Kubu Lalang is half way between Singaraja and Lovina, on Bali?s northern coast. A narrow trail takes you down between the rice paddies, towards the beach, and the complex that is highlighted by its Java style roofed bungalows, raised above the ground on platforms. At the beachfront is their pleasant restaurant.
When I see a menu from a small restaurant that extends to eleven pages, without set menus, and covers a multitude of cuisines, I normally expect the worst! At Kubu Lalang I was amazed, I could not find fault with anything. The owner, Austrian Sylvia Binder, obviously enjoys her food as much as I do, and also appreciates a wide variety of cuisines.
Ten soups, and all are wildly different. Sop Waluh is a cream of pumpkin but with shrimps, white wine, tarragon and cream. Sop Ketimun is a chilled cucumber soup with shrimps, potatoes, white wine, dill and sour cream. There is a Malaysian Laksa and a French Boullabaisse. A chilled Vichyssoise [cream of leek] and a Tomato cream with fresh basil.
The biggest shock was seeing a Mulligatawny Soup on a Bali menu! It was invented by the English in India, turning left over chicken curry from yesterday?s buffet into a soup [I like it with big chunks of mango chutney added to it].
A long list of salad dishes include ingredients such as chicken, squid marinated in lime, prawns, tomatoes, avocado and just about everything else. Selada Kentang is a warm potato salad with ham, boiled egg, onions and cream cheese, mint and chilli dressing. Selada Udang Mangga is prawns with mango and avocado in a coconut, ginger and curry dressing. The entrees are equally amazing and varied. You can have Fish Patties with shrimps, oyster mushrooms and capers on a lime sauce or the unusual and tasty deep-fried Spicy Sardine and Cheese Balls with a sesame ginger dressing. Roti Udang is fried bread with a topping of shrimps, ginger and garlic, served with a chilli and capsicum relish. Perfect! Roti Toscana is baguette slices topped with a creamy rich pate of chicken livers, oyster mushrooms, capers, anchovies and garlic. To top it off, a touch of cognac! The pieces surround a stuffed tomato. This dish I can never resist, on every visit.
If you are beginning to think this all sounds a bit exotic for Lovina, you are right! At these prices, and serving up this consistent quality, I do not know how these types of places have stayed hidden and undiscovered for so long!
Paprika Chicken Vienna is served with those Austrian special noodles, Spatzle. The Chicken Kofta [crumbly chicken meatballs in a mild Indian curry] is wonderful. It comes with triangles of Indian bread, potato fritters and a cucumber raita. Ayam Bawang Putih is chicken in a paste of garlic, lime and parsley, then deep-fried in olive oil, served with a lime butter and potato Carpaggio.
Pork Chops [thick ones at that] are cooked in a garlic and white wine sauce. Butter potatoes just an added plus! There is a Goan style Pork Vindaloo, with chapatti of course, even a great homemade Bratwurst Sausage [more taste than the deli ones] of pork and beef served with mash and young beans.
Fillets of Fish, pan-fried in butter with a creamy dill and rose wine sauce, or Fish Fillets in a sherry, honey and ginger sauce. For something really different how about Peppered Fish Fillets with a lime butter? Grilled fish fillets [Ikan Laut] but with a coriander, mustard and white wine sauce, served with red pepper dumplings. Ikan Sardin Marokko is crisp fried sardines on a tangy tomato mousse. Dadar Makanan Laut are lime turmeric crepes stuffed with seafood in a coconut lime sauce, served with grilled chilli-honey pineapple. Kenus Saos Hijau is squid, braised Spanish style in white wine, herbs and garlic served with Catalanian bread.
There are pasta dishes [all homemade] and many vegetarian options. Sandwiches and other snacks, as well as big, very cheap, all inclusive breakfasts [even an Indian Breakfast of chickpea curry with pineapple chutney and spiced iced tea]. The wine list is limited but that is, sadly, the norm for the area.
Great food, very friendly and efficient service with incredible prices! What more could anyone want?