Date for 2: Cuca
Where casual eating meets fine dining – Cuca in Jimbaran is top of the list in restaurants you can enjoy with a date and not break the bank. The overall ambience and staff professionality were the first things we noticed, feeling comfortable quite quickly within our surroundings. Dubbed as a top 10 restaurant in Asia, Michelin-trained Chef Kevin Cherkas launched Cuca in 2013 featuring a menu with a range of “Tapas” and incredible ingenuity. Proudly serving 100% local produce, Cuca stands out with their creative cooking methods and the combination of flavour, texture and visual presentation. Think of eating at Cuca like going to an art exhibition and being able to share and eat every last bite of what you’re looking at. How is that not going to impress your date?
We began with a palate enhancing amuse-bouche, consisting of two Bali-inspired Ayam Betutu cotton-candy bombs! The salivation began. We sipped on some fresh mocktails (75k each), whilst patiently awaiting our first course – within a matter of minutes, a white rose and a dollop of luscious pink sauce landed on our table. The Smoked Butterfish (110k) had arrived. A heavenly combination of soft butterfish, beetroot yoghurt and parsley crumbs melted away in our mouths, leaving us very excited for the courses to come.
Cuca’s concept is all about sharing the experience, whether it’s on your Instagram story or with your loved ones, the food is the highlight! The menu is divided into three groups – Harvested, Hooked and Farmed. Choose between dishes of sustainably grown fruits and vegetables, freshly caught seafood or local pasture-raised meat and poultry. We continued with one of the signature vegetarian dishes – the Honey Baked Pumpkin Salad (80k), which looked like an enchanted forest and tasted otherworldly. We would eat this dish every day for breakfast, lunch & dinner!
Next up was the remarkably well-cooked BBQ Octopus (120k), with an Asian gazpacho sauce that melted our heart & soul with its originality and vibrance. We could not stop licking our plate. The last of our mains was the Crispy Fried Chicken (90k) – another piece of art, so tasty and pretty enough to even make a pescatarian want to try it, twice!
We rounded off the meal with two incredible desserts. The Caramel Apple (90k) and the Bali Breakfast (100k). The latter of the two sparkling with passion and creativity, with the oozing mango egg yolk mixing into the frozen passionfruit and whipped coconut, creating a beautiful ending to our Date for Two. If you are looking for that perfect date-spot, look no further than Cuca Jimbaran.