Why are most of the new restaurants in Bali 'sama-sama'? One does a wagyu burger and fifty follow suite, foie gras, chocolate desserts, most new menus are 90% of items already everywhere else.
Now at last someone is game to do something different! And it is working! Just try to get a table at Watercress around lunch time! And they have only been open for 3 months, under the current young dynamic management.
I love breakfasts that vary from the norm. Yes I enjoy my Bacon and Eggs [preferable poached but not fanatical about it] but I constantly seek new and exotic breakfasts.
At Watercress one breakfast that is healthy, tasty and, for me, wow! Beans and Eggs with a twist! Normal baked, kidney and white beans are combined in a ceramic dish with a dash of spices, topped with two eggs then oven baked. On serving they have sour cream and a sprinkle of parmesan added, crusty cinnamon toast on the side, together with a small side salad of rocket and lime, add a sliced chorizo sausage if you will, yes please. The dish is an adaption from a Spanish breakfast on offer in Australia's very trendy Byron Bay district. Fight cholesterol with a smile, do not worry about the eggs the beans more than make up for them, very high fibre!
Another interesting breakfast is their version of the Eggs Florentine, a toasted round of thin pita bread covered with tomato is the base, then the wilted spinach, sautéed mushrooms and fresh watercress. Poached eggs [free range of course] perfectly done and hollandaise. Add some crispy bacon if you wish?
Watercress is a most clever design, one of those rare places where you feel immediately relaxed upon entering, as are all the other customers around you. A little extension, front and rear, is an immediate must, as long as it does not ruin what already works perfectly.
Needless to say all the normal breakfast things are available, Muesli, and fry-ups [build your own breakfast item by item]. But as I like the unusual I am attracted to things such as Corn Fritters with avocado salsa and chilli jam, Omelettes with smoked salmon, asparagus and feta, again only free range eggs of course.
The morning breakfast menu is served all day [why does not everyone do this??] but at 12.00 midday the lunch menu also comes into operation. More interesting dishes, so many you have to return a number of times to try all the ones that appeal.
There is a Salad of Roasted and Caramelised Pumpkin, tossed with a peppery rocket, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted seeds, fresh herbs and crumbled feta. A Beetroot Salad is with sweet orange, fresh watercress, pistachio and balsamic. The Watermelon Salad is with avocado and toasted soy bean seeds, it is in a lemon tahini dressing.
You still want a Burger for lunch? At Watercress the burgers are filled with grilled mahi-mahi, crispy tempe or marinated tofu. Now normally I would NEVER order a fish burger but here I had to try it?....sensational! Fish is so often over-cooked and dry in Bali the slab of Mahi-Mahi is perfect and combined with marinated capsicums and greens it has a gently spiced after taste. The large soft warm sesame seed buns are perfect for this dish. On the side a pile of fresh watercress topped with sweet potato crisps [they call them chips, another US takeover of the English language, a bad sign with an owner from OZ].
Straight from California are the Omelettes flat and round, topped with smoked salmon, asparagus, feta and herbs. A touch of Asia with Corn Fritters and chilli jam, avocado salsa, coriander and poached eggs [added crispy bacon is a must].
An all day feature is the food bar at the entrance, similar to many Indonesian warungs where many different offerings are displayed. The difference here is that the offerings are mostly western not Indonesian [except for the wonderful corn fritters], and include small slices of quiche and much organic salad components so you can build your own salad luncheon depending on today's taste and whims.
Watercress is a great addition to the Kerobokan dining scene, a rare one that appeals and fills up at lunch time in a street that is mostly empty! It has an amazing mix of interesting breakfasts and healthy organic lunch ingredients. The greens are true organic [unlike a growing number who claim to be organic but are not, some even using that word in their name] and the sauces, mayonnaise and salsas are made on the premises. Even the customers at Watercress appear different to those you regularly see elsewhere, a little bit of style and class, just like Watercress itself.
The young and successful management team gives this place quite a buzz.
From about June Watercress will also be open for dinner with more interesting menu items.
One of the finds of 2013!