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Meat Feast at Romeos Grillery Ossotel Bali

Romeos Bar & Grillery sits in front of Ossotel, a new hotel opened December 2013 on Padma Utara street in Legian, Bali. While structurally lies under Ossotel management, and it is a part of the hotel, Romeos location allows it to have direct access from the street, hence making it feels just like a regular eatery. Having just opened for few months when we arrived in March 2014, Romeos strikingly look like a refreshing plastic surgery to the neighbourhood which looks quite weary with its aged hotels.

Proudly showing "Established 2013" Romeos give out an eclectic mix of travelling back in time with the warmth of its homey aged pub atmosphere, combined with the minimalistic design and construction sleekness that's the adage of modern days. Its full-height windows brings the feel of the communal neighbourhood in, and vice versa lend its warmness outside, especially at nights when all of the electric chandelier are lit up.

Food & Drinks

As the name implies, Romeos arsenal are consisting of two weapons: an array of scrumptious grills, coming with a choice of seven different sauces and twenty different sides, paired with cocktails that's designed by a mixologist.

Still quite new to the Bali scene, a mixologist is someone who design cocktails, concocting new and exotic drinks, experimenting with lesser known distilled spirits and mixers, and, overall, pushing the limits of classic bartending [1]. In short, it's someone who design exotic, uncommon drinks, that taste good.

Like for example this (virgin) Coconut Mint Mojito that combines the freshness of mint, sourness of lime, and a tad of coconut water that adds a more tropical feel to it. 

As with the grills itself, there are options for both single and family or group size menu. You can choose among Chicken, Pork, Lamb and Beef, or Seafood, ranging from 115-225K, or pick the cream of the crops, which is Romeos Mix Grill (395K) that consisted of Rib Eye, Pork Rib, Sausage, Chicken Wing, and Lamb Leg. The composition itself is exchangeable, so for example if you don't eat pork, then the kitchen will be happy to substitute it with a couple of lamb chops like we did.

As we're doing the usual "what's your recommendation?" move thus only quickly scans the menu, we didn't really noticed the "For 2" written beside the Romeos Mix Grill, and was thinking that it will be the miniature cuts of the selections, hence what's coming next is a bit surprising. 

Behold! It's not a miniaturized version of the grills but instead virtually all of them thrown into our plate in its full size! Suddenly I don't think that mine and hypnoticade's combined tummies would be big enough to contain such a feast! The scent from the grilled meats however, quickly made my mind ignore this fact and eagerly awaits to pick my favourite piece of meat: Lamb chop! 

The seasoning used on the grills were quite classical, which deepen the meat flavour instead of competing with it. Among the sauces we tried, all are good with a special note to their Home Made Steak Sauce and Classic Bearnaise which enhances the steak flavours. You can also go straight with Mustard, not on the menu but you can ask for it, which in my not so humble taste buds opinion, provides the best zesty to balance those fatty meaty steaks.

The meat quality itself was superb, and I especially liked their juicy beef sausage and the succulent Rib Eye. The Lamb Chop was also good, with its savoury caramelized outside and meaty moist inside. The Lamb Leg itself was also surprising since it holds minimum "prengus" aroma usually trapped in lamb meat, which make all the meats are very enjoyable.

What we feel lacked though, is the single Vegetable Shashlik that comes wit it, as there should be two of it at least. Beside of its health concern, they also tasted good eaten with steaks.  

As predicted we didn't manage to emptied the plate, as we've almost reached the fine line that divide the "oh so good" eating experience with "honey do you bring Po Chai pills with you?[2]" moment.

And beside, we also have the complimentary side dishes to try:

As the side dish we ordered Onion Tower. While it's basically Onion Rings with Horseradish Sauce, its naming interested us. Stacked vertically it's also a dish that looks good on picture. The onion itself was sweet, with no onion's pungent scent left. 

The Sauteed Asparagus however, steals the show from the Onion Tower and came out as the most striking looking side of that dinner. The fresh green Asparagus were coated in butter melts and lightly seasoned with salt to enhance its flavour. Simplistic, delicious.

Dinner's tummy fully filled, now let's move to the dessert! You might find it hard to believe, but foodies do have spare stomach for desserts! It's witnessed over and over again, that no matter how full foodies feel during the dinner, there's always room for a good dessert.

Creme Brulee (45K) comes out looking beautiful in its yellowish colour. While the menu said it's infused with ginger essence, we didn't really sense it. It was an okay dessert though we hoped the crust is a little bit thicker, and the cream has stronger flavour.

