Profito is in Renon, at the edge of Denpasar, Bali, and defies description. The place and its menu give the impression that it is part of a chain restaurant operation, yet it is not. It is the sole Profito, at this stage at least, a chain of only one link.
Amongst the maze of new and old restaurants around this loop of road in Renon, Profito is very different from the rest. It sparkles, immaculately clean if a little plastic, the open kitchen and food processing areas spotless. The background music is one of a nostalgic past era, all recognizable if you are well out of your teens.
Dish titles are all in English, yet descriptions are solely in Indonesian, perhaps they think that is Jakarta trendy? Most if not all of the dishes on their menu appear to be familiar. Yet when they arrive they are invariably nothing like what you expected. However most of them taste great so that is not a problem. I have not yet worked out whether the creations are by accident or design?
Best example is their Beef Burger, no bun just a beef patty [perfectly grilled], it sits on thin slices of charred pineapple and is topped with melted cheese. On one side are French fries, on the other a fried egg. If I had to describe it, it would have to be a non-French version of the French Hache, or what the Amercans call a Salisbury Steak. What really matters most is that it is tasty and very budget priced. A Mushroom Burger is actually a beef burger with mushroom sauce
Starters are as different as all else. The Chicken & Corn Soup, Creamy Zuppa, is crusted with a thick crunchy pastry [French style en croute?]. A dish just called Party Food is what some would call canapés, a combination of small crisp spring rolls, split and drizzled with a 'Thai' sauce, crumbed prawns sitting on a dab of tartar and a pile of shredded potato salad. Beef Croquettes are crumbed patties of minced beef fried till very crunchy then split in two for serving with a coating of BBQ sauce. All taste good and all very cheap.
Their 'Minerstrone' varies from the Italian original in more than just the spelling. It is not just pasta and vegetables but has chicken or beef added with paprika and French bread on the side. Instead of a sprinkling of Parmesan a slice of processed cheese melts on top. A Salad of Smoked Beef combines that with minced beef. An unusual sandwich is one of Smoked Fish [with 4 open-ended fingers liberally covered with a tartar sauce]. Javanese Chicken Crepes are soft spring rolls. Or perhaps you just want a plate of French Fries, at Profito they are topped with squares of smoked beef and melting cheese,
Centred between the bar and kitchen is a large pizza oven. The combinations that come from it can be standard or new creations but all on a thin crisp base and at 28cms, large enough to share! The Napolitana is with Thai chicken and the Smoked Cheese with beef sausage, smoked beef, mushroom and mozzarella. Almond and Durian is a strange Pizza but so is their Mixed Fruits Pizza. The Classico, combines a few slices of sausage with onions and red chilli on a well seasoned peppery tomato paste base, very good for $5. Although why you are served with side dishes of tomato and chilli sauces with a pizza is a puzzle, I guess there is no accounting for taste?
Even Indonesia?s staple dish, Fried Rice, gets a makeover. The Salmon version has chunks of that fish throughout the mound of fried rice, with a split beef sausage and chicken croquette on the side. Alternatively there is Seafood Fried Rice, prawns inside and a chicken sausage on the side.
More standard main courses are their Chicken Pepper, Tenderloin or Sirloin of Beef and a Basil Chicken dish, which confusingly has two different pictures on the menu, one with bare grilled chicken the other with the flesh covered with a pesto like sauce. The Grilled Squid is with BBQ sauce, the Crispy Chicken Mushroom is a breast with mushroom sauce but you are also offered BBQ, Black Pepper or Basil sauces as alternatives even though the dish retains the same name.
At this stage there is no wine available but instead an imaginative selection of Fruit Punches [pineapple and banana with mint], even one called the Chunky Monkey, Cold Coffees [egg nog, mocha, peach frappe] and a couple of Smoothies [banana and nut with ice cream or my favourite the celery and apple].
Dessert can be a Durian Pancake or a variety of crepes and other pancakes. Most of the options are very unusual but as they taste good it makes it an interesting adventure to eat here. First time for each dish you have no idea of what to expect.
Good fun, good taste, very cheap!