Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sanur’s Culinary Surprise

People don’t go to Semawang in Bali’s Sanur to party until dawn, as one does in Kuta, or have a cultural immersion, as one does in Ubud. Instead, visitors head there to experience peace and quiet, wade in the ocean and watch the sun rise and set.

According to the “Lonely Planet” guidebook, Sanur’s tranquility is one of the reasons why it has been nicknamed Snore and is a favorite destination for expat retirees.

While Sanur certainly lives up to its nickname, what turned out to be a surprise was the quality of the food on offer.

I initially did not expect much when I first arrived in Sanur for dinner, having just come from Ubud.

Even though I was famished, I decided to put my hunger in check and size up the smattering of restaurants offering Western fare and seafood along the stretch of beachfront.

None appealed to me until I came across the quirkily named Komilfo.

The restaurant was right smack in the middle of the Semawang strip adjacent to the Hyatt, with candles flickering invitingly on each
table. The place was already crowded and the diners seemed to be enjoying their food.

I ordered a pork chop, which cost Rp 65,000 ($7.50), and a Coke for Rp 9,000. While the pork chop came with a side salad, I also asked for a serving of steamed rice to complete my meal.
The chop was cooked perfectly — golden brown on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside.
It was so good that I wanted one more, but decided to save room for dessert instead.
I ordered a vanilla coupe, which turned out to be just vanilla ice cream with whipped cream on top. It made for a refreshing end to a hot day, but wasn’t really anything special.

The next day, I resolved to relive the previous night’s meal sans dessert.
This time around, I ordered chicken cordon bleu. The chicken, crisped to a crunch and complemented by a cream sauce, did not disappoint.
I still wished that I ordered the pork chop, however.

There was only one more meal left before I had to be at the airport.
And it was the Hyatt’s Pizza Ria open-air Italian restaurant, also located on the beach, that managed to charm the rupiahs out of my tightly guarded wallet.

I convinced myself that a food splurge was justified for my last relaxing night of solitude.

I found myself ordering one of the set menus of bruschetta and lasagna (Rp 150,000 before tax and other charges) and a Rp 35,000 glass of Coke.

The bruschetta was crispy in all the right places and had the perfect balance of tomato, olive oil and other spices.
It all but disappeared from my plate in record time.
Then came the lasagna, which was absolutely divine.
It was served piping hot, with the tomato sauce and the cheese quietly gurgling as the dish was placed in front of me.

I still think about the food I had in Sanur. There is no doubt that I would be happy to retrace my culinary footsteps there someday.

Komilfo Near Bali Hyatt Hotel, Sanur
Pizza Ria Bali Hyatt Hotel, Sanur Jl. Danau Tamblingan No. 89

By Amee R. Enriquez

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