Bali keeps coming up with surprises. Jln. Padma and its surrounds, in central Legian, used to be a jumble of small warungs, all trying to catch the hotel overflow. All of a sudden bright new modern premises appear. To top that off, at Drops even the menu is bright, new and modern. Even though the chef is local, and a talented one at that, the fare is similar to what is called Mod Oz in Australia, a blend of European kitchen techniques with the flavours of Asia.
The dining area consists of small compartments. View watching street-side, beside the cooling waters of the pool or in one of the small dining alcoves. All are smart, modern and relaxing!
Start with Marinated Prawns [with avocado in a cognac cocktail sauce on lettuce], or a wonderful Sweet & Spicy Salad of Roasted Duck [shredded duck meat combined with roasted garlic, yoghurt, eggplants and greens]. It has that great combination of tender and tasty, even with a bit of a kick to it! Bruschetta, Tzatziki, Caesar and Greek are also available for that anytime snack.
Soups include that Thai standard, on Bali menus, Tom Yum Goong [hot and sour Thai seafood soup], a Crème of Pumpkin and a Mushroom Cappuccino.
There are many eat alone, or snack time offerings at Drops. Pizzas [Smoked Duck is with mushrooms, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried capsicum and a mango salsa], or for the passing Australians a Hawaiian Pizza [ham and pineapple, the Aussie favourite]. Pasta [Papadelle is an unusual one, with braised lamb shank, forest mushrooms and horseradish] an interesting Carbonara [with mushrooms and chunks of bacon and ham in a creamy garlic cheese sauce] and many Vegetarian alternatives.
BBQ Beef Balls are served on a cheese baguette, a traditional and very good Club Sandwich [sometimes you cannot beat the simple things] and a Foccaccia version of same [BBQ chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon and lettuce]. Good old Fish ?n? Chips will no doubt prove popular with the passing hoards.
Mains include some exotic Steak dishes [your choice of local or imported] including a large slab of tenderloin sitting on roasted potatoes, topped with frozen herb butter [café de Paris], accompanied by a bouquet of vegetables. Australian Lamb Chops [with a ginger plum coulis] are available or a piece of Aussie Sirloin in a black pepper sauce.
The BBQ Spare Ribs are coated with crushed herbs, lemongrass and chilli oil and served with roasted garlic potatoes and a sheaf of green beans. These are the way ribs should be: tender chunks of meat that just peel back from the bones. The basting sauce is so good you should ask for an extra chunk of bread to mop it up! Sesame Chicken is stuffed with cheese, the Hawaiian style Chicken has been marinated with rosemary and Cajun spices. The Thai Red Snapper with Coriander Prawn Stick is unusual, and very good. It is served on a mash of Kumara potato with crunchy rice noodles.
A small, but interesting list of local dishes are also included on the menu. Segara Padma is a selection of different seafood skewers, served very attractively. Their version of Bebek Betutu is always available as is Bebek Kumel [marinated duck fried to a crisp]. Jejeruk comprises mixed meats that have been simmered with young grated coconut in a chilli curry. Cram Cram is an assortment of seafood in a lemon grass and chilli broth.
The desserts at Drops are amongst the most original in Bali, and reasonably priced as well. Casa Banana Spring Rolls are real fusion! Deep-fried banana is combined with cheese and choc chips then rolled in an egg roll wrapper, and served with a coulis of kiwi fruit. The Apple & Cinnamon Pancake is flavoured with orange. The Fallen Angel Chocolate Cake is with an espresso anglaise sauce. Even Balinese favourite the Pisang Goreng is given new treatment, and rests in a pool of palm sugar sauce.
Friendly and efficient service and a pleasant ambience increase the enjoyment of dropping into Drops. But, as always, it is the food itself that will bring you back!