Other Options

Beside of the Western dishes, there's also an Asian section which presents mostly local delicacies like Nasi Campur (115K), Mie Goreng (60K), Beef Rendang (90K), and Thailand influenced Green Curry Baramundi (90K). They're quite popular with Australian guests, who comes to Romeos drawn by its Bar's extensive collection of drinks, or looking for a cool place to hang out with their friends, or families with children.

Speaking of which, when we informed our waiter that Romeos Mix Grill was too much for us two to handle, he cheerfully replied that "there were two Australian gentlemen a few days back ordered Romeos Mix Grill, one for each of them, finished it, and still ordered additional main afterward."

A fact that worth scratching my head. (byms) 

 

Note: Prices are in thousand Rupiah, excludes 11% tax and 10% service.

 

Romeos Grillery & Bar

Ossotel, Jalan Padma Utara, Legian, 80361, Bali, Indonesia

Reservations:

T: +62 361 754 122

F: +62 361 754 121

E: reservation@ossotel.com

For more information stop by Romeos website at http://www.ossotel.com/page/romeos, 

 

Resources:

[1] Mixology or Mixologist - http://cocktails.about.com/od/cocktailspeak/g/mixology_define.htm

[2] Indonesian Po Chai pills are SAFE - https://www.facebook.com/epicurina/posts/517586241626196

 

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Epicurina Insight: Portabella Bistro, Bali

Consistent with what Howard Schulze set out when he operated the first branch of Starbucks, Portabella Bistro in Bali sets to offers enchanting eating experience instead of good food alone. Portabella Bistro aims to indulge all of your senses to feel the Italian Bistro experience, hence the meticulous attention to details and the huge efforts involved in the process of providing the sparkling experience, including bringing the chairs straight from Italy to further enhance the experience of authenticity.

The Sensory Indulgence

 

Right upon your entrance to the dining area you will be greeted by the familiar rustic scent of old wood; those that you encounter during a visit to your lovely granny's house back in the rustic village. While it's true that most of the interior are dominated with wood, this scent according to Billy Wirawan, one of the masterminds behind Portabella Bistro, and Fontana hotel Bali respectively, comes from the front door and the chairs used in the room. What’s with the front door? It’s a stunning collage of different pieces of wood put together into a new use; Eco-friendly design at its best. You can still see parts of old mechanical locking hand attached to a part of the collage, standing as a testament of what it used to be.

 

Beside of the front door, at the center of the dining area are different sets of old dining chairs which according to Finy Wirawan, the other mastermind behind Portabella Bistro, each hold interesting background story. What's a more amazing fact perhaps, are those chairs that are over 100 years old, and still looking perfect! They are the product of European chair masters hence while looking humble, the details are quite interesting. Most of their parts are carved out from a single piece of wood, including its arched back.

While Portabella Bistro is brand new, the passion for heritage plays a huge part in Portabella Bistro’s setup. Beside of the front door to the bistro, many of the hotel’s lobby decors were coming from Java in a form of a whole house! Stripped down to be used as part of Fontana Hotel where Portabella Bistro resides. 

 

On the Portabella Bistro wall, there are many curious items to indulge yourself into: rustic icons of the past, clips of newspaper from the World War I, vintage working tools, and displayed on the wall among other interesting memorabilia, is one familiar puppet who often associated with truthfulness (or the lack of it): Pinocchio. And more than just an ornament, Pinocchio secretly sets the direction of Portabella Bistro’s atmosphere, including the wood-dominant interior, items displayed on the wall, including photographic concept used in its menu, and website. This place is literally full with hidden stories to discover; hence I think it makes sense that Billy seeing his Fontana Hotel as an art gallery. 

All of the items displayed on the wall are the fruit of both Billy and Finy's adventure where they handpicked each and every one of them then restore them from whatever old and weathered conditions they were in. So it's not an overstatement to say that Billy and Finy really pours their heart and soul into making this experience orchestra happens.

Should you prefer an open-air experience, Portabella Bistro also provides two level outdoor seating: on the ground towards the swimming pool; and on the raised patio with a romantic setting, under the watchful dramatic face of Portabella Bistro's iconic puppet girl, who perhaps is a distant nephew of Pinocchio. 

 

Shot by a professional fashion photographer, the puppet girl also appears in Portabella Bistro's menu and website, which stands as a proof that Portabella Bistro doesn't want to stop in providing unique interior design alone.

As a duet between Popo Danes and former Super Potato's designer Nobuyuki Narabayashi, the hotel provides a good playground for Billy & Finy to express their idea of a good bistro, including in meticulously hand-picked the entire menu, and bringing the chef from Naples, Italy to ensure that you get the best of Classical Italian cuisine.

