Prior to leaving for Bali, we had friends give a list of restaurants where we absolutely must dine while in Bali. It turned out to be a case of too many restaurants and not enough time. And towards the end of the five days we spent in Seminyak, we were worn out from racing around and trying to get to everything and so we sat down and thought about what we really wanted to do.
Drew really wanted to sit at a restaurant where he could enjoy the sunset and I wanted to go somewhere close by so we decided to take a walk along the beach and pray we’d stumble upon a really good restaurant. That sort of pot-luck method can be risky business.
There are a lot of 5-star hotels and resorts that are right on the beach at Seminyak. One of them is The Samaya Seminyak and the bar and restaurant couldn’t be closer to the sand. There is an uninterrupted view of the ocean and of course, if you time it well (which we didn’t), you will be sipping your cocktail as the sun is sitting; (missed it by five minutes!)
The Samaya Seminyak is a resort with around 30 beachfront villas where each comes with its own lap pool, and another 20 or so villas are across the road in a village setting.
The resort’s restaurant is Breeze and it couldn’t be more perfectly located. Each table is well distanced from other diners and all have a front row position in front of the sand.
The lighting is gorgeous with the trunks of the palm trees twirling in lights and overhead, there are suspended balls of light that sway in the breeze and look like moons. The setting is really magical as you sit and enjoy the range of colours that appear in the sky as the day turns to night.
We were shown to a table that was perched on timber decking that led to the sand. The table was covered in white linen and there was a soft glow coming from the candle. It was so much like paradise we started the evening with a glass of champagne and just sat, listening to the ambient music and watched the ocean and people walking along the beach.
We were handed the menu and this is where I started to get a wee bit nervous because the menu was several pages long and it has been my experience that the more dishes a restaurant has on its list, the more average the food.
The menu has a bit of everything on the menu including Asian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Indian and Mexican and that is another thing that makes me nervous as it’s often better to get one thing right rather than try to be a dab hand at everything.
For an entree I ordered the duck, tofu, mushroom and vegetable spring rolls that came with a sweet and sour sauce. Unfortunately these were disappointing as the spring roll wrapper was very thick and chewy and the filling inside rather tasteless.
Drew ordered the tempura zucchini flowers with a herbed goat cheese filling and romesco sauce. It was a generous serve of zucchini flowers however the tempura batter was soft rather than crispy and overall, Drew said the dish was just okay.
For the main course we both ordered from the Asian menu. Drew ordered the baked tropical snapper fillet in banana leaves with Balinese spices, seaweed salad, steamed rice and a seafood vegetable soup. The dish had very pretty presentation and Drew loved unwrapping his banana leaf parcels and said the dish was ‘bloody marvellous’.
I ordered a meat dish however when it arrived the waitress told me it had been cooked in a sauce and I’m allergic to that sauce. The dish had to go back to the kitchen and I was given the menu to order something else. By this time Drew had just about finished his ‘bloody marvellous’ dish so I decided to choose something that could emerge from the kitchen quickly. I chose the charcuterie plate of bresaola, gammon ham, chicken liver pate, olives, gherkin, onions & pickles, marinated feta and sourdough bread.
Call me fussy but I didn’t like the presentation and with everything divided into compartments it reminded me a plate of appetisers from a 1970’s dinner party. The bresaola was lovely, the ham and the pate were ordinary and the olives etc all tasted like they’d come from a jar you’d find on a supermarket shelf. I didn’t think the bread was actually sourdough so this platter was disappointing.
There is no denying the setting at Breeze is outstanding; it would be a challenge to find a position more like paradise. The staff at Breeze are extremely dedicated and go above and beyond to ensure your dining experience is as good as it can be. However, the food needs to match the standard set by the environment and the staff, and I believe on this occasion, the setting and the staff far outdid the cuisine.