This Bale is actually a Wantilan [more than 4 pillars]. Tropical Bale is situated in Sanggingan, just out of Ubud, perfectly sited at the edge of rice paddies with only a wooden railing between the diners and the green countryside, opposite the Uma Hotel. The spacious layout ensures that the dining is always relaxed.
Owner Tony Fernandes was a child refugee from Timor who grew up in Australia, learning all about the kitchen along the way, and now operates the largest restaurant in Dilli, as well as this unique dining temple. All around you are many examples of his innovative glass tableware, glassware and cutlery designs. Like everything else at Tropical, refreshingly different!
In an interesting twist virtually all the menu items here are paired; duos or trios. With French style presentation and preparation but Asian spices that just add subtle flavours and never overpower.
Lunchtime options include a Soup of Sweet Potato with Cured Salmon sitting on a stew of red onions or Grilled King Prawn on baby salad leaves with Grilled Squid on tomato coulis and a Fruit Lawar. For a lunchtime snack there is a Steak Sandwich to die for; grilled tenderloin with portabella mushroom and feta cheese, French fries and CousCous on the side. A more exotic lunch; Lamb Tandoori on a cucumber pancake paired with Honey Glazed Pork on blinis.
The Drinks List is bigger than the menu. Fusion Iced Coffees [Classico combines espresso with amaretto and pistachio syrup, an Orange Frappuccino is coffee blended with Irish Cream and fresh orange juice], Tropical Mocktails [Recharge with blended fresh mango, lychee and strawberry with ginseng infused syrup, Soft & Tender is a luscious mix of rock melon, peach and lychee a herb infused syrup added] and there is a wild variety of Organic Teas.
At night the power is turned up a few knots further. Miso Confit of Quail sits on candied citrus with pan-seared Scallops in Black Bean and Grilled Prawn on curry sauce. The quail so perfect, the prawns live from the tank. Freshness is the keyword here. A Prawn Gyoza [a pan seared dumpling stuffed with prawn meat] with wasabi tobiko sits alongside a Prawn Rice Paper Roll and a Cherry Tomato Mozarella Salad. The balance and contrast between the different tastes is always interesting. Another variation is the Pan-Seared Scallops in Black Bean and the Grilled Prawn on a curry sauce but this time with Asparagus Spears wrapped in ox-tongue.
French influenced cuisine but with a definite Asian twist! The amuse-bouche to start and refreshing sorbet before the main, included.
The main courses are even more exotic. A Rack of Lamb is coated with crushed nuts and crumbs. It sits on a Parmesan Polenta, alongside Sweet Minced Lamb in a cucumber yoghurt. Grilled Medallions of Beef [Australian] are with a horseradish and beetroot Borscht-style sauce and with Steamed Sea Bass. Duck Breast is deep fried and complemented by a red onion stew and sauce of wild berries, coming with Pan-Seared Snapper in a spicy Balinese sauce.
Fresh Seafood is combined with Japanese Udon Noodles and a spicy laksa sauce. This comes with a seared Duck Breast on Edamame in a vanilla and almond foam. Every evening there is also an option of ordering a 2 course [each a choice of two] set menu for Rp. 150,000++ than combines selections from the menu along with new creations.
Vegetarians are not forgotten at Tropical Bale, their possibilities are just as wild and tasty. Their Tomato and Ginger Soup is with caramelized onion, served with a duo of bruschetta. Gazpacho, chunky style, is with crusted polenta and spicy tofu, topped with vegetables ?dabu-dabu? [that unique sambal from Manado]. A combination of Haricot and Edamame Beans in a mint mayonnaise is on a bed of tomato concasse. A Spinach and Mushroom Risotto is studded with wild mushrooms and fresh asparagus on a garlic tuille. Alongside is a different Risotto, this one deep-fried and stuffed with goat cheese and edamame puree, served with vegetable tempura.
The wild treats continue with the small but fascinating dessert menu. The Raspberry Parfait is a compote of mixed berries and comes with a White Chocolate Parfait and a chocolate soufflé. The Chocolate Pudding is laced with Cointreau and is served with a chocolate and coconut sauce with caramelized fruits in a white wine sabayon.
The wine list is small but there are some reasonable ?by glass? options. The table service can be a bit slow but is always friendly and informative. This is a palace for relaxed quality dining. Any visit to Tropical will be something to remember. Coming soon is a small private dining room, also with uninterrupted rice paddi views.
Ubud, the home of class and style!