Bambu, Seminyak, Bali

Before we left for Bali, we had quite a few friends telling us where we ‘absolutely must’ dine.  One name that kept popping up was Bambu and so it was definitely on our list of experiences we must have before we fly back to Sydney.

Bambu from the street

Bambu from the street

Without even trying, we actually stumbled upon Bambu.  On the day we arrived in Seminyak we took a walk along the street that led from our accommodation and by total surprise, we suddenly saw the sign for the restaurant.  We went in and were able to make a booking for 6pm that evening.  Now…I don’t normally dine that early but it does help with the photos!

The entrance

The entrance

Bambu only recently opened and is currently regarded as one of the best restaurants in Seminyak.  Owned and operated by the highly successful team which created La Lucciola, Bambu is beautifully presented Indonesian cuisine with a modern twist.

Bar area

Bar area

From our accommodation, Drew and I were able to walk to Bambu.  We struggled along the dirty, narrow, noisy and hazardous street that was so challenging it left you feeling stressed and exhausted.  Then we arrived at the entrance of Bambu that was fairly unassuming and with a security guard at the entrance.

Traditionally Indonesian but modern

Traditionally Indonesian but with a modern twist

There is a high wall in front of the restaurant that’s bland and nondescript so there is nothing to suggest there is anything different behind that wall to the hot and sweaty and noisy and hazardous environment you are experiencing on the street.

The entrance from the street

The entrance from the street

But walking in to Bambu is such a contrast of worlds it takes your breath away.  Just a few steps inside the restaurant and you are instantly far removed from the environment you have come from.  The Bambu world is an escape that is welcoming, beautiful and serene.

Looking from the entry to the bar

Looking from the entry to the bar

Bambu is an oasis and that’s before you even peek at the menu.  There are many water features and so many under my feet I almost felt I needed to be like Jesus and walk on water.  The open entry is mostly water set with the occasional paver so you need to either be like Peter who plucked up the courage to walk on water or watch your step and look for the pavers.

The dining area is surrounded by water features

The dining area is surrounded by water features

There is a relaxing bar area that is generously proportioned however we didn’t have time for a pre-dinner drink.  The restaurant has a very open feel with few walls, lots of fresh air and no overhead roof.  There are two levels however we were shown to a table on the ground floor that appeared to be on a floating island in the middle of the restaurant.

Plenty of attentive staff

Plenty of attentive staff

All around us was a perimeter of water about a meter wide that was lit up by candles as the night descended.  The waiters were full of smiles and dressed in traditional Indonesian dress.  There are many of them so there is certainly no lacking of service.

The waiters are traditionally dressed

The waiters are traditionally dressed

The menu features all the cuisines of the different regions of Indonesia.  To start with we had house made ‘rempeyek’ crackers with tumeric and lime leaf.  These were like a pappadum but lighter and aromatic with a very fragrant aroma of lime leaf.

Bar

Rempeyek crackers

For an entree I ordered the Ayam Baker Kecap Manis from Java which was coriander marinated char grilled chicken that was cooked on stalks of lemongrass.  The chicken had that charred flavour while also being very succulent and soft.  The lemongrass flavour came through on the chicken and the kecap manis sauce gave a lovely sweetness.  The presentation was also gorgeous.

Coriander marinated char-grilled chicken on lemongrass skewers: About $9.50

Coriander marinated char-grilled chicken on lemongrass skewers: About $9.50

Drew ordered the Kepiting Soka from the region of Sulawesi.  It was crispy soft shell crab, jicama and rose apple salad with sweet chilli sauce.  I thought the presentation of this dish was outstanding and Drew said it was ‘bloody beautiful’.  Nothing more needs to be said!

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Soft shell crab:  About $11.50

For a main I ordered the Bebek Betutu from the region of Bali that was slow-roasted duck with galangal and lemongrass, toasted coconut and a green bean salad.  At first I was disappointed that the duck wasn’t more recognisable as I was expecting something like a duck leg on the bone, however, I couldn’t fault the wonderful and aromatic flavours of this dish and the meat was meltingly soft.

Slow roasted duck: About $14.50

Slow roasted duck: About $14.50

Drew ordered the Ikan Masak Di Buluh from the region of Sulawesi that was coral trout baked in bamboo, sour star fruit, chilli, tomato and lemon basil leaves.  There was a bit of theatre when this dish arrived as it was all done up like a parcel and needed to be popped out from the bamboo it had been cooked in.  It was then unwrapped and Drew found the fish had been intensively flavoured by the fruit, spices and herbs it had been cooked in.  The fish was meltingly tender and soft.

A beautifully wrapped parcel

A beautifully wrapped parcel

Sliding out from the bamboo

Sliding out from the bamboo

Coral trout baked in bamboo: About $14.50

Coral trout baked in bamboo: About $14.50

For dessert I ordered their very famous Dadar Gulung from the region of East Kalimantan that was pandan crepes with shredded coconut and palm sugar and a scoop of toasted coconut ice cream.  This was a beautiful way to finish the meal.  The crepes were a stunning colour and the pandan and coconut flavours are a match made in heaven.  The toasted coconut ice cream is made on the premises.

Pandan crepes with toasted coconut ice cream: About $5.00

Pandan crepes with toasted coconut ice cream: About $5.00

Drew ordered the Terang Bulan from the region of Sulawesi that was street-style pancakes with dark java chocolate, roast nuts, toraja coffee and ginger ice cream.  The pancakes were served in a rolled-up style and were very light and moist with beautifully dark chocolate flavours.  The ginger ice cream was a beautiful compliment and worked beautifully with the chocolate.

