*DEAL GONE* Brussels to Cape Town – Business Class £1005 R/T
April 6, 2017
REVIEW – Cathay Pacific : Business Class – Bali to Hong Kong (B772)
April 7, 2017
*DEAL GONE* Brussels to Cape Town – Business Class £1005 R/T
April 6, 2017
REVIEW – Cathay Pacific : Business Class – Bali to Hong Kong (B772)
April 7, 2017

Cuca – Jimbaran
Trendy restaurant offering very modern and expertly executed tapas


 

Cuca restaurant is a modern glass and concrete building set in an expanse of private gardens, very close to the Intercontinental in Jimbaran.

The main premise of the restaurant is that money is saved by keeping ingredients as local as possible and eschewing luxury tableware for Balinese options. I personally thought that the design was great and I found the tableware to be both varied and very stylish.

The food was universally excellent. The service however left a lot to be desired. Don’t arrive here super hungry, it was at least 40 minutes until we were brought any food at all, no snacks, bread or anything was brought in the meantime.

Looking around, quite a few other tables had upset looking people waving to servers, trying to determine the whereabouts of their meals.

Beautifully presented Lombok scallop with mashed cauliflower and toasted butter crust

Whimsical mushroom fritters with roasted garlic and ricotta cheese

BBQ glazed pork bao with pickled cabbage and fresh coriander

Locally sourced ceviche with chilli lime dressing and watermelon ice. The ice really took this dish to another level, very refreshing and well balanced.

Cuban corn: grilled baby corn, young parmesan, fresh lime and parsley. The robust spice and parmesan were perfectly balanced with the freshness of the lime and parsley. A real standout dish.

Rice tempura soft shell crab with garlic aioli, bbq pineapple and curry leaf. Spectacular.

Black squid risotto. The popped rice provided an unexpected crunch to balance the creaminess of the dish. The garlic cream added a vibrant and slightly sour note to bring the heaviness down a notch too.

Crispy fried chicken with country coleslaw, Thai basil and wild honey.

The house speciality cocktail: “Sun-gria”. A variety of frozen fruit ice cubes slowly melted into the red wine and brandy soda. Very fun and tasty if a little too sweet for my liking.

Slow baked apples with Javanese black pepper ice cream and waffles

The grand finale: Cocoa 99. A delicious mixture of warm chocolate with mint ice cream and crunch y brownie croutons. Even better than it sounds.

 


Karma Beach – Uluwatu
Luxury beach bar on a pristine wind sand beach with table service cocktails and sushi


 

Karma Kandara’s beach club is situated directly adjacent to Sundays Beach Club (formerly Finn’s) on the same spectacular strip of white sand beach. It is pitched as a slightly higher end offering, with less crowds, better sun loungers and a tranquil, covered bar and restaurant area.

The set up is quite similar, you access the bar by purchasing a funicular ticket at the main resort above for 500,000 IDR – which includes one drink per person.

The reception area at Karma Kandara. This is where you purchase your ticket and wait for the funicular down to the club.

The main pool at Karma Kandara

The main pool at Karma Kandara

Stunning view from the funicular on the way down.

Karma Beach Club (the funicular runs along the track to the right)

Beach bar vibes

A game of beach volleyball or relaxing with a drink, the choice is yours.

Continue walking along the coastline and you can find a small secluded spot of your own. If you have your own drinks and can find enough shade under a tree, the truth is you’ll probably have just as good a time here without paying half a million IDR 😉

 


Warung Restaurant at Alila Villas Uluwatu
Open air restaurant serving and extensive Indonesian menu with spectacular views and service to match


Uluwatu is a unique spot in this world. An ethereal sprinkling of magnificent architectural masterpieces, positioned on a coastline with views across a seemingly infinite ocean.
There are numerous resorts in Uluwatu where one can enjoy a delicious meal in serene surroundings. For me, none captures the essence of this wondrous area better than Alila Villas Uluwatu. The resort appears to have been designed by a space faring alien civilisation from the future and the staff are some of the best I have ever encountered in any service setting, anywhere on Earth. Our stay there in October 2014 is the high watermark by which all future resort stays will be measured. Whenever we are in Bali we can’t help but come and visit, even if we aren’t spending the night.

Just seeing this sign from the road makes my heart start beating faster 😀

Given the unreal view from the lobby, you’d be forgiven for never looking up and noticing this

As if the view of numerous pools blending into the infinite ocean wasn’t quite fantastic enough, just as we stepped outside a paramotorist passed overhead!

Not quite as exciting as a dude with a motorised backpack and a parachute…  sorry.

As we approached Warung restaurant, the staff immediately recognised us and asked if we wanted to sit in one of the cabanas overlooking the ocean, like last time we were there. Of course, we said yes!

