GROW at the L Hotel has recently reincarnated into a casual, gastronomic affair, more suited to the digital age than the fine dining world it was attempting before. And, dare I say it, it’s better for it.
The one major point that the hotel has had going for it from the beginning is the lovely rooftop bar on top of the building, which is now the new home to Grow. It remains a stunning space and great for a casual drink in the evening, one that’s often forgotten, but always worth a trip up the elevator. Being cooled by the evening breezes is another point in its favour. The downstairs part of the hotel and the previous restaurant dining area and bar, has now been remodeled into a trendy, pop-up bar called Lady L and the mezzanine dining space to the rear changed to a digital co-working area for in-house and outside guests. It has all become very casual, accessible and user-friendly.
The chefs at Grow are practicing a farm-to-table concept, meaning the freshest of produce is used to make their simple, but creative menu. My partner and I took the ride up the elevator to try it out for ourselves.
The menu features Asian, Indonesian and Western and all the dishes we tried were tasty, fresh and very moderately priced. We dove straight into a couple of starters and why not, a couple of cocktails too.
Since I had been on a high protein diet, I chose the STEAK TARTAR (70k) with their classic condiments, comfit egg, which is mashed into the raw meat and black bread croutons. This is from the Grow starter list. My dining partner went for the SOTO AYAM (50k) with thin rice noodles, chicken and vegetables in a light chicken broth from the Asian starters menu. A nice way to kick off proceedings.
We decided to try their famous, homemade pasta, sharing the RIGATONI PORTOBELLO (100k) with a tasty sauce made from Portobello mushroom, smoke bacon, creamy balsamic sauce, and spinach and parmesan tuiles. This was a delicious pasta dish, which made me think I should try them all. There are five pasta dishes on the menu.
Next up were the mains proper. I ordered the PORK BELLY (120k), again from the Grow section, which arrived with two chunks of perfectly cooked pork belly, a pumpkin puree, sauteed spinach, braised grapes, walnuts and masala jus on the side. And then from the Asian mains menu came the BEBEK GARING (120k). This was a half local duck, marinated and then deep fried until crispy, and served with steam rice, and Balinese sambal. Not so good for my low carb diet, but according to my dining buddy, very crispy and tasty.
We had hardly any room left, but had to give the desserts a run for their money and exceptional they were. We shared the CHOCOLATE SUNDAY (60k) with warm chocolate fudge cake, crunchy biscuit and chocolate ice cream drizzled with a chocolate sauce. And the BASIL AND LEMON TART (60k) with layered crispy basil shortbread, lemon pure and cream, and vanilla ice cream. Both were super yummy and topped off a great meal. We also helped ourselves to more excellent cocktails during the meal, which really kept the dining and evening on a high.
The new Grow is a great dining experience. Its no fuss, but quality produce dining concept is sure to be a hit with those looking for some decent, good food at reasonable prices and in comfortable surroundings. Good for a quiet interlude or boisterous group dining occasion.
Drinking the first appetitive or the final cocktail while overlooking the Seminyak skyline from their delightful rooftop is also a true pleasure, not to be missed. [David Trauts]
GROW at L Hotel
Jl. Petitenget, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361