Rating: 6 / 10
Walking down to rent a scooter from my hotel, I happened upon this cafe with a nice outdoor seating area that was well enough shaded from the midday sun. Bali is hot these days, hot enough to make me reconsider my aversion to head-wear.
I started off with a cooling cocktail of lemongrass, ginger and vodka. It took the edge off a blistering day filled with airport arrivals, grab taxi's, bag draggings and room unpackings.
One of my all-time favourite dishes from Indonesia is the classic beef rendang, and when I saw it on the menu I had to jump in with two feet. The scooters drove by me adding a background buzz to my insane tinnitus attack that comes often after air travel.
After a few minutes to gather my breath and order another drink, the food came. First impressions were promising, it looked a bit oversold on the gravy department but the beef smelled tasty. Second impressions are what matters when it comes to food, and this was a disappointment. The beef was overly dry and chewy, the sauce was thin and lacking any real deep taste.
Not to be distracted by the leaning tower of pilaf, with some scattered crisp shallots, the meal just ate overly dry and lacked that umami from slow cooked adherence.
As is normally the case when I travel, I research heavily and ask locals so that I avoid moments like today, but when you've just arrived somewhere and hunger gets the better of you, you are bound to make textbook errors. Such is the roulette wheel of life.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"