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Seminyak After Dark - Three restaurants

...not to be missed! 
Seminyak really reminded me of the Med in the summer, i.e.: loved it! 
Boutiques, caf├ęs and restaurants stay open until late in the evening and cater for all tastes and budgets. Muppets take over the roads and traffic is horrendous throughout day…and night. Taxi rides cost a minimum of 30,000 rupiah (£1.50) but if you manage to flag them down out and about, local trips start from as low as 12,000 rupiah (£0.60). I know, it's petty worrying about pennies but you get wonderfully caught up in local life... Really chic and cool restaurants and clubs to choose from; dress up (or down) and you’ll fit right in; either way be comfortable and relaxed!

Ku De Ta
All of our friends recommended Ku De Ta; so, first night on the island, out come the summer dresses to show off the newly tanned shoulders and off we went. 
A whimsical entrance: wooden lit baskets hanging from a big Banyan tree, sounds of bubbling water from the little fountain in the courtyard and steps leading up to the open Balinese lounge. Now, a confession: we found that overall, cocktails here in Bali aren’t too strong or too sweet. So, ask for more syrup or an extra shot if you wish, they are happy to oblige. 
Food is as good as it gets. It was probably one of the most expensive dinners we had in Bali, £40 per person for a starter, a main and two cocktails each. Don't think that this is your typical stuffy place though, we found it almost a bit mysterious, all dim lit and open plan, flowing from inside to the garden and back. The evening we got to Ku De Ta it was drizzling with rain and while we sat inside, both sides of the long restaurant were completely open and you could feel the breeze along with the sounds of the ocean in the background. 



One of the starters was a Balinese salad with soft shell crab, what a treat! We really filled up on soft shell crab during this trip, it’s widely available and quite reasonably priced; make sure you enjoy it if you have a taste for it. I had an abstract version of roast pork, along with crackling and potato puree. The pork loin was really soft and succulent, the crackling crispy and the puree…well a nice alternative to lumpy mash that we normally get in UK. Great combo not only of flavours but of different textures too. 
Music gave the place a loungey (but not sleepy) vibe, with a good tempo and upbeat feel...

The Sardine
I was excited about this one. 
It’s not located right on the beach but hidden away behind a wall in one of the quitter roads around Seminyak. The wooden door doesn’t prepare you for the buzzing venue you are about to enter. First the main structure hits you with its tall Balinese straw roof and the two eyes behind the main bar looking straight at you. Then you turn around and see a massive red face on the wall, serving as water fountain, similar to the ones you see in front of houses to ward off evil spirits. 
And finally, we couldn’t hold back a smile, when our hostess took us all the way down the end of the main restaurant to the open space of the private rice paddy, where you can enjoy your pre-dinner drink. Wow! Now I know how kids feel when they first arrive at a playground! A rice paddy... but we are not in Ubud yet! Well, hidden around Seminyak are small rice paddies and this one worked as the romantic backdrop for this superb restaurant. 

I tried the local Arak frozen with lemongrass. Nice but not too strong and melting very quickly because of the immense heat. So, drinking it was more of a race against the heat ...excuses, I just needed a second cocktail pronto! Ask for mosquito repellent spray, if you don’t carry around your own. Since you are sitting next to stagnant water, it’s only expected that you’ll be bitten a bit, bear with it, it’s all worth it. 
This is one of the best fish restaurants in Seminyak, reasonably priced, £30 per person for a seafood starter, fish main and a couple of cocktails. Try local fish like Mahi Mahi or Himachi, light and flaky, served with delicate salads with asian hints of lemongrass, chilli and green papaya. 


Potato Head
LA? Miami? This cannot be Indonesia…what a unique, colourful venture. 
Every corner was excreting artistic wittiness, all wrapped up in a 50’s retro vibe. 
The green emerald pool was the main focus and the two restaurants and bars wrapped up in a semi-moon shape around it. 
We had dinner at the Indonesian restaurant "Lilin" because unfortunately, the French fine cuisine one closes by 10 o'clock and you have to have a booking in advance.  Lilin is set up like a college mess. Long communal tables - with a view of the pool nevertheless -  low shades for lighting resembling library tables but constant buzz from the beach universe!  You get four tapas-style starters for £15. The combo we went for was: duck in red curry - rich and velvety, white snapper fillets - light and flavoursome, mango salad - the other thing I loved in Bali apart from soft shell crab, refreshing, zingy and delicate! 
When we were coming back from Tanah Lot our driver suggested we try a local dish called Ayam Betutu, chicken with spices in other words. Well...it came, still cooking over hot coal! Points for "sizzling" presentation! 



We finished dinner around twelve-ish and the night was just starting...the loungers around the pool were buzzing, not a single spot to be found! Lovely energy, relaxed people chatting and lounging...yeap this is what it's all about!

 

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