This used to be the very popular Warung Brith, a very local warung serving basic Indonesian Chinese food in very simple surroundings. Now under Italian ownership it offers a mix of Balinese and International cuisine that includes a selection of pasta dishes and very good pizzas.
The old place has been completely renovated with a lounge area added that includes free Wi-Fi. It was not so many years ago that this strip of coastline had neither internet access nor hand phone connection as radio-phones were the norm. Shanti has overnight become a meeting place for tourists and locals alike, the interesting snacks and meals a nice bonus.
The Italian intrusion to the menu is quite minimal; Spaghetti, Penne and Tagliatelle with traditional sauces, meat, seafood or vegetarian. They also offer Pizzas with a real crisp base, the first along the coast. The secret I am told is that the Pizzas are prepared the same way as they are ?at home? in Italy rather than trying top emulate the specialist Pizza restaurant process. It is not possible when the amount of product sold is so small. So the pizza making becomes a two-stage process; Seafood, Napolitano [garlic, capers, anchovies and olives] or Tuscan [eggplant, olive, breadcrumbs and basil].
Apart from the essential all-day café items such as Burgers, Sandwiches and Jaffles. Shanti also offers a few interesting entrees or finger food for anytime snacking. Vietnamese Spring Rolls stuff shredded vegetables inside a rice paper wrap, served cold with the Chinese hoisin sauce, or you can have them deep-fried. A Thai-style Shrimp Salad has them tossed with tomato, onion, lemon and fish oil.
A few of the old Indonesian Chinese dishes remain on the menu including the Lemon Fish Soup and that Chinese Sweet and Sour Fish favourite, Ang Shio Hie.
Very popular now is their menu of pure Balinese dishes, some rarely seen in Amed. Soup Ikan Bali is a local fish soup spiced with lemongrass, galangal, ginger and tamarind in coconut milk. Rujak Cingur is a salad of fruit and vegetables including water spinach, red onions and grated coconut that originated in the Balinese banjars of Banyuwangi, East Java, but not the Surabaya version that includes cooked buffalo lips.
Jukut is Balinese soup, Lik-Lik combines green spinach with grated coconut, whilst their version of Jukut Ares [boiled banana stem] is with pork meat and the usual spices.
A favourite Balinese entrée of mine is Tum Ayam [here as a main so enjoy it with rice], a mix of finely sliced chicken meat and Balinese spices of red chillies, lesser galangal, ginger, garlic, shallots and shrimp paste and coconut milk, wrapped in a banana leaf then steamed. Often referred to as Pepes Ayam but the Tum Ayam version is pure Bali. Open up the parcel on top of your rice and enjoy first the aromas and then the taste.
Mie Bakso is a local Shanti concoction combining traditional stir-fried noodles and vegetables with ?bakso?, Indonesia?s name for small meat balls, in this dish the bakso is made from chicken meat. Other chicken dishes include Saffron Chicken, the breast meat marinated in yoghurt, turmeric, cumin, garlic and coriander leaf and Ayam Goreng Lengkuas, fried chicken in a sauce of galangal.
As Shanti is only 100 metres from the fishing boats in the bay of Lipah fresh seafood is a normal daily happening. The catch of the day varies as does the weather but usually mahi-mahi, snapper and tuna are available. Whole fish can be grilled as can the fillets of fish for those who do not like messing with bones. Sambals can be Tuung [made from eggplant] or Balinese. A Tuna Suna Cekuh is fillet of tuna steamed with coconut garlic sauce. Their Nasi Campur also highlights seafood with a fish satay sitting on top of the rice, curried chicken and vegetables surrounding the central mound.
Prawns are the smaller sweet variety and can be Balinese style with Pelalah [chilli and fresh limes] or an unusual dish Palem Udang, the prawns combined with coconut, wrapped in Kale [Chinese Cabbage] and steamed. You eat the small parcels whole, leaf and all.
For those who prefer simple International fare there are options from the BBQ; tenderloin of beef, chicken breast, squid and whole or filleted fish.
I try to visit what we call Amed [Lipah Beach area for me] as often as possible, a weekend there is a complete break from the world at large and all of its problems. I am constantly amazed at each visit as another new warung or small hotel often appears. Fortunately most new projects here are small and individual thus protecting the unique personal character of this area which is so unlike any other coastal strip of Bali.
Shanti provides yet another new option, a place to relax and enjoy!