Saturday, October 22, 2011

Seafood @ Bali 21 Cafe, Jimbaran Bali

 What's a trip to Bali without a seafood dinner at sunset? We decided to wind down at Jimbaran for some seafood and beer after a sweaty trek around Uluwatu.

 Ah, the legendary highway-robbery seafood by the beach! 

We had planned to visit Lia's Cafe (generally known as the best place along the beach in terms of price and food) but due to lack of proper directions and maps we couldn't find the place. And the agent had conveniently booked a table for us at Bali 21 Cafe. Thinking it was yet another tourist trap, naturally we were a little pissed off, but after looking at the view, the table, and the pricing we were pretty sold!

 Well you have to admit, the view was pretty sweet :)

Now the seafood itself was quite uninspiring and it's not cheap either - again it's Singapore pricing or maybe even slightly more expensive. Every type of seafood has a published price per kg, pick what and how much you want (most are frozen - fresh ones are EXPENSIVE), and how you want it cooked. Usually comes with free flow rice, veg and soft drinks as well.

Some places may offer sets at a predetermined price, but try not to order anything with lobster because it's insanely pricy (~$40-50 per kg?) and you end up paying for crayfish and not lobster.

{ Garlic Butter Squid 400g (110,000 rp / $15 per kg) }
 Garlic butter squid was gooooooood, but no thanks to the squid. I mean, anything doused in garlic butter would be awesome.

 The squid was cooked nicely too, not too rubbery nor slimy. We couldn't resist adding more lashings of garlic from the 'standard' pot of condiments. Good stuff!

{ Balinese BBQ Mussels 500g (70,000 rp / $9.80 per kg) }
 Balinese BBQ is kinda strange - it looks and tastes almost like bland tomato puree. These weren't all that great but hey at least the mussels here are bigger than those at Brussel Sprouts.

 Not very impressed by these. The 'Balinese' sauce looks spicy, but actually isn't!

{ Balinese BBQ Fish 600g (160,000 rp / $22 per kg}
 Fish looks pretty impressive! And it wasn't inundated in that wet strange sauce they call Balinese BBQ. Unfortunately it looks better than it tastes, relatively bland, poorly scaled, and the bad thing is that you need to eat it fast before it cools down and the meat and skin becomes chewy. But how can you eat it fast when you're watching the sunset and the epic corn seller below??!?!!

 I quite enjoyed the fish, but only with the added condiments of chilli and garlic. 

 I think the best tip I can give anyone is to sit down, place your order, have your beer, but ask them to serve the food only after sunset. That way your BBQ stuff won't cool down while you're busy taking photos and watching the sea. Oh well! While the food was clearly nothing great, the experience was well worth it.

 Most importantly, if you are picking your own seafood - then you should know what you are paying for. I think a lot of people don't fully realize how much little bits of everything add up, so go easy at the start. It is easy to be full on not a lot of seafood if you are eating with rice and veg. So you can always top up your seafood order if necessary. Sure you're on holiday and you should enjoy the spread, but do it wisely so your enjoyment of Jimbaran isn't affected by the bill :)

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