Bali: Bumbu Bali

As mentioned previously, due to our crap hotel location, there weren’t a lot of decent dining choices nearby. Thank god for Bumbu Bali, which was situated just 5 minutes away by car. The food they served was good enough for us to return a second time on our last night in Bali. The restaurant provides pickup service for customers who stay in hotels around the area. When making reservations, we also requested for the pickup service which arrived prompted at an agreed time.

Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by both friend servers and even friendlier kitchen staff. There is an open kitchen where staff are busy preparing grills and other food with heavenly smells. There is also an open drinks bar area at the other corner of the restaurant. To combat mosquitoes, the restaurant thoughtfully place a mosquito coil below every table. Our server suggested that we go for the testing menu, so that we can try a little bit of all the signature dishes. After glancing through the items, we decided to go for the ala carte instead. On the first night, we ordered the tuna salad (sambel be tongkol), soy bean cake with sweet dressing and tomatoes (sambel goreng tempe), assorted satays and grilled pork ribs with Balinese BBQ sauce (balung panggang). My absolute favourite dishes were definitely the soy bean cakes aka tempe that were chopped into slivers and tossed with a sweet soy dressing. It was nutty and slightly sweet, reminding me of a similar dish I had in Surabaya. It was so good that I had to order in again on the second night. The grilled pork ribs were marvellous too, and we love the presentation on that mini grill to keep the meat warm. The slightly charred ribs were so tender. One thing I noticed is that the pork here tastes so much richer as compared to Singapore. I guess this is the difference between commercially farmed pigs and ‘kampung’ pigs. No wonder my mom always complains that the meat we get nowadays is nowhere as good as what she had as a child. I fully agree!

On the second night, I suggested getting the clear chicken soup (cram cam) and braised lamb shank in tamarind soup (kaki kambing). The clear chicken soup came with lots of minced chicken and reminds me of the mee soto soup we have in Singapore. I liked it, but Fat Man thought it was too salty for his taste. The lamb shank was a disappointment as it was too tough. In addition, we were expecting much stronger flavors. To make up for it, we ordered a portion of pork neck satay, which was a real winner. We thought that this was better than the assorted satay we had the first night. The portions here are reasonably sized so it is not difficult to over order! In addition, all mains come with 2 small salads and rice.

Remember to leave room for dessert! We love the coconut pancake (dadar) but was equally smitten by the batun bedil, which consisted of chewy pearls of rice flour with coconut ice cream and coconut macaron. The bartender here is quite generous with alcohol as the cocktails we tried are a little too strong for our liking. On both nights that we were there, the restaurant was quite full, so reservations is definitely recommended.

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