Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Merah Putih, Seminyak, Bali

When in Bali, you have to eat at the warungs. ‘Warung’ literally translates to ‘shop’, but it also refers to a local cafĂ© serving traditional as well as western food. Traditional dishes range from wok-tossed nasi goreng and mie goreng to salads made with local produce and meats. But that does not mean that you can skip the fancy dining that upmarket resorts like Seminyak have to offer. 

Merah Putih is one such fine-dining restaurant that features a large bar and wine cellar. The menu is split between Indonesian classics and modern culinary creations showcasing flavours from across the Indonesian archipelago.    

The high ceiling make ways for a tall palm in the centre of the restaurant.
There are separate bar area and wine cellar.

Ambience and Vibe: Evenings bring on ambient lighting and louder music to give the restaurant a ‘hip n happening’ vibe. The interiors feature plenty of greenery, with a large palm taking center stage. The main floor of the dining area seats 110 people comfortably, while the more exclusive mezzanine seats another 24-30 in three teak pods.

Top: Duck popia with Pancakes
Bottom L-R: Slipper Lobster; Sumatran Lamb Shank Curry

Expect to Eat: Even though it offers a fancy setting and an impressive menu, snobbery is shot down by encouraging sharing of dishes. Plates are set in the middle of the table, allowing everyone in your group to sample a range of dishes. We order a mix of small and large plates, both traditional and modern. Whether you opt for traditional fare or modern options you will get to try some of the finest Indonesian fare.

After a prawn based amuse bouche comes the fried boneless duck popia, with palm hearts, kecap manis {refreshingly different from the usual hoisin, this is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce} and pancakes. The duck is crispy and tender and the sauce is gorgeous. Next up is Balinese Slipper Lobster that is popularly found in Australian waters. Different from regular lobsters, the meat in slipper lobsters comes mainly from the tail instead of the claws/pincers. The meat still is sweet, plump and succulent. Here it is served with sweet corn, tomato sambal and nasi jagung {sweet corn rice}. While both these are from the modern menu, our large plate is the traditional Gulai Kambing or the Sumatran lamb shank curry with pumpkin and wing beans. The lamb is beautifully tender and an additional order of nasi merah putih, steamed Balinese red and white rice complements the wonderful curry.

Insider Tip: Merah Putih goes packed on most nights so it is advisable to book a table in advance. For a special experience book a table in one of the three teak pods on the mezzanine floor.

Merah Putih
Address: Jalan Petitenget No. 100x, Kerobokan, Kuta Utara, Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia.
Phone: +62 361 8465950
Timings: 12-3pm; 6-Late