Kori Restaurant – October 19, 2016

Tucked quietly away behind a coral rock wall on busy Poppies Lane 2, Kori oozes old school Bali charm, and has been delighting diners for almost two decades.
Opened way back in 1998 when there were still a few coconut groves separating Kuta and Legian, Kori has been a firm favourite for legions of guests ever since, thanks to it’s timeless appeal, warm welcome and understated cool. Step through the traditional Balinese style gateway (kori) and settle into the laidback colonial style ambience. Comfy wicker chairs and antique furnishings compliment the airy white interior and tastefully old-fashioned décor. Around the edges, numerous koi fish swim lazily in ponds fed by gently trickling fountains while classic jazz spills quietly from the speakers – it really is a little oasis of tranquility amidst the bustle of Kuta.
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The last time I visited Kori was a good two years back, but I’m delighted to find nothing has changed – from the welcoming smiles of the staff and nostalgic familiarity of an ‘old school’ Bali eatery to the tried and tested menu – everything is happily still in its right place. A friend and I pull up a couple of chairs opposite the bar and order up a couple of Beat the Heat cocktails (78k++) happy to be enjoying the historic vibe. Manager Pak Jaya has been running the show here for an incredible 18 years, and Head Chef Pak Mayun started work here when it opened. As a result of that experience, the menu is an excellent mix of Western and Indonesian classic dishes that has been honed so there is something to suit everyone.
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We get stuck right into a plate of the delicious Half Shell Scallops (55k++) that incorporates a wonderfully light white wine cream sauce served on toast with salad. It’s a perfectly simple, perfectly satisfying appetizer, and gets the thumbs up all round, as does the Fresh Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi (65k++), served Mediterranean style with slow roasted Lombok tomato, olives, feta and wasabi.
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For the mains, I tuck into the 180g tenderloin Australian Carpet Bagger (180k++) stuffed with seafood ragout and wrapped with bacon, and served on grilled potato, with bok choy and béarnaise sauce. Meanwhile, my friend checks out the beautifully meaty Udang Goreng Mentega (165k++) – in plain English – sautéed fresh king prawns in garlic and oyster sauce with Bedugul vegetables and steamed rice. Duly stuffed, we soldier on through dessert with a serving of the Strawberry Crepes (50k++) and the dreamy Ice Cream Brownie Sandwich (50k++), before finishing up with a couple of Arya Attack (the name of the longstanding barman) cocktails (70k++), a palate cleansing mix of arak, melon liqueur, fresh lime & Sprite.
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Open from 12pm-12am for lunch and dinner, Kori also offers an early bird dinner between 3-7pm, and VIP cards to regular customers, both promotions giving a 10% discount on food. Dan Ashcroft
Kori Restaurant
Bar & Catering
Jl. Poppies Lane 2
+62 361 758 605
www.korirestaurant.co.id

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