Street style pancakes: About $5.00

Street style pancakes: About $5.00

Bambu is a pristine and soothing oasis amongst the congestion and bustle of the streets of Seminyak.  The architectural design of the restaurant is stunning and the abundant water features, calming and relaxing.  The staff are attentive, friendly and competent, and with their engaging smiles, clearly wish to give you a wonderful dining experience.  The menu proudly features the flavours of all the regions of Indonesia and this is a cuisine with many highlights.  This is a high-end dining experience yet the prices are incredibly reasonable.  It was difficult to find fault with Bambu and our only regret was that we didn’t have time for a second visit.

Spicy sauces

Spicy sauces

Verdict:  Get yourself to Bambu

A beautiful setting

A beautiful setting

Bambu:  Jln Petitenget No 198, Seminyak
+62 361 8469797

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Comments

  1. What a gorgeous restaurant. I’m not familiar with Indonesian cuisine, though I HAVE heard of pandan, but all the food seems very special.

  2. What a haven!!! It is absolutely beautiful and such an oasis from the mayhem and dust and heat of outside. What a great find. 🙂

  3. Ba but looks fabulous. We went to La Lucciola, which I loved. In fact we went a couple of times. If I ever go back, I hope I do, I’ll definitely be going to Bambu. GG

  4. What a wonderful dining experience. I noticed the foods of the region of Sulawesi is Drew’s favorite all 3 of his dishes he ordered came from that region.

  5. Would love to partake as the kitchen seems to have gone to some trouble to present an overview of fairly accurate regional Indonesian cuisine which, I am certain, is not par for the course in most restaurants in Bali. Not only a meal to remember but a learning experience! Hmm, presuming alcohol was available: am smiling a little wondering how many people would err into the water on leaving 🙂 !

    • Yes, alcohol is available. I did ask if anyone had fallen in and so far, it’s only been a waiter. The water is actually about 1.5mtrs deep so you could do laps in it if you wanted! Of course you’d never get away with a water feature like that in Oz – OH&S would have convulsions!

      • No way would OHS/WHS allow this. In a way can understand because huge insurance claims seem to be made at the drop of a hat here. Still thrilled you were able to order food from Borneo, Sulawesi and Bali at the one meal. But wonder whether you saw the interview at Sydney Airport a day or so back when passengers to Bali held up by the volcanic eruption in Sumatra with the ash cloud moving > Denpasar were approached for comments. Reporter to lady passenger: ‘Are you at all worried about the volcanic activity?’ Lady, looking puzzled: ‘Oh no! Why should I? The volcano is erupting is in Indonesia: I am flying to Bali!’ . . . when I went to school we did learn geography 😀 !!

        • Hilarious, Eha. Missed that interview. So Bali is a separate country to Indonesia and in no way is affected by volcanic activity. That’s good to know!

  6. What a lovely dinner Charlie. I’m getting on a plane just so I can visit this restaurant.

  7. Oh, what a lovely place – just love the look of it and the food – that Coral trout baked in bamboo looks fabulous.

  8. Haha you know you’re a food blogger when early dinners are always considered because of the photos! And how fortuitous that you bumped into this restaurant without even looking for it. Always a sign!

  9. I’m thrilled that you loved everything. It’s about time you had a spectacular meal. That would be early to eat but you did well with the photos. Bambu is beautiful!

  10. Bambu is lovely. I dined here on my last trip to Bali and we loved how each area of Bali was represented.

  11. Oh wow. What a wonderful evening out in Bali!
    Have a beautiful week ahead Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  12. wow that looks amazing and all the more so after your walk there – I really love the sound of the pandan crepes and toasted coconut ice cream

  13. What a beautiful setting and beautifully presented meals! I’m glad you managed to visit (and the light conditions are nicely reflected in your photos 🙂 ). The rempeyek crackers are particularly intriguing and sound delicious.

    Thanks, too, for your sympathetic comments regarding our heat! I have had lots of people telling me I should be used to it, being Australian, so I appreciated your understanding of UK heat having its own unique challenges (lack of air conditioning and summer-designed buildings among them)!

  14. This looks so good that it gives me shivers…Bambu is beautiful…but the way you write Charlie, it makes everything come alive. Love it.

  15. What a breathtaking place to spend an evening! And what awesome dishes….so beautifully presented.

  16. I love when friends tell me the best spots to dine! You certainly weren’t led astray! It looks like an amazing restaurant.

  17. Looks amazing, Charlie … another restaurant for you to try that’s quite well known is Poppies. It’s in Kuta and perfect for a light lunch if you’re out shopping … enjoy! x

  18. Very nice photos for a spectacular journey. I hope I can visit Bali and now I know where to go :).

  19. What beautiful decor–such a soothing atmosphere. The water really adds to that peaceful environment. The prices are quite reasonable, as well. Bali appears to be a very special place with so much charm!

  20. Bambu appears to be all one could want in a restaurant. The food looks mouth watering.

Trackbacks

  1. […] and as the name suggests, serves Italian cuisine.  The people who own La Lucciola recently opened Bambu, our favourite restaurant while in Bali.  La Lucciola is a popular restaurant and you definitely […]

  2. […] Bambu Restaurant in Seminyak in Bali.  And well deserved too; this restaurant with tables set within pools of water not only has an enviable setting but outstanding service and an excellent menu of Indonesian cuisine. […]

  3. […] have your first dinner at Bambu a non smoking restaurant with a true Balinese menu. (Romantic and […]

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