Who needs yet another Internet Café in Bali? Even one that is actually a café in more than name only, serving snacks, meals and drinks. Add free Wi-Fi, but many places in Seminyak already have that. Think it will work? Think not! That was, of course, without allowing for the Marinos factor! That man, who alone virtually created Eat Street [Jln. Laksmana, Kerobokan] by opening the cheap, good value Mykonos Taverna, 6 years ago, has done it one more time. This time it is a cheap, stylish, air-conditioned café/lounge bar, with FREE internet [you can bring your own laptop or use one of the two café computers].
As expected, the place has been buzzing ever since opening, day and night. My review has been delayed for a few weeks as many times when I visited, all the tables were full.
It starts at breakfast time and you can have healthy ones [Yoghurt with walnuts and honey or with fruit salad or muesli], or hearty ones [The Chat Café Special consists of 2 eggs, sausage, bacon, hash brown, grilled tomato and spinach, toast, Bali coffee or tea and fresh fruit or juice, all for Rp. 24,000+, and you wonder why the place is busy?].
Other breakfast options include an Egg Benedict with ham or smoked marlin, or the Dutch Uitsmijter [eggs, cheese and ham on toast], both for a ridiculously low Rp. 14,000+. Needless to say, there has to be a few Greek items on the menu. Rizogalo is a Greek hot rice breakfast pudding with raisins, honey, milk and cream. A Greek style Omelette is stuffed with chorizo sausage, tomato, cheese and onion.
The rest of the day, and night, a variety of snacks, light meals and not so light meals are available. Two simple starters, or any time snacks, are the Smoked Fish Platter [thin slices of a variety of smoked fish], and the Cold Cut Platter [salami, pastrami, pikantwurst [a slice of spicy European sausage] and smoked chicken, served with pickles and mustard], both are served with garlic bread.
There are the usual choice of salads [Caesar, Greek, Nicoise], a Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail, Spring Rolls and a Grilled Calamari that also sounds a bit Greek to me as it is cooked with lime, oregano, basil and olive oil, or the more traditional western Calamari, fried crumbed rings with tartar sauce for dunking.
Sandwiches include Pastrami, Pikantwurst again and a Reuben with a difference [pastrami and sauerkraut, but with a thousand islands dressing]. Burgers, Jaffles and Hot Dogs cater for all ages and tastes. Important to keep the kids happy, and quiet, whilst mum or dad are using the internet. Eating in Bali has in the past has often been too hot to eat soup. Whilst the vast majority of restaurants in Bali are still ?al fresco? style, more and more are now offering an air-conditioned alternative. For me, that is a much better way to enjoy hot food, particularly under that noon day sun. At Chat Café you can enjoy a meaty Goulash soup [with croutons and sour cream], one of Tomato and Beans, an Indonesian style Oxtail soup with rice or a Corn Chowder, creamed corn with crisp ham, potatoes and red and green peppers added, all in cool air-con comfort!.
The mains at Chat Café follow the same pricing system with only 5 of them above Rp. 30,000! The Sirloin Steak is with a pepper sauce. Pork, Chicken and the Baby Back Ribs are all with a mushroom sauce. That German smoked pork special, Kasler, is served with herbed butter sauce, accompanied by sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Kasler more often comes on the rib, but these are escalopes of the smoked pork meat, cut from the bone. More snack style are the sausage dishes [chorizo or frankfurt] or an unusual tasty Chilli con Carne, that has had corn added.
Fish is invariably best steamed and here you have the choice of Snapper or Salmon. If you prefer grilled fish then there is Tuna or an amazing Seafood Platter [Rp. 29,000+] consisting of snapper, prawn and squid, with French Fries. Not a giant sized platter of course, but still a good size for one person. There is also the good old-fashioned Fish & Chips, with tartar sauce of course, the fish dipped in batter and deep-fried, the ultimate finger food.
A sensible wine list with a very minimum mark-up, young friendly staff and an atmosphere that is forever buzzing, immediately tells you that this place is a winner. Great value!
Latest Visit: Chat Cafe is now under new management, Italian. The original owner and creator, Marinos, is no longer involved. At the moment all is the same but it is intended to make many changes, it will obviously become another Italian cafe.