Finn?s Beach Club is exceptional. It is located on a private beach beneath the Semara luxury villa resort at Ungasan on Bali?s rugged southern coastline. You reach it via a funicular that takes you down over the cliff to one of the most amazing beach clubs in Bali. There are three distinct areas, catering for all tastes. The main restaurant, under the classic Balinese alang-alang roof [thatched with Impalerata Cylindrica grass or Ambongan as it is known in Balinese], looks out over the beach and sea beyond. After the pizza ovens is an open terrace, further around is an extension area, still under construction.
To protect the beach club?s privacy and selectiveness an initial charge of Rp.250,000 per person is made before descending to the beach, of which Rp.150,000 p.p. is subsequently deducted from your ensuing bill for food and beverages.
Exec Chef Canadian Benoît Larochelle [ex many Michelin starred restaurants in Paris; Cordeillan Bages, Jean Luc Rocha - Jaques Chibois a Grace - Jacques LeDivellec and Regis Marcon] attempts to turn out tasty finger food, with style. He succeeds! Sashimi quality tuna is rolled in rice paper, Vietnamese style. It has been combined with mango ?chips?, coriander, avocado, tofu puree, coconut milk and seaweed. It has a fresh clean taste, perfect for a beach location, as are all of the other finger food options.
Prawn Cocktail may be an old fashioned offering but these are real King Prawns. They have been poached in a broth of saffron and orange, not boiled to death as is the norm, then grilled prior to serving. They sit around the rim of a glass of salad consisting of mini sprigs of crunchy cauliflower, sliced grapes and pine nuts.
Baby Back Ribs must be one of the greatest finger foods you can enjoy, particularly when they are wood-smoked like these and doused in a tangy BBQ sauce. On the side are simple onion rings, deep-fried after being dipped in a batter enlivened with that dark special beer from Ireland?s Guinness. The onion rings are very special and can also be ordered as a separate dish to snack on, and many do just that!
Burgers and sandwiches are common finger food. The treatment they get at Finn?s though makes them anything but common! Jack?s Pulled Pork Sandwich presents Caribbean style pulled pork [shredded after a long, slow cooking process], that has been braised with a touch of that Jack Daniels. It is served between slices of sourdough bread, with brie cheese, caramelized onions, green apple and lettuce.
Burgers are usually of beef and here the classic Cliff Edge Burger does just that but with smoked cheddar, grilled onions, bacon, oyster mushrooms and lettuce added. For variety they also offer burgers of lamb [with feta cheese, sun-dried tomato and black olive tapenade], chicken [with mozzarella, red beets and guacamole] and fish [mahi-mahi with arugula, avocado, red onion, coriander and lemon pesto], To round out this menu section is a good old fashioned Australian Steak Sandwich, a slab of Aussie sirloin, nicely spiced, with pecorino cheese, onions, radicchio and Dijon mustard.
The Indonesian offering is a range of sate. Chicken or beef are pieces thereof, served with that peanut curry sauce, whilst the fish sate is done Balinese lilit style, minced with spices.
Pizzas can be traditional [4 cheese, prosciutto and arugula, primavera, etc] or with a twist [beef rending, grilled chicken, BBQ pork, prawns on a Turkish Delight of ground lamb, halloumi and feta cheeses, onion, spinach, pine nuts, mint and coriander.
All the finger food is great but the highlight must be their Grilled Barramundi Tricolour Tacos. Firm soft flesh combined with mango, avocado, red onion, cabbage, cucumber and guacamole in crisp taco shells, a spicy sauce, sour cream and green lemon. These are only surpassed by the Babi Guling Spring Rolls. Shredded suckling pig mixed with a local bumbu then rolled in a thin casing, fried to a crisp, on the side is Balinese vegetable lawar of green beans and a spicy sauce of sweet soy and chilli.
Needless to say there are also many options to be eaten with cutlery, not everything is by fingers. At the top of the list is a wonderful Ceviche of sea scallops [pictured]. Pieces of that mollusk are combined with small cubes of mango, tomato and onion, with mint and basil added, in a balsamic reduction. Perfect!
The beach scene is healthy and so is the food [with many ?gluten=free? options so marked on the menu for anyone with that allergy], A range of salads include a Thai style Beef and Prawn, with cabbage and radicchio, a lemongrass and chilli vinaigrette. Caesar, Red Rice and Greek are also available.
What beach scene would be complete without that old English staple, Fish & Chips? The fish is fillet of red snapper, the sauce is tartare, of course. If you want a more conventional fish dish the normal Snapper is superb! Perfectly steamed it sits on red rice with sautéed vegetables, the sauce an incredible tangerine and red beet, great combinations.
Even the basic and mandatory Indonesian offerings are done with style. Nasi Goreng sees the fried rice wrapped in an omelette, rather than come with the traditional egg on top. What the Thais call ?wrapped in a blanket?.
The ultimate dessert is on offer at Finn?s regular bonfire nights when you can toast marshmallow cubes over the fire.
At Finn?s Beach Club you do not just come for a meal, you come for a day, snacking and sipping as you go! It is the classy option for a day at the beach in Bali.