You approach the restaurant area, of this little exclusive resort, by way of a stone pathway. Walls of stone, with green moss, are everywhere. The pagoda that houses the few well-spaced dining tables of the restaurant area is surrounded by running water, falls and streams, and edged by a mini equatorial jungle!
You are immediately at peace, and relaxed at Ibah! Nothing in the next hour or two will spoil that feeling, as here time seems to stand still. The menu is quite varied, as I guess it has to be to cater for the differing tastes of the guests who stay at these luxury villas.
Starters commence with Pumpkin Coconut Soup. Pureed roasted pumpkin has been combined with caramelised onion, coconut cream and spices. A Soto Ayam is shredded chicken with rice noodles and Indonesian spices. That now standard fixture on every menu, Tom Yum Goong, is the hot and sour prawn soup from Thailand that everyone loves.
A Spicy Coriander Wrapped Tuna leads the entrees. It comes with accompanying rice paper prawn rolls and a wonderful wasabi, sesame and soy dip. Very special! As is the Tuna Guacamole Salad, seared sashimi tuna on a tower of avocado and tomato.
A variety of wraps are on the menu, perfect for that any time of the day snack! Stuffed with crispy chicken nuggets or a Tuna one with Nori seaweed and a wasabi mayonnaise. The Mediterranean Wrap combines sundried tomatoes, avocado, cheese, olives and fresh herbs and salad greens.
For those who like to snack, there is a small, but interesting, range of exotic sandwiches on excellent breads. Grilled Chicken, Grilled Lime Tuna, Thai Beef and Rucula or a Brie and Avocado [with herb mayonnaise].
Entrees are varied and quite exotic! Thai Beef resembles Thailand?s Yum Nua, rare pieces of prime beef tossed with greens. Some come as either a main or as an entrée. A Ravioli of Salmon & Wasabi is an example. As is the Ravioli Coriander, stuffed with pumpkin, with a sauce of three different cheeses. They are large half-moon, well-filled, pasta pieces.
Paprika Chicken is a breast that has been sautéed in a capsicum sauce and is served on a mound of noodles. The Tofu Lime Stir-Fry is on saffron rice cakes. The Organic Spring Chicken Curry is with coriander coconut rice, wrapped in a banana leaf. Seafood Curry Crepes are very different; prawns, tuna and crab meat have been combined in a curry sauce and wrapped in crepes.
Indonesian specials include a Sumatran Beef Rendang [spicy beef in coconut milk], Babi Masak Kecap [braised pork in sweet soy], and a Pepes Ikan Segar [steamed fish, wrapped in a banana leaf and served with a yellow rice and a mix of vegetables]. A number of vegetable side dishes can also be ordered; Sayur Urap, Sayur Lodeh, Bok Choy, Snake Beans with cashew nuts and a sesame dressing, or Sauteed Potatoes.
Dinners at Ibah are quite different. For a start, all of the surrounding jungle is lit from within. The effect is almost ethereal, with the haunting sounds of live gamelan and suling wafting through the trees. Many of the same luncheon dishes are also available for dinner. A few extra dishes are however found, such as the Crab Cake entree [two tasty cakes seated on a salsa of diced tomato and cucumber].
Other special Dinner mains include a Pan-seared Victorian Duck Breast [served on a mash of sweet potatoes], Lamb Chops in a red wine sauce and a King Prawn Tempura with char-grilled salsa of vegetables on a bed of coriander mash.
Desserts include all the usual fruity ice creams and sorbets plus an interesting Crème Brulee [served on almond wafers with a raspberry and orange jus], a Grand Marnier Mousse, or a Warm Ginger and Chocolate Fondant.
There is a small but very well selected list of wines from France and Australia with a couple of very reasonably priced premium wines [Leewin Estate and Mountadam Chardonnays for example], rather than just the normal commercial ones. There is even a good selection of wines by the glass.
The service is pleasant and reasonably efficient. The atmosphere is all tranquility and peace. Surrounded by running water and massive greenery.
An ideal venue for that romantic dinner!