Don't panic! The only glass on the beach is to be found in the full-length windows protecting diners from any unwelcome westerly winds that may blow in from the sea at Bali's newest, and trendiest restaurant, ku de Ta! Still, it is a most unusual name for a restaurant. Particularly so in Asia where such things have been known to happen, once or twice.
It is a most unusual space, and one that is very appealing to the eye! The very French bistro-ish setting, wooden tables and matching floors, is arranged within a wide glassed-in U shape. On the left of the entrance, up the steps from the massive fountain in the forecourt, is a most attractive bar with an accompanying very large and comfortable lounge area. The legs of the U straddle an oblong ground level pond-fountain, and face the backs of the elegant deck chairs that line the beach fringe. On the right hand side is a little Bali house that is in fact a very well-stocked bar. Now why would they have two bars? Because this one is an air-conditioned Cigar Bar [evenings only]!
The front-of-house staff, some of whom are recognisable from other locations, are dressed totally in black. In the semi-light that prevails they almost look like ninjas. You half expect them to suddenly bounce to the top of the nearest coconut tree at any moment!
Any restaurant in Bali, commencing their menu with fresh Sydney Rock Oysters is very serious about what they are attempting to achieve! You can have them Natural, with a champagne vinaigrette, or Tempura style, deep fried in a rice flour batter. They may be ordered in quantities of 5, 10 or 25.
A mixed Sushi Plate is a combination of prawn, white marlin, tuna and a Californian roll. Tasmanian Salmon is available as is a King Island Beef Carpaccio that is served with grissini and baby capers, in Balsamic vinegar, topped with a softly poached quail egg.
The Chilli Salted Squid is mixed with rocket leaves and balsamic, whilst Char-grilled Fresh Water Prawns arrive in a truffle infused butter with chilli jam.
There are a few items solely on the luncheon menu, such as the offering of Baguette or Pita bread stuffed with slabs of tenderloin of beef cooked to your liking, breast of chicken or roasted vegetables. Not the old-fashioned Steak Sandwich that I love and miss, but a very good imitation anyway!
Oven roasted Spiced Duck with bok choy and onion jam resting on a risotto base starts the mains in the same serious manner. Or if you prefer more than just some slivers of duck, then how about the Asian Spiced Duck with wilted greens, star anise and pear essence. This is one knock-out dish! The chunks of breast meat that sit atop the food mound of this dish are sensational. With crispy skin, a very low fat content, and the tenderest, tastiest duck flesh you could imagine! The other portion of duck found below the breast pieces is much less impressive, but by then it doesn't really matter.
The corn-fed Chicken Breast is crusted with basil pesto and served with roasted pumpkin on a lemon cous cous. A Crispy Skin Tasmanian Salmon comes on a bed of beetroot risotto, with tumeric and basil oil.
As for red meat, there is a Rack of Lamb, served on soft polenta, lima beans and a Greek salsa. Or an Eye Fillet of Yearling Beef served with a corn cake stack, with mashed Pontiac potatoes, in a merlot jus. Two juicy slices of prime eye fillet, cooked to perfection.
Whilst most dishes come with some vegetables, a few side serves are also available [baby chat potatoes, fresh greens and salads].
Desserts are headed by an offering of a Coconut & Lime Crème Brulee. The brulee soft and fluffy, the toffee on top crisp and tasty, the accompanying coconut cream a perfect match. There is also a White Chocolate Tiramisu that has been drizzled over with espresso, or Cinnamon Poached Pears, with the juice of berries and vanilla syrup. Alternatively you can order a plate of Australian Cheeses, King Island and Cradle Mountain.
The overall attention to detail is carried through to the bar list and wine selection which is from Australia, N.Z., Italy, France and the USA.]. Anyone in Bali who includes tawny ports and liquer tokays, on their bar list, is certainly trying to do everything right! Even the trendies are not forgotten with Absolut Citron, Kurrant, etc.
Just to cap off a place that does just about everything correctly, all the prices are inclusive of taxes and service. However, everything works so well at Ku De Ta that you inevitably want to add a little extra anyway!
I don't usually go to restaurants so early in their life, but with this one I couldn't contain my curiosity! I was not disappointed. No doubt as weeks go by, both the kitchen and front of house staff will gel into smoother units, but any glitches now are very minimal.
What a classy addition to the Bali food scene!
Latest Visit: Now a very established part of the Bali dining scene, prices have increased sharply [as well as service and tax now being added on top].
However, ku de Ta is still excellent value for money....real class! A new dish of stuffed deboned quail is a show-stopper!