COCONUTS HOT SPOT — La Brasserie, a new chic, French-fusion cafe has opened its bright, white doors on the road leading right to Jimbaran Beach.
On a stretch of the road where cafes are few and far between, you can’t miss the whitewashed antique-mod look of La Brasserie.
You can hardly recognize the space, which was previously one of our favorite (but often empty) hidden gems, Saigon in Jimbaran. Working with a tight area on the side of the little road, a couple of walls seem to have been knocked down to open things up, while sliding doors opening out to the road have given the resto a less claustrophobic feel than its predecessor. Twinkle lights, outdoor wicker furniture, and white stone walls give the place an elegant and island chic vibe.
A street view of La Brasserie. Photo: Juminten Jones/Coconuts Bali
La Brasserie is brought to you by the same people behind Melting Wok, the little sensation featuring–of course–dishes cooked in a wok, tucked away
on Ubud’s Jl. Gootama.
As with Melting Wok, two of the must-try items on the menu are the curry and the desserts. But we’ll get to that.
La Brasserie’s menu features a sampling of tartine, steaks, and classic Indonesian plates like mie goreng and nasi goreng. After sampling it ourselves, we can recommend the fresh and creamy salmon tartine, an open-faced sandwich topped with smoked salmon, mozzarella, feta cheese, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and ground pepper (IDR85k; US$6.30).
The salmon tartine. Photo: Juminten Jones/Coconuts Bali
In categories of their own are the confit duck (IDR150k; US$11) and the naan Indian bread (IDR35k; US$2.60).
Notably, La Brasserie features a changing daily special made with the available fresh ingredients. On the day we dined, it was a tempting filet of mahi-mahi topped with Balinese sambal.
But being suckers for curry and of course because of the Melting Wok connection, we couldn’t leave without getting the curry in the end. You can choose from classic or “curry coco”, rice or noodles, and pick your protein out of the following lineup: chicken, pork, beef, tuna, tofu or tempe. (No matter which combination you end up with, it’s IDR54k.)
The curry coco on noodles with pork. Photo: Juminten Jones/Coconuts Bali
After trying both curries on noodles and rice, we can nudge you in the direction of the curry coco, for a creamier, richer flavor. Also note that if you get it with noodles, your curry’s coming in a bowl and it’s going to be more of a soup, but if you take it with rice, the curry’s more of a sauce on top to be mixed in.
Don’t leave without checking out the dessert list—because there’s always room, amirite?
Mocha creme. Photo: Juminten Jones/Coconuts Bali The creme caramel. Photo: Juminten Jones/Coconuts Bali
While the fruit plate and variations of crepes were close calls, we went with the pudding-textured choices: the coco creme caramel and mocha creme.
We left happy with our selection; both were creamy yet light and not overly sweet (read not full of artificial flavors which can be a common problem with caramel in Bali).
We’d be remiss not to mention the drink list, which is about the same same as the restaurant’s food menu. Named La Brasserie (French for the brewery), you would expect no less. All the usual suspects like Bintang and Bali Hai are on the list, but keep reading down, pass wine options (your standard Plaga and Two Islands), for the spirits, liquer, and cocktails, where things get more interesting. You’ll see names like Bombay Sapphire, Jose Cuervo, and Bailey’s, which are not novelties by any means, but have not always been the easiest to find in Jimbaran outside of pricey hotel bars, up til now.
Coconuts Hot Spots are notable new restaurants or undiscovered gems around Bali that we think are worth a visit.
Jl. Bukit Permai no. 8
081239500044; WA 082153666087
10am-10pm (closed on Wednesday)