Before we left for Bali a couple of friends gave me a list of restaurants we should really try to get to while staying in Seminyak.
On our first day in Seminyak we went for a walk along the narrow, treacherous and busy street with virtually no footpath that led from our accommodation. After about an hour I found it was just too challenging to get around on foot so we crossed the road and started heading back to Peppers.
As we did, we walked past Sarong, one of the restaurants on the list. It was around lunchtime and although not open for lunch service, we could see there were staff on the premises. We decided to walk in to see if we could book a table for dinner that night.
The entrance is beautiful with big, carved wooden doors on either side of the entrance with a wide opening that leads to tropical gardens and a pathway surrounded by ponds and water features. We went inside the restaurant that is large but as it’s divided into pavilions, it’s not a cavernous space. The dining experience remains intimate with beautiful furniture, low lights and high ceilings giving a feeling of space.
We walked up to the bar and asked if we could make a reservation. As it was a very hot day and as we had been walking around for quite a while we were pretty hot and sticky. The staff asked if we would