The original Sasa on Jln Laksmana was once the best value of all the many Italian restaurants in the Eat Street loop. Most of the other ones have since closed. Sasa also closed [hard to produce budget eating with the contract rents of this area] but has now re-opened in a new site on the old Double Six Road, a small corner building on two levels with cheap Italian ready to eat displayed at the front and the original a la carte for those hanging around for a bit longer.
As usual for good quality, and value, Italian food the common language spoken in the restaurant is also Italian! That has always one of the best guides to the best! Sasa is no exception. Still in soft opening mode so the mains are being slowly added to, just watch the specials board as the old favourites will re-appear there first prior to being added to the permanent menu.
Sasa opens early for breakfast. With just three styles so far, all of which come with a basket of breads. American [eggs, bacon and potato + juice/fruit salad, tea/coffee], Continental or Omelette [choose your own 2 fillings].
Sasa is original Italian, no modern creations here just a choice of traditional dishes from regional Italy. Simple food, great attention to detail with recipes hundreds of years old! What could be more traditional that an excellent Insalata Caprese, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella sliced and sprinkled with olive oil and basil or Calamaretti Fritti, baby squid, deep fried, with tartar and salad.
More seafood options with Guazzetto di Vongole, clams sautéed in white wine or Seppioline alla Griglia con Patate all?Insalata, gilled baby squid served with a potato salad. Why is it that only Italian kitchens seem able to produce squid that is not a rubbery mess? At Sasa it is crisp yet tender, perfect!
For the vegetarians Parmigiana de Melanzane, layers of baked eggplant with tomato salsa, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. The salads include a Sasa special of mixed greens tossed with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, olives, tuna and boiled quail egg.
Pasta is what Italian restaurants are all about. Most non-Italian restaurants in Bali also have it on their menus but it is not always cooked with the same passion! At Sasa even the soup is pasta based, but combined with red beans. Spaghetti can be with clams, baby squid or Carbonara [bacon, onions, cream and cheese, finished with an egg yolk]. Fettuccine is Boscaiola [ham, mushrooms and cream] or Bolognese. I was lucky when sampling the Lasagna [pictured], it was straight from the oven, freshly baked, but I am sure that it would be excellent any time, thin pasta leaves interspersed with layers of a full strength meat sauce, cheese and a touch of béchamel. The top pasta layer so sprinkled with cheese that the baking process left it bubbly and quite crisp, one of the best serves of Lasagna I have ever eaten.
The other Italian creation copied by all is of course Pizza. Yes, they are all at Sasa. Made with seafood [Pizza Tonne e Cipolla, tuna and onion], Chicken [Affumicata with mushroom], Ham [Esotica with pineapple, Calzone with ricotta and basil, Prosciutto with mushrooms], Bacon [Amatriciana with onion and parmesan, Carbonara with onion, cream, parmesan, black pepper and egg], with a range of vegetarian options [the simple Margherita, tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil, or a more complex Ortolana with zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, rucola and onion] or the all time favourite with just 4 cheeses, Biancaneve al Formaggi [mozzarella, gorgonzola, parmesan and emmental] . Sasa pizzas have a thin crisp base and toppings with flavor! The pizzas here are quite a large size too, very good for sharing, which means that you can order a few different ones and share the tastes.
Mains are still in the development stage as the new restaurant grows in custom. So far you can select Chicken [grilled breast], Fish [red snapper fillet] or Beef [grilled tenderloin], all served with a side salad.
For dessert a pair of Italian specials; Tiramisu [lady's fingers, biscuits soaked with espresso coffee, then covered with mascarpone cream] and Panna Cotta [vanilla and nutella Italian cream pudding]. But what is this? A Crème Brulee, must be an invader from across the French border.
No it is not fine dining, just good old fashioned simple Italian prepared with a passion that only the Italians have for their food.
A great place to eat often!
Welcome back Sasa!