A discreet driveway takes you off the seaside road, Jln. Raya Lipah, from Amed, to a rather nondescript parking area. In fact, at first sight, there is nothing very impressive at all about the Vienna Beach Hotel, except perhaps it?s tranquility. But there is a feeling of total relaxation that seems to slowly encompass you the longer you are at this haven by the sea.
Who wants to eat in yet another boring restaurant room, particularly for that early morning hearty breakfast or peaceful lunch. At Vienna Beach there are a couple of small tables perched right on the sea wall. Don?t sit anywhere else! As you enjoy simple, yet interesting food, any tensions in your body, or mind, will slowly drift away on the ever-lapping waters.
Further along the sea wall is a row of small intimate cabins. You begin to convince yourself that a few days of total peace and quiet is what you really need to escape from the hurly-burly of life!
The menu here really does have something for everybody, as I guess it must in order to cater for the hotel?s very international regular guest list.
A Vienna Salad has just about everything. Potato salads are very Austrian and this one has boiled potatoes, as well as pieces of avocado and tomato that have been combined with lettuce and a mix of seafood and dressing. An Avocado Shrimp Cocktail is half an avocado filled with shrimps in sauce. The Pineapple Shrimp Cocktail is made in a similar manner with half of a small, sweet pineapple. A Potato Salad Milanesa is a hot potato salad with a cheese dressing.
Want a jaffle for breakfast? Here you can have an egg and cheese one, or ham and cheese, bacon and tomato or even a banana jaffle. Why not stick to the usual eggs, ham or bacon, toast and coffee. The sea air will make you so hungry that it will all disappear in no time!
Whether snacking during the day or having a full meal, you may be in an Italian Mood? You can have your Spaghetti either Bolgnaise, Carbonara, Marinara with local seafood in a tomato base or the Vienna Special [seafood, mushrooms, tomato puree and cheese]. There are also ten different styles of Pizza available. Pizza alle Vienna has onions, garlic, chicken, egg, as well as the normal tomato base and mozzarella cheese. Pizza alle Peperoni has ham, red & green peppers, onion and garlic. Whilst the Pizza alle Pirato consists of ham, bacon, onion and bamboo shoots.
For lovers of Indian cuisine, there are three different Thali?s; Vegetarian, Meat [your selection of meat] and Prawn. Each comes with a curry of that content, Dahl [lentils], steamed rice, raita and chapatti?s. To drink, there are five varieties of lasse. You can have them either plain, sweet, with honey, salty or lemon.
Local Indonesian food? Try the Babi Kecap, pork and vegetables in a sweet soy sauce. Lumpia Goreng are pork or vegetable spring rolls, nice and crunchy. Ayam Goreng Mentega is fried chicken served in a butter sauce with vegetables and rice. There are even a few traditional Balinese dishes. Ayam Pelaleh is shredded chicken in chilli and limes. Ayam Panggang Bumbu Bali is a grilled chicken in Balinese sauces and the Ikan Bakar Bumbu Bali is a grilled fish done the same way.
For seafood, you can have a variety of local catch, just grilled; whole fish, prawns or squid. The Ca Udang Jamur is a plate of shrimps, steamed with mushrooms, and the Shrimp Provencale is shrimps that have been sauteed with onions and tomato, served on rice.
A choice of simple European food also exists. The Pork Chop is served with apple sauce, or you can have a Pork Steak, either with pepper or burgundy style. The inevitable [for Bali] Chicken Cordon Bleu [Gordon Blue?] is a breast that has been stuffed with ham and cheese. All European dishes come with French fries and vegetables.
Desserts are mainly simple, Banana Fritters, Banana Split, etc. Although there is also the Balinese version; Kolek Pisang Saba Canthi, banana in palm sugar with grated coconut. To top it all of; local wine is served by the glass, together with that local friendly service.
Now, do I face the drive back home, or just stay here and relax?
Latest Update: Vienna Beach hotel and restaurant were totally destroyed by fire in September 2006. Re-building plans are not yet known.