First time for Swiss in Bali was at Lo's warung in the 90's and I remember having to queue in what was then Rum Jungle Road, waiting for a table during the high season. End of contract and it was across the road at Yutz, same same, always full.
Now many of the same staff are doing the same thing at Malo's. This new Swiss restaurant is still in Legian, in a cosy two level locale [a backgammon game on one table, a few beer drinkers at the bar, meats, roesti and things] that could almost be in Europe if it was not for the coconut and banyan trees outside and that unique Bali traffic going past.
Where is it? Almost opposite what used to be the very popular hotel Rumah Manis, which has recently been demolished and is now the site of an enormous new hotel, a work in progress! Breakfast begins the day. Swiss Roesti topped with eggs, bacon and onion [or ham and cheese] are the Swiss way. Eggs are the breakfast mainstay as always; an omelette, with ham on toast or an Egg Roll with chorizo sausage and chives. All are priced individually so you can concoct your own breakfast.
Salads are the usual plus a Curried Chicken, pieces of meat tossed with chunks of tropical fruits. The list of soups is fairly normal plus one rarely seen in Bali; a classic French Bouillon with egg.
Bar snacks include mini sandwiches, hamburgers and chicken wings [with your choice of paysanne, rosemary or provencale sauces]. Sausages feature prominently and they can be German [Hamburg with bread and mustard or Nuremberg with potato salad and sauerkraut] or the Swiss St. Galler, served with roesti and onion sauce. At Malo's the roesti is real, pancake shaped a perfect fit from the small pan used, browned to a crisp on the outside yet still soft shredded potato inside, perfect!
The menu at Malo's is not trendy and modern but good old fashioned tried and tested dishes that everyone will recognize, although a few have been adapted to Bali's supply problems. On the entrée list are even Deep-fried Mushrooms in beer batter with tartar sauce. There is a big range of Pasta [spaghetti, penne or fettuccine] including some special Ravioli [try the mixed ravioli platter].
Steaks can be fillet, sirloin or rump in varying sizes. Pepper, mushroom, whisky, gorgonzola or herb butter are possible sauces you can order, with Café de Paris the ultimate. The Chef's Special is Fillet of Beef served on an arugula salad with champignons, cherry tomatoes, grated apple and parmesan cheese. Beef is also used to make their Stroganoff and a Hungarian style Beef Goulash that is served with that German-Swiss-Austrian creation, Spaetzle [small dumplings of flour and egg that have been cooked in salted boiling water].
German Swiss restaurants always offer interesting meat dishes and Malo's is no exception. Even that Bali favourite Cordon Bleu [not its illegitimate little brother Gordon Blue] gets a make-over. No chicken but instead a slice of roasted pork is wrapped around leg ham, the inside stuffed with a cheese combination of 3 cheeses that include brie [pictured] It has been rolled almost in a rouladen style, the outer shell is crumbed, crunchy and golden, the cheese melted but not stringy, and very tasty. Very, very good!
Also unusual is their Chicken and Papaya. Tender chicken breast is layered over slices of ripe sweet papaya [orange not green], yet with the addition of a lime based sauce there is still a slightly sour taste, producing another version of the classic Asian sweet and sour.
The Schnitzels can be breaded chicken with French fries or pork in a creamy paprika sauce with spaetzle. The classic Zurich dish just referred to as Zuricher Geschnetzeltes uses pork strips [as real veal is far too expensive] in that mushroom cream sauce, with roesti of course. Two perfect slices of Roasted Pork sit on sauerkraut with boiled potatoes on the side, another dish I like very much, simple mid European [meat and potatoes, the time tested duo].
Side dises that can be ordered are many and varied, including eleven different potato styles, sauerkraut, macaroni, spaetzle and rice [plain, yellow or saffron].
At the entrance to Malo's is a rotisserie, inside a couple of chickens are usually browning themselves as they slowly rotate. They are a popular stop and pick-up for take-away to eat at home [either half or whole birds] or as Grilled Chicken consumed on site.
The most unusual mains at Malo's, and one that is very European, are the rabbit dishes. They are served in two different ways; a mustard cream sauce with those crisp sautéed potatoes or 'Grandma's Method' marinated in red wine and served with mashed potatoes to soak up the juice.
There should always be an Indonesian selection in most Bali restaurants and there is at Malo's. They have all the common dishes plus an Ayam Kecap [sliced chicken in sweet soy] and that strong tasting Beef Rawon, cubes of beef cooked with that black nut of Surabaya, keluak, combining with garlic, shallot, ginger, candlenut, turmeric, red chili and salt to produce that unique rawon taste.
The ultimate attraction at any Swiss restaurant is the Cheese Fondue. The classic original combines gruyere and emmental with tilsit cheeses, adding white wine and cherry brandy. Only available for a minimum of two persons but for something this good you would always want to share.
Desserts include the essential Apple Strudel, served hot with vanilla ice cream, and the old fashioned classics, Banana Split and Coupe Romanoff.
I have eaten at many Swiss restaurants around the world, it is a cuisine that I am very comfortable with, but nowhere other than Bali are most of the mains under $10!
Malo's is great value for a simple but high quality cuisine.