck spring onion and cucumber, rice paper roll with hoi sin is a bit of a traditional Chinese dish that is done exceptionally well here and a dish that we all enjoyed.

Then to finish off Karen had the coconut roast lobster roll with rambutan & Thai basil whilst Ken emjoyed the Banh Xeo, a sizzling pancake with pork, prawn and  bean sprouts eaten with a lettuce & herb wrap.

They both enjoyed their dishes and Karen especially loved the roast lobster roll as it was the perfect size for her and was a great final course that she really loved.

Trevor chose the dalat curry of roast pumpkin & eggplant curry with basil and cashew  which hit the spot perfectly with its complex flavors that still allowed for the roast pumpkin and eggplant to shine through.

I had what was one of the most amazing dishes that I encountered in Bali this time: pork belly, simmered with caramel & black pepper, in a clay pot. This was quite simple a taste sensation and a dish that I will not soon forget.  The blend of the caramel with the black pepper and the perfectly cooked pork belly was sheer perfection.

Like both of the above restaurants this is another must visit place when you are in Bali – you will not be disappointed.

Saigon Street

Jl. Petitenget No. 77X, Seminyak
Bali, Indonesia
+62 (361) 897 4007

info@saigonstreetbali.com

Restaurant open 7 days
from 11.00 am to 1.00 am daily.

4. Barbacoa

And now for something new for me for this trip – Barbacoa!  I always enjoy exploring and indulging in new dining experiences and this was another one that was a real delight.

Karen and Ken had eaten here a couple of times and on their recommendation we made a booking early in the trip and headed for one of our final meals in Bali at Barbacoa and were not disappointed.

Like many places in Seminyak Barbacoa offers both share plates and a choice of just enjoying individual dishes for yourself if you like.

We chose to do share plates and one of the things that Barbacoa is famous for is its suckling pig which is cooked for 8 hours to ensure that it is moist and full of flavor and we were not disappointed.

We chose a range of share plates with the suckling pig being the main dish in among these plates that we all enjoyed.  Sitting along side this we had warm grilled chapa bread with roasted garlic and served with a  balsamic vinegar; pickled beetroot salad with feta cheese and  candied walnuts; burnt carrots with parsley , lemon and maple vinaigrette; and finally spanish style fried potatoes served with a  garlic aioli.

They served the warm chapa bread first and it was a nice way to begin as we settled in and enjoyed our drinks. The rest of the dishes all arrived together and each one complimented the suckling pig really well.  The beetroot was tangy and fresh, the burst carrots were full of flavor and the fried potatoes were crispy and when dipped in the aioli were a real delight.

But it was really all about the suckling pig for us and it was a real highlight.  It was moist, full of flavor and we ordered 2 serves to share and it was plenty with the side dishes to ensure that we all had plenty of food.

One of the other things that Barbacoa do is they prepare their ice cream dessert at the table.  It is created using liquid nitrogen at the table to add that little bit of theatre to the end of the meal.

I chose the very Berry ice cream and the others chose the toblerone chocolate ice cream and we all agreed it was the perfect end to the meal.

And so we now have another great new restaurant to add to the mix when we next head to Bali in about 8 weeks.

Barbacoa

Jalan Petitenget 14, Kerobokan
Bali – 80361

– BOOKINGS –
EMAIL: info@barbacoabali.com
PHONE: +62 (0)8123 9999 825 / +62 (0) 361 739 235

I am forever being impressed with the changing face of dining in Bali and am never disappointed by the options that are around and also pleased to see some of the long time spots continue to impress when coming up against the ever increasing suite of new places opening.

If you search out you will find hidden places every where and new as well as the old familiar spots to delight in.

Peppers Seminyak – how stunning!