The Eating Experience 

A master of Classical Italian cuisine, Vittorio Negri was born in Naples, Italy, and then developed his career in Tuscany, London, Abu Dhabi, and finally Koh Samui in Thailand before settling his foot in Bali.

Aiming for a perfect hit, Chef Vittorio Negri cook the menus consolidated in Portabella Bistro using original Italian spices, then further enhancing it for a stronger, palatable taste to regional appetite while still maintaining its originality. 

Chef Vittorio Negri also shares a same vision of Italian cooking with Billy and Finy: that in the heart of Italian cuisine lies a simple happiness. Because while it’s true that Italian cuisine might take laborious preparation, it offers enjoyment that’s easy to discern by common people.

Take for example the Ossobuco served with Milanese Risotto using genuine (and plentiful) saffron, which resulted in its unique aromatic with slight metallic taste risotto; a good match for the tender juicy veal shank that represent what Ossobuco is.

The Calzone Ripieno further provides a good example of this simple happiness tenet; crunchy on the outside, rich with cheese on the inside, it's quite an easy to like treat, especially for those pizza bellies.

The Risotto Porcini has this creamy flavor in between the strong lingering aroma of fresh Porcini mushroom, a perfectly mellow treat. 

The slow cooked Beef Cheeks offers an interesting choice; while it has rough, coarse grain, but it’s cooked until achieving a tender consistency, with a strong beef taste leaning towards the taste of tongue. Served on top of mash potato, it helps toning down the strong beef taste. While it's might not be everyone's dishes due to its unique taste, surely it ranked high on my personal favorite list.

 

As starter, the Italian Cheese Pie offers this rich cheesy mound, similar with Yorkshire pudding only with much richer and stronger cheese taste. The Vegetarian Platter offers several interesting ingredients like artichoke heart, olives, and sundried tomatoes.   

The Mint Green Tea & White Chocolate Lava Cake provides a sweet closure to the hearty dinner. You can also find various other desserts here including the classic Tiramisu.

 

Portabella Bistro also offers various kinds of cocktails, including wine. Another strong point here is the Coffee which is specially designed for Fontana Hotel. While the coffee at Portabella is good, for a more artisan blend feel free to visit Portabella Bistro's sister next door: Sunny 16 Café which opens 24 hours. Filled with books, desserts, and good drinks, Sunny 16 excels in offering a very reasonable price as well. 

After the meal, or while waiting for your food to arrive, have a look around this chic and interesting hotel full with hidden stories, like where the rest of the whole wooden house gets to become, the rustic old barber chairs coming from Vietnam, a working zoetrope machine, or the old typewriter used by Italian notorious leader, Benito Mussolini. (byms)

For more information about Portabella Bistro please contact:

 

Portabella Bistro

Jl. Dewi Sri No. 68

Kuta - Bali, Indonesia 80361

T. +62 361 8947002

F. +62 361 8947123

info@portabellabistro.com 

www.portabellabistro.com 

twitter.com/portabellabali 

 

Reservations

T. +62 361 8947002

F. +62 361 8947123

reservation@portabellabistro.com

 

Fontana Hotel

Jl. Dewi Sri No. 68

Kuta - Bali, Indonesia 80361

T. +62 361 8947100

F. +62 361 8947123

contact@fontanahotelbali.com 

www.fontanahotelbali.com 

facebook.com/fontanahotel.bali 

twitter.com/fontanahotel 

 

Reservations

T. +62 361 8947100

F. +62 361 8947123

reservation@fontanahotelbali.com 

 

Sales

T. +62 361 8947100

F. +62 361 8947123

sales@fontanahotelbali.com 

 

Photos are courtesy and copyright of Portabella Bistro unless stated otherwise.

 
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Eating out at Forrest Gump's restaurant

Forrest Gump

Image via Wikipedia

I was intrigued with this Internet testimonial on Trip Advisor website I’ve came across, that says Bubba Gump Shrimp & Co. in Kuta serves garlic butter shrimp in a bucket! While the bucket might not add special taste to the shrimp, it surely provokes interesting vision in my mind; a raw extravagance that usually only exhibited in Galia’s after-war party with Asterix and Obelix.

I love shrimps! However the funny thing about Bubba Gump in Kuta is that I have never heard anyone from my fellow foodies reccomends it, while this chain restaurant looks like garnering quite a success elsewhere. I wonder why.

Besides, if you have watched the movie “Forrest Gump” and becomes quite attached to it, then there’s a big chance you’d be curious to find out more about this imaginary Forrest’s business turns real, which was born by inspiration from Forrest’s late friend, Pvt. Benjamin Buford 'Bubba' Blue, the shrimp obsessed soldier.

Curious to find out, I think this shrimp in a bucket would serve as my entry to the eating experience in Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

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