Poppies Restaurant

Back in 1973 when Kuta and Legian were just a couple of small fishing villages, a humble little restaurant opened just off Jalan Legian. Known as ‘Poppies’, it was only accessible via a small dirt track that was subsequently named Poppies Lane. Over 40 years later and that same little restaurant is still there – an oasis of tranquility now surrounded by the hubbub of central Kuta.

Awash with vintage ambiance and the sounds of classic jazz, stepping through the almost hidden doorway into Poppies is like going through some kind of time warp. Solid wooden chairs and antique furnishings are scattered throughout the garden area, and compliment the tastefully old-fashioned décor. A number of ponds and fountains quietly burble away, while friendly waiters pad to and fro along the interconnecting pathways between tables – some of whom have been working here since the beginning. The all-encompassing menu takes in breakfast, lunch and dinner, with both Indonesian and International fare on offer – all firmly tried and tested by seasoned local chef Pak Agung, who divides his time between Poppies and its sister restaurant Kopi Pot back up on Jl. Legian.

A friend and I stop by late afternoon and grab a spot in the garden bale, before ordering up a couple of the famous Poppies Tequila Sunsets (95k++) happy to be enjoying the retro vibe. We get stuck right into a plate of the excellent Vegetable Salad (55++) that incorporates soft avocados, sweet boiled new potatoes and crunchy croutons doused in a tangy yoghurt dressing. It’s a perfectly simple, perfectly satisfying appetizer, and gets the thumbs up all round. We also share out a portion of the classic Garlic Prawns (69k++) – simply divine, doused in the garlic butter and spread across soft slices of brown bread. For the mains, I tuck into the Barramundi Florentine (102k++), which is poached to perfection and comes dressed with a tangy white wine sauce. The flavours are perfectly balanced and it’s impossible to fault, although I do feel a mild twinge of food envy when my friend’s Shish Kebabs (112k++) show up. Served on two skewers atop a traditional sate mini barbeque, the tandoori flavour complimented by the light raita dip is spot-on. A side of sultana rice and a salad adds the final touches.
Plates duly scraped clean, and we decide to split a portion of the enormous Pannacotta (39k++) to finish up on a sweet note, before diving back into another couple of Tequila Sunsets to see out the rest of the evening.
Dan Ashcroft
Poppies Restaurant
Poppies Lane 1
751 059
www.poppiesbali.com

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