Appearances can be deceptive in Bali, with even humble exteriors often revealing a surprisingly grand interior. Take Samudera restaurant at the Grand Istana Rama hotel for instance. Fronting Kuta Beach, this old school classic houses an atmospheric slice of Indonesian treasures – both ornamental and edible.
Large comfy sofas strewn with bold yellow cushions overlook the main beach road, with an array of traditional carvings and knick-knacks dotted around the interior. There’s plenty of greenery too, giving a calming air to the place that’s part restaurant part garden terrace. Go casual on the sofas or alternatively grab a table inside for a more intimate dining experience.
The menu boasts plenty of enticing pan-Asian dishes and barbeque-style fare on offer. Think grilled snapper fillets or seared lobster, steaks and pizzas with a smattering of sandwiches and pastas to keep things balanced. The drink list is also top-notch, with a concise selection of cocktails of the martini, muddled and Bellini variety, as well as the usual suspects on the beers list.
To kick things off with a bang, I sit back and watch the bartenders work their magic on the 69Mystery (150k) – a potentially lethal concoction of nine spirits mixed up, set alight and poured over a giant Galliano bottle to collect below as you suck it up with a straw. It’s a pretty full on starter, so from thereon in I stick with the altogether more palatable Chilli Cucumber (95k).
Standout starter has to be the fantastic Fusion Bouillabaisse (85k) – a tangy seafood style soup stuffed full of enoki mushrooms, clams and juicy prawns that is not unlike the Thai classic tom yum soup. For the particularly hungry, the succulent Fish Primavera (75k) should do the trick. Tenderly grilled to perfection, the meaty white fillets are complimented by a tomato sauce and sautéed veggie side.
The Choco Brownies (45k) should take care of desert, with a mix of fresh strawberries, chocolate sauce, cereal sprinkles and ice cream to nicely refresh the palette. Open from all day, Samudera restaurant has got you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. [Dan Ashcroft] samudera (2)
samudera (3)
samudera (4)
Grand Istana Rama Hotel,
Jl. Pantai Kuta,
T. 752 208 |


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