Most of the time, we walk into a restaurant that we like, just to simply have a regular lunch session. We know nothing except the beautiful taste of our favorite dish and the impressive interior design. It is beyond our realization that the place is built with genuine passion and innovative minds, which are arguably scarce nowadays.
While we’re at it, why don’t we take time to explore and discover–what are the stories behind our places of interest in Bali?
Located at Ramayana Resort and Spa in the centre of Kuta, the tropical setting makes you feel at ease with nature. A stone relief behind the bar portrays Indonesian rice farmers working with “gabah” or unhulled rice grainsand the restaurant’s specialty, Balinese Royal Kingdom Feast, is inspired by the royal tradition of celebrating harvest day. An abundance of mouthwatering dishes are prepared that represent all regions in Bali and Indonesia.
In the middle of our small talk, we suddenly heard “tek-tekan” coming towards us, a mini Balinese instrument parade by the staff. They offer us a big bamboo tray full of Indonesian cuisine from soups, stir fries, skewers, deep fried and grilled items. One of the soups is Soto Ayam or yellow chicken soup with turmeric that sparks our curiosity to taste other items. It’s difficult not to be greedy when you haveall this food in front of you, so after some tasting, I decided that the mini grill pan was my favourite. It’s filled with Beef Skewers, Chicken Skewers, and Balinese Fish Skewers with different dipping sauces and condiments such as Sambal Kacang, and Sambal Bajak. From the mini bowls, the freshly Sauteed Long Beans are crunchy and the Grilled Prawns served in a mini tandoori pot are best eaten with Sambal Matah and warm white rice. Crispy Fried Prawn, Chicken Tandoori and Ayam Pelalah are other delicious items to try. In the end, being treated like kings and queens made it hard to decide which dish was best because there was no time to think and too many dishes to try.
This place is all about one of those gorgeous Bali days when the ocean sparkles in deepest blue and perfect waves peal across the surface. Brightly-hued umbrellas and bean bags dot the palm fringed beach far below us and views extend all the way up and down the coast.
Something fresh and fruity – like a cocktail – is definitely in order, and F& B Director, Jonathan Jack, has created an innovative selection of classics infused with tropical Indonesian flavour. Take the Spiced Colada blended with Sailor Jerry’s Rum and coconut ice cream, the Cocomango Mojito, and the tart and refreshing Double Six Sling made with Tanqueray, fresh pineapple and housebrewed rosella tea with a hint of Dom Benedictine providing a memorable finishing note. Sweet meets sour in the Mellon Kuning Martini, making it my top pick of the afternoon, withyellow watermelon, vodka, a dash of Cointreau, lemon juice and passion fruit sorbet. Alcoholic teas are also a great idea, made with freshly brewed home blends, from the Chai Hai Martini to the Kombucha Tea – a surprisingly tasty concoction of red grape-infused fermented tea with rum, orange marmalade and blackberry and mango puree. The Sharing Cocktail Eggs are another inspired idea – they look like a giant crystal egg with a tap, and hold two litres of sheer cocktail heaven – try the Tropiganza Express packed with lashings of tropical fruit, vanilla infused vodka, passion fruit sorbet, Amaretto Disaronno and a splash of Sauvignon Blanc.
When it comes to food, ‘The United flavours of Satay’ are a highlight, presenting a worldly selection of meat and seafood grilled over coconut husks. From Bali Organic Chicken, to Mexican Fish with Tequila sauce, Japanese Shrimp with Wasabi and our choice, The Rockefeller with deliciously tender lobster and scallops sprinkled with caviar and drizzled in a delightful fluffy lemon sauce.
Tucked into a picturesque poolside setting amidst red coral trees, palms and frangipanis, Tao Beach House fronts Ramada Camakila resort, and can also be accessed direct from the beachfront at the southern end of Double Six. Whitewashed walls, bleached wood and ocean-themed décor create a contemporary yet casual beach house ambience, while French doors at the front and back fold back to allow a cool fresh sea breeze. The charming roof top is small and intimate, with cheerful red and white striped sofas and oversized day beds that are big enough to host a small party.
Thai chef, Vaewta Chookasem, affectionately called ‘Mami’ is great fun, and its easy to see why the staff love her so much. Apart from tasty authentic dishes from her native Thailand, such as a classic Tom Yum Koong, and Thai Green Chicken Curry, the menu also incorporates the fiery flavours of Vietnam, some spicy sambals and rice dishes from Indonesia, as well as Malaysian and Szechuan specialties. The [Appetiser Plate] teams well with a round of cocktails, with crispy Chinesestyle prawn spring rolls, Indonesian-style chicken satay with peanut sauce, and Thai-style prawns dipped in a zesty, spicy green mango salad.
With an easy, ambience and sublime views, Tao Beach House is a lovely alternative for those looking for a casual, unassuming sunset spot and the tangy flavours of Asia.
The elevator doors opens up to a glinting blue sky and white stone floor. The sun is lowering in the sky and already showing a promise of dramatic display of red splashes later on. Settling down in the group seating area, we are ready to treat ourselves for the evening. Down below in the saline pool lagoon, children are still playing happily in the water while their tired parents are enjoying the luxury of doing nothing. Up here, however, we are having our own luxury time especially when our drinks arrive. My Rosemary Gin is a perfection of honey, gin, tonic and rosemary leaves. The fragrant leaves add a tempting aroma to the cooling drink.
A carnal Short Ribs, slowly braised for 12 hours is served with accompanying carrot and turnip. The tender flesh can be effortlessly torn from its bone andretains its succulent prime Wagyu beef quality with just enough herbs and spices. Lead by Chef I Wayan Andy Pranata and team, the execution of the dishes are exceptionally well done. Of course, there has to be something sweet to close such a sweet evening. Chocolate Tart with its exquisite plating of chocolate ganache, pepper and confit orange Mandarin is a sophisticated dessert. Basking in the afterglow of the sunset and that last sweet note, we bid farewell to one more day of living from the top.
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