Balifood checks out new restaurants and new menus in our neighborhood.
From the elegant new Sea Salt at Alila Seminyak to the earthy flavours of authentic pinxos from the Basque country at Echo Beach, new flavours and classic recipes are spicing up the menus in Seminyak and Canggu.
Taking inspiration from its stunning sea front location, SeaSalt restaurant recently launched at the Alila in Seminyak. A nod to the sea, salt and the ancient culinary traditions of Japan has revealed a menu that will keep everyone happy. Keeping their prices competitive means that SeaSalt can be enjoyed by everyone without the five-star price tag. This is a menu made for sharing with 4-5 dishes recommended per table, that’s if you can hold back. A few musts on this menu includes the Seasalt salad with prawns, smoked butterfish, cured bonito, crab, tuna and kalamansi dressing; vegetarian dishes full of Japanese umami; deeply delicious mixed mushrooms and a Kyoto hummous; full-flavoured butterfish, roasted with a miso and honey dressing, resting on top of a stunning carrot puree with house-made pickles to sharpen the creaminess of the fish; and blue swimmer crab chawanmushi, a savoury custard that delivers big time on flavour. There’s plenty of variety for meat eaters and the Sunday brunch is about to be re-launched with new packages aimed at families and those who like to settle in with cocktails or bubbles. There are few more beautiful places to spend a Sunday (or any day), by the sea, by the pool, enjoying a full day of sun, fun, cocktails, good food and finishing up with a glorious sunset. SeaSalt simply gives us another reason to hang out here.
Echo Beach regulars usually head straight for the sea and the famous barbecue spread overlooking the surfers catching waves. There is now a great reason to enjoy the upstairs restaurant, and it is called Basque. Long time consulting chef, Asier, is a Basque native and the dishes on the menu here are as authentic as you’ll find. We tried the traditional potatoes, creamy, spicy and more-ish, grilled chorizo with aioli, garlic prawns with a sauce that cried out for bread (and we got it), a plate of finely sliced Iberico ham with traditional tomato bread. We also feasted on traditional meatballs in a stick to your ribs wine sauce. This is the perfect accompaniment to a glass of great Spanish wine, which they have on the menu, or a few cold beers. Don’t forgo dessert either, including the traditional flan, a goo-ey berry cheesecake and a deep, dark curl of chocolate mousse served on a bed of berries. Basque is a great addition to the Canggu scene and an excellent reason to hang out in the renovated restaurant.
Mejekawi is about as special as it gets and now they are simplifying the menu to include diners who want leaner options to their celebrated degustation menus. And the new feature on this menu is steak, charred outside, perfectly pink inside, a choice of two different cuts is offered with a wine pairing option that elevates the humble steak dinner to new heights. Mejekawi is built around the open kitchen and watching the preparation is almost as distracting as the moonlit sea and the action downstairs as Ku De Ta entertains. With two wildly talented chefs running this show, the food is never less that wow and the new menus, and the rotating roster of visiting chefs from some of the region’s best restaurants, makes Mejekawi a hit. PS: the degustation menus featuring five or eleven dishes are still on the menu and worthy of a celebration dinner you won’t soon forget.
Indian food lovers will adore this little Indian street-side diner located in a row of small restaurants offering everything from Italian to Greek and Vietnamese, opposite Da Maria. The team behind it are five star all the way but Tiffin is rustic, affordable and authentic. Craving a dosa, an Indian-inspired breakfast, Traditional street snacks, warm curries (some very warm!) and savoury meats and seafood, this is a must stop. Wash it down with some cold beers or a traditional lassi and head home with change. Upstairs the speakeasy-style Baker Street social ( no signs required) is a great place to blow off steam and relax into the evening. They are opening earlier and offering canapés upstairs so you can still enjoy it AND get your beauty sleep.
Mrs Sippy launched into Seminyak with a splash, literally. The latest day club to open in Bali is built around a huge, turquoise pool with a two-tiered diving platform. Much of the action happens in and around the pool. It may be easy to overlook the food here, but don’t. A large charcoal grill is turning out some mouth-watering, flame-licked meat and seafood. Burnished prawns, octopus, ribs and steaks are served alongside salads that cross over from traditional, like the Greek and Caesar, to more adventurous like the charred cauliflower salad burnished with raisins, nuts and pecorino. The pizzas are my favourite and it is hard to go past the bubbling, chewy, wood-fired numbers that come as plain as you like or peppered with spicy toppings. There are standards like the burgers, nachos and sandwiches alongside a melting butterfish tartare, fresh prawns and charcuterie. My tip is to get there early, they serve a pretty good breakfast, and stay for the day. In the afternoons, things start to heat up, especially on Thursday and Sunday when they party with discounted cocktails. It’s a lot of fun and it can get a little hectic, which is when you want to step it up.
Coming soon to Batu Belig is Spice by Chris Salans. One of the island’s leading chefs, Chris created a whole new dining experience at Mozaic in Ubud by combining French techniques with local ingredients. Spice is his take on a Gastrobar offering fab food, and spiked cocktails to match, at affordable prices, making the genius of Mozaic available to everyone. First Ubud, then the elegant Sanur Spice and very soon, Yakkers will have their very own local. Chef-driven street food, mixologists who work with the chefs to pair amazing cocktails that tell a story of the archipelago with the use of ingredients that have were once currency in the first world. Local flavours, global cuisine with a street vibe, created by the amazing team of chefs working with Chris is going to add colour and culinary cred to the neighborhood. Due to open in July, so stay tuned.