For many years those who understand and love the island of Bali have been retreating for relaxing weekends to Bali's east coast. Pleasant beaches, wonderful people and simple basic food. Almost a 'back to nature' experience?.what some people call the original Bali!
Now, with the arrival of the long-awaited The Griya complex, you also have the option of a higher standard of dining, whether it be an elegant dinner at their fine dining restaurant [Maku, still in final development] or at the all day restaurant and terrace, Safka.
The view from Safka is one that stretches across the local beaches, blue water beyond and on the horizon the infamous Gili T. Scattered across the water are many jukung [fishing boats] and human bodies, snorkel attached, lazily swimming atop the water watching the fascinating and colourful fish of many varieties.
Finnish chef Pasi has been long enough in Bali to have discovered the spices of Indonesia and cleverly blends them with traditional French and Italian cuisine, NOT fusion but a perfect marrying of tastes.
Life begins here every morning with breakfast [western or local] and what a contrast to the previous options of fried rice or an egg on a piece of bread!
Eggs Benedict in Amed? Unbelievable! Poached eggs on a real toasted muffin [even Seminyak does not always get that one right!] with hollandaise sauce. Or perhaps you prefer the perfect fry-up [eggs, bacon, sausage, etc] or just a non-greasy Fried Rice [Nasi Goreng with your choice of chicken, seafood or vegetable mix], a build your own Omelette or Pancakes [both American and Indonesian style].
Lunch also has many options. Perhaps just a snack [spicy Chicken Quesadilla], a sandwich [build your own baguette or have a Swedish Meatball Sandwich] or pizza [traditional or local spicy]? After all it is their all-day café. Maybe you prefer to stay local but with a bit more style than from the local warungs; a Beef Rendang [from Sumatra], locally caught fish, Ikan Kaput Daun cooked in banana leaf or Asian style with a Green Curry. Or just a plate of Mixed Sate, with those Balinese sauces, peanut curry and sambal matah.
Now, for the first time, if you want a lunch a bit more special than just simple food at the local warung, it is here. Start with the sensational green tea noodles liberally studded with scallops in an urak sauce, this is a perfect example of taking a base Italian dish and improving it with the flavours of Indonesia! There are also air-dried ham with cantaloupe melon balls served in a parmesan basket or a serving board containing tuna done three different ways, tartar, tataki and sashimi, with all the correct accompaniments.
Then a mushroom cappuccine soup or a salad of grilled portabella mushrooms and iceberg lettuce sprinkled with gorgonzola dressing.
From the grill there is a variety of seafood [prawns, freshly caught local tuna] and meats [imported tenderloin and striploin steaks, lamb or pork chops and chicken breast. All are served with your choice of sauce [béarnaise, gorgonzola, melted garlic, herb butter, red wine, green pepper cognac, chanterelle or with a ginger glaze] and vegetable side dish at no extra cost.
Tapas are anytime snacks, the way I like to eat. Roasted Bellpeppers with feta cheese, Mushroom Croquettes, Honey-glazed Goat Cheese, Balinese Fishcakes, Chicken Wings [the real ones not the often used shoulders] with a spicy Thai sauce or the hot and spicy Red Devil King Prawns with tomato, cardamom and mustard seeds, fantastic! Then there is the surprisingly good Mini Pizzas, three totally different tastes on paper thin crusty bases.
At Safka there is even a dessert menu to surprise you, after all this is Amed! Grand Marnier Souffle, Dark Chocolate and Orange fudge cake, Blood Orange and Coconut Parfait or very unusual but tasty liquorice flavoured Panna Cotta with a raspberry coulis.
A long leisurely lunch with quality food to match but in the relaxing atmosphere of Amed, what more could you want?