On our last night in Jimbaran Bay the five of us went out to Kayaputi, one of the restaurants at the St. Regis in Nusa Dua. Though we were concerned about our attire, as all of our clothes were a little on the construction site-chic side of things, but we managed to put together five suitable outfits from all of our luggage. We arrived at the lovely lobby of the hotel and were surprised to be taken through the puzzle of pathways to the restaurant in a little golf cart! The entryway of the restaurant feels a little like walking up to a beach house at night, it’s very dark all around but the door is glowing with light. The interior is pretty, but a little bit mismatched. Big white exposed beams that have a very cool feel, but also some tourist-geared Indonesian decorations (shadow puppets… which I find awfully creepy.) As we were one of just two groups in the restaurant we got to chose pretty much any table we wanted, and we chose a nice little table near a big window, which may or may not have had an ocean view, too dark to tell. After much thought and discussion we ordered:

Tuna tartare with Tabasco sherbet, Pumpkin with roasted fennel and a poached egg, Prawns with shiitake risotto, ravioli with spinach, ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts, tomato and crab rolls, and the “hot experience” which consisted of half a lobster, squid satay, shrimp tempura, and butter fish.

DSC03293But first we got some awesome bread, which had been made by baking balls of dough in a long skinny pan so it became kind of an easily pulled apart roll-log. Warm little whole wheat rolls essentially, served with what they said was white truffle butter but I thought it tasted of curry, alongside saffron olive oil and a spicy apple chutney. They were all good, but the butter won best/most interesting taste and the chutney best texture.

Next we got an amuse bouche of a little prawn tempura, skewered and balanced over a little glass of creamy sweet chili sauce. Good, nothing to get too excited about though.

Note: I’m trying two new things in this post. Nicole asked me what I wrote in the blog is something wasn’t stellar, and I said I usually just wrote that it was alright. But after pondering it a little, I think being a little more…harsh (?) might be more interesting. Either way, this is the test run. Second change; as there were hardly any people in the restaurant I felt like less of a food dweeb taking pictures, and again, with Nicole’s suggestion, decided to try flash. It does make the pictures taken in a dark-ish restaurant clearer, and the colors brighter, but I just feel like it makes the food look funny. Again, test run.

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Back to the meal. Post-amuse bouche, the pumpkin, ordered by the vegetarian representative  in the group, Chelsie, was really good, or so I’m told. So good Chelsie cleaned the plate with bits of the yummy bead, so I think pretty delicious. Speaking of vegetarian, with the five of us put together we had nearly every food issue in existence. Two lactose intolerants, one peanut allergy, one full-on vegetarian, and one non-pork and beef person. But we managed to work it out. and ordered dishes to share at almost every meal, which I think makes going to restaurants far more fun. You get to taste more, plus there’s less room for order envy.

DSC03305Which I was struck with horribly when I tasted Nicole’s shiitake risotto. Again, the shrimp were nothing spectacular, but the rice was superb. Not cheesy like some risottos, and made with black rice (I think.) It oddly reminded me of the black sticky rice pudding I learned to make in a Thai cooking class in Seattle a couple months ago. Not sweet at all though. Just that same decadent texture. I stopped feeling so jealous when the tuna tartare arrived though. It wasn’t drastically different than any tuna tartare I’ve had before, but I always love it. And the Tabasco sherbet added a little originality. It was more like sorbet and melted almost immediately, especially after we tried to divide it between three equally, but it gave the dish some spice and also a nice bit of cold.

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I didn’t try the ravioli, it was for the vegetarian amongst us, but again, very good reports. The crab was interesting, rolled in really thinly sliced tomatoes. Not super flavorful, but I liked the tomato/crab combo and it was a very nifty little idea. Then our “hot experience” arrived. Jackie Bari and I nearly got both the cold and hot experiences to share, but we realized that we actually weren’t very interested in any of the things in the cold one, we just liked how ordering a “full experience” sounded. I believe Nicole said something along the lines of “Get off the experiences!” And thankfully we listened, because the hot experience didn’t really deliver.

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Basically a big pile of seafood, which was all prepared nicely, but none of it was very interesting or nearly as satisfying as the more artfully prepared smaller plates. We began the pile with the squid satays, which were good, but very plain. Grilled squid on a stick. The shrimp tempura tasted exactly like the amuse bouche tempura– truly much like all the other tempura I’ve had in my life, and only a couple steps above tempura from Hoka Hoka Bento, the (Indonesian) Japanese version of McDonalds. And the lobster was good. Lobster-ish. And the butter fish was, um, odd. At first it tasted like a regular soft white fish, but then had a funny little flavor after a few bites. Decent.

But then, then came dessert. Which fully made up for the lack-luster “hot experience.” The menu organized desserts into flavors, for example, if you ordered the “mint” dessert deal, you’d get (I’m making this up because I can’t really remember) a mint macaron, a little scoop of chocolate mint ice cream, and a couple other weird mint-involved desserts. But none of the flavor desserts fully appealed to any of us, to we just went with ordering ice cream.DSC03319 Bari got a scoop of mango with salted white chocolate and a scoop of coconut, Jackie got coffee and caramelized macadamia nut tangerine, Chelsie just got dark chocolate, and I got blueberry violette and strawberry mascarpone. And I must say, I won out on the dessert ordering. Unanimously agreed that I was the order winner in the final course. All of our ice creams came in little chocolate boxes that had chocolate jelly (?) bottoms. None of us could really figure out what the thing on the bottom was, too sturdy to be mousse, but not exactly chocolate… Jello? It was a little weird and most of us just avoided it, but the chocolate box was yummy. And again, my ice cream was heaven. I like when my two ice cream flavors melt together nicely, so the final bites aren’t an odd mix of strawberry and coffee or something. The strawberry mascarpone one tasted like hand-picked fresh strawberry and clouds of love and the  blueberry violette one tasted like really super yummy creamy blueberry jam made by baby angels. We left happy and hopped into our golf cart smiling, a fun final night for the five of us.

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