I love all the little details at this restaurant. Everything gets a small plate or a holder of some sort. Spoons? Put them on a plate. Glass of water? Plate. Bottle of water? Put it in clay sleeve to keep it cool…and put it on a plate. The water comes with a choice of lemon or lime slices which are served table side. The table also comes with a selection of sprays, mists and suncream, just in case. The food? Unbelievably good. That thing on the left? A custom made boat containing two types of crackers and 12 different dips. That’s what you get here instead of bread rolls. On this occasion we decided to share a Rijsttafel, a selection of different meats and vegetables served with a generous serving of wild red rice. Every single aspect of it was intensely delicious.

After all of that, we didn’t really have room for dessert. Instead we went for a coconut milk and grass jelly drink, served with a side order of unbelievable ocean views.


Merah Putih, Seminyak
Trendy and lively restaurant and bar; featuring grand, modern design
paired with high-end Indonesian cuisine


Not a part of Bali I would usually find myself in, given the terrible traffic and ‘backpacker friendly’ clubs and bars. I had heard numerous excellent reviews of this restaurant though and felt like I had to give it a chance. The name means Red and White in Indonesian and despite its location is quite a classy affair.
We ate here with our travelling companions from London as well as some friends from New York. We all agreed that the food, service and wine list would easily hold their own in the restaurant scenes of our respective home towns. The decor is clearly on an extremely high level as well.
We were asked if we had any allergies, wine pairings were proactively and expertly suggested, cutlery switched when they noticed that one of us was left handed etc.



Naughty Nuri’s Warung, Ubud
The original street side BBQ rib shack which spawned an empire


I’ve written about this place a few times before and really, what more can I say? The ribs are sticky sweet and fall apart at the slightest of touches. The place is almost pathologically unpretentious and their house martinis are so loaded with booze that you need to sip away the initial meniscal glassful, in order to make way for the rest of the drink to be poured into your glass. Consistently awesome. Do not miss this place if you are in Ubud.

The aroma of smoke fills the air and probably won’t come off your clothes for a week… a good thing in my book 😉

This is not a restaurant which I would describe as ‘vegetarian friendly’

The other dishes are decent but nothing beats the astonishing ribs

With a little ingenuity you can create a ‘waterfront’ view to rival the top restaurants in Uluwatu 😛

 


Swept Away at The Samaya Ubud
A supremely romantic riverside restaurant serving fine modern cuisine at highly reasonable prices


Swept away is probably one of the most romantic restaurants I’ve ever been to. It is located deep within The Samaya Ubud, a rustic and luxurious resort on the outskirts of Ubud. The sound of the river bubbling away, the flickering of the candlelight and the discrete and professional service all combine to make a very special experience.
We weren’t here for a romantic meal though. The six of us showed up to enjoy world class fine dining, very reasonably priced alcohol (a true rarity in Bali) and great conversation with our friends from across the world.

I kind of feel like its cheating when you can get these spectacular flowers from the jungle around the edges of the hotel!

The reception is located at the top of the resort. Of course it would be most indecorous if we had to navigate the paths down to the river by ourselves, a buggy driver is on hand to ensure that guests arrive at their table safely.

The main restaurant pavilion is usually always empty as everybody prefers to sit out on the deck, by the river.

The menu features  a series of different degustation menus in addition to a la carte items. The degustation menus are extravagant multi-course affairs and top out at 650k IDR (roughly £39)

Seared scallops with pomelo, avocado, crispy chicken skin, caviar and green chilli

A palette cleanser of watermelon with feta and mint

Fresh truffle butter is served with the bread 😮

My delightful dining companions

Oli looks on in anticipation as his avocado gazpacho with prawns is served table side.

I couldn’t come here and not order my favourite Balinese dish: Bebek Goreng (crispy fried duck). Ridiculously crispy outer skin, with a super succulent centre. This is finished off with a selection of fresh and spicy pickles and sambals.

A tender and fragrant piece of foie gras topped with a mesmerisingly crunchy web of vegetable strands

Mixed satay skewers

Swept Away is a very popular venue for people who are looking to pop the big question and the restaurant really goes to town with the preparations. I guess the pressure can get too much sometimes. We were sat next to a couple who were getting into some pretty heated arguments, the situation was a little absurd given that they had this rose petal display right next to their feet.

About half an hour into their meal the guy went to the bathroom, twenty minutes later he still hadn’t returned. The girl began to look upset and started chain smoking cigarettes. After another twenty minutes or so she disappeared too.

Apparently the guy did a runner and didn’t pay for the meal. He left his (presumably ex) girlfriend by herself with no money and no means of transport to get home. The staff took pity on her and organised for the hotel car to take her to her hotel on the other side of town.

We were just expecting dinner. Instead we got dinner and a show.

The stage


Miscellanea


My go to place for coffee in Ubud: Seniman Coffee Studio. Way better than any coffeeshop in London.

How can you go to Bali and not spend the day at a Waterfall?

We made the effort to head slightly off the beaten track to Nungnung and were rewarded with a spectacular stream of water, cascading past dense foliage, into our own private pool of crystal clear water.

Tukies coconut ice cream, Ubud. Freshly made coconut ice cream topped with young coconut and coconut sugar. You need this in your life.

Probably the most famous and photographed spot in all of Bali : Ulun Danu Bratan Temple. My third visit to Bali and finally I made it here!