Whilst I have always loved fine dining, my pockets have rarely been long enough to enjoy it on other than special occasions. As someone who has ?eaten out? virtually every evening of my adult life, my treasure trove has always consisted of secret places that have become my favourite ?Cheap Eats?. They exist everywhere in the world, even in some of the most surprising places.
Where the food is consistently good. The service is always friendly and efficient. And, most importantly, with prices that make regular attendance painless on your finances. With frequent visits these places actually begin to ?feel like home?.
Now I have a new place to add to my Bali list!
Sometimes you can tell as soon as you sit down. You feel the vibes, so to speak. Your first look at the menu [if you haven?t already cheated by previously checking it out as I usually do] either confirms your inner feelings, or douses them with cold water. The final test is when the food arrives. Usually it?s presentation alone is enough to tell the story!
Nouveau is very small. Maybe eight tables at best. The menu is also very small, but it works. I hate those ten page menus, covering every ?cuisine? ever invented, that still leave you struggling to select anything that is even half appetizing. The menu at Nouveau only gives you a choice of 6 entrees, 7 mains and 5 desserts, but I had trouble making my selections each time I visited, as most appealed. So, I had to return again, and again, to work my way through the menu!
For soup, you have a choice of two. Borscht is that traditional Russian beetroot soup [also with potatoes, carrots, cabbage and shallots in a hearty beef stock], or the French Vichyssoise, a leek and potato soup that you can have either hot or cold. By the way, the soups are only Rp.10,000 each, so have them both!
Chicken Livers! There must be millions in Bali, but how often do you see them on the menu? These are big plump ones, perfectly cleaned, that have been cooked in white wine with garlic and herbs. They are served on a spread of pureed spinach, with good rye bread on the side to mop everything up! Forget about your cholesterol levels, and enjoy!
The Pate of Smoked Salmon has been blended with fresh cream and the juice of limes and is also served with slabs of fresh rye bread. The Prawn Cocktail comes with brown bread, fresh prawns on a bed of shredded lettuce with cocktail sauce. Sun-dried Tomatoes that have been soaked in olive oil are served with soft cheese, bread and salad.
The mains are all varied and interesting. Well, for me anyway!
Fish au Gratin is a fillet that has been simmered in white wine, and is served with a cheese sauce and creamed potatoes. A wonderful Coq au Vin, chicken cooked with mushrooms, shallots and leeks in a red wine sauce with thyme and parsley. This is served with sautéed potatoes and a side salad.
Beef Bourguignon is rump steak cubes that have been casseroled with bacon, green peppers, onions shallots and mushrooms, in a mixture of red wine and olive oil. It comes with your choice of potatoes, creamed or boiled. An unusual Chilli con Carne consists of minced beef, onions and tomatoes that have been simmered with chilli powder, cumin and garlic. You may elect to have it with either steamed rice or potatoes.
Normandy Meat Balls are small balls of minced pork, onions, apple, garlic, herbs and Parmesan cheese in a red pepper sauce. A very tasty dish, but next time I will order a serve of rye bread so I can finish off the rich sauce. For Vegetarians, a Ratatouille, fried zucchini, aubergines [eggplant] and green peppers, simmered in olive oil, then served with either rice or potatoes and bread. If you are only a ?snacker?, then there is a selection of Stuffed Baguettes. Select from strips of Sirloin Steak, Seared Tuna, Bacon or Cheese.
Desserts are simple, but good. Profiteroles, those delightful tubular light choux pastry rolls, are stuffed with fresh cream and covered with a rich chocolate sauce. The Cheese Cake is mango and passion fruit. Crème Caramel or Fresh Fruit complete the offerings.
At the rear of the restaurant is an air-conditioned wine cellar. A good selection of wines from Australia, France, Chile and others, are available at very reasonable prices. Imported wines, some at less than Rp.100,000 per bottle, now that is something very different for Bali!
The wine prices, in the restaurant, also reflect this. They have a small, but interesting, selection of bottled wines. With wine by the glass for only Rp.12,500!
These prices are crazy! I am hardly complaining, but personally speaking I would be happy to pay a little more and see Nouveau last the distance! Bali can never have too many good value places like this!
The service at Nouveau is a revelation. All the staff are young and exuberant, mostly enjoying the excitement of their first jobs, being just out of college. Their obvious enthusiasm only adds to the evening?s enjoyment. No boring, grumpy, over-bearing waiters here!
Nouveau is very new, and obviously still experiencing some growing pains. Initially only open for dinner, by now it should be open for breakfast, lunch and in-between snacks, as well. Dinner is so enjoyable here, that you are already planning what you will order, next time!
A great newcomer for Sanur!