Jl. Petitenget no. 198, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
While Jenny and I were rafting, the two other ladies enjoyed the sun and pool at our resort. Kat did some online research and came up with a recommendation for a restaurant near us. We knew it was in the same vicinity but it wasn't until we set out that we realised just how close it was. We must have walked past Bambu a dozen times and not noticed. It's a huge restaurant but it's hidden away behind high and private walls. Only a gold plated name and gorgeously dressed ushers gave any indication that this was a restaurant.
We hadn't made a booking but because we were early, we were given a table provided we finished in an hour and half. That didn't end up being much of an issue but I do recommend people intent on dining at Bambu to book to avoid disappointment.
Bambu has atmosphere like no other restaurant that I've been to. Within the walls, every subtle detail contributes to an air of radiant tranquility. The lanterns, pools, colourful koi fish and temple-like architecture serve to add to the incredibly peaceful ambiance. The restaurant was fully booked but with tables so spaced out, it never felt noisy or crowded.
We were on a hen's trip after all so we dived right into the cocktail menu. The cocktails are plentiful and each sounded delicious.
The food at Bambu is modern Indonesian style. We noticed some familiar local dishes tweaked with fine technique and ingredients. As a group we each ordered an entree and main.
Crisps and condiments
A plate of complimentary crisps with chili dipping sauces was brought out with our entrees. We couldn't decide what these were made of, possibly some kind of vegetable base? In any case, they were very tasty.
Coconut grilled blue river prawn with lemon basil sambal
My entree of the night was the grilled river prawn. The prawn had a lovely charred quality and I was impressed by how massive it was.
Coriander marinated grilled chicken, lemongrass, sweet soy and heart of palm
Kat ordered the grilled chicken, which came skewered with lemongrass.
Steamed prawns and glass noodles in banana leaf with coconut and coriander
Sarah's steamed prawns and glass noodles arrived in a banana leaf parcel. When unwrapped, the aroma was just beautiful. Sarah commented that whilst most dishes we tasted in Bali were flavoured along the same vein, this one managed to be unique and interesting.
Yellow fin tuna ceviche, chili, kaffir lime, lemon basil and heart flower
Jenny's starter was the tuna ceviche. I tried some and found it to be quite fresh and tart. This is a good appetizer to get digestive juices flowing.
Mains arrived not long after our entrees were finished. Again, we ordered a selection of different dishes, which gives me plenty to write about.
Slow roasted duck with galangal and lemongrass, toasted coconut and green bean salad
My pick for mains was the slow roasted duck. The duck itself was nice and tender and served with a coconut green bean salad.
Young jackfruit curry
Kat chose the young jack fruit curry, a dish we were all very curious about. I've never had a fruit curry before and it was odd tasting savoury flavours with a fruit-textured flesh.
Crab curry noodle soup
Sarah ordered one of the specials of the evening, which was a crab noodle curry. This was something I thought about ordering so I dived straight in when she offered a taste. There was quite a bit of crab meat and the curry soup had a nice, mild flavour.
Andaliman pepper marinated spring chicken, charred coconut, chilli and crisp leeks
Jenny's main was the spring chicken. Again, the plating was beautiful and she commented that she loved the flavours of her dish.
We had a wonderful meal at Bambu. The dishes were consistently immaculate in presentation and flavours were interesting but easy to accept. Despite Bambu's upmarket look, the price for food and drinks was comparable to other, more plain restaurants we visited in Bali. It would have been better if we weren't rushed out of our table but I suppose that's our fault for not making a booking.