Located in the heart of oh, so trendy Seminyak, Bali Café serves an East Meets West menu in the sumptuous surroundings on a Dutch Colonial bungalow. So how’s the food?
Café Bali is located on Jalan Laksamana in the heart of one of Seminyak’s trendiest shopping and dining precincts. The menu is East Meets West, and the surroundings are drop-dead gorgeous.
Dinner time was approaching as I made my way back to Grand Hardys Seminyak after shopping till I dropped on oh, so trendy Jalan Laksamana in Seminyak.
There were so many restaurants vying for my attention and they served so many different kinds of food that it was hard to decide which one I should give my business to.
I’m a big fan of heritage architecture, so that helped narrow things down. A place called Café Bali was housed in a beautiful Dutch Colonial wooden structure.
I looked at what I thought was a set dinner menu on the blackboard set up at the entrance. It looked appealing, and the price was right. So I asked for a table inside.
It was only after I went inside and took a closer look at the menu that I realized the 2 items on the black board were priced separately. They were ala carte offerings rather than a set menu. So it wasn’t such a good deal after all.
Oh, well. After looking through the menu, I decided that what I had read on the black board was, in fact, what I wanted for dinner.
So I went ahead and ordered the Sesame Chicken Salad as a starter, followed by the Mutton Curry as my main. For dessert, I couldn’t help ordering the Carrot Cake, which was one of my favourite indulgences when I was living in San Francisco oh, so many years ago.
Would it be as good as the rich, moist, dense carrot cake we used to indulge in at Just Desserts?
The salad was excellent. Larger than I expected, I thought that it could have served as a stand-alone dinner. Encrusted with sesame seeds, the chicken was perfectly cooked. The salad dressing, however, missed the mark.
The curry was mild but thoughtfully nuanced, with notes that continued to play on the palate after each bite.
While I enjoyed the carrot cake, it was not as good as the carrot cake I used to enjoy when I was living in San Francisco. But that was a pretty tough act to follow.
Would I dine at Café Bali again? Probably. The food was good enough for a repeat visit.
But the real reason I would return is the décor. The building had been sympathetically restored – not over-done.
It didn’t look like a museum. Enough of the original patina had been left in place to give it that “lived in” feel. There were all of those Bohemian, yet playful elements.
And there were all of those elegant touches: the stained glass windows, the bowls of flowers on the tables, the artistic chandeliers, the comfy sofas, the beautiful pool at the rear, the floor tiles on the landing of the staircase on the way to the toilet.
Most of the people dining on the night of my visit sat at tables on the veranda. I had had it with the heat, so I opted for a table in the cool interior.
It’s a good thing because the dining room was practically empty so I didn’t feel self-conscious about snapping pictures to my heart’s content.
After ordering dinner, I prowled the restaurant, admiring the interior design, the furniture, and the furnishings until my first course arrived. Look over my shoulder as I roam the premises with camera in hand – and my empty stomach growling!
Café Bali, Jalan Laksamana, Seminyak, Bali. Telephone: 62 361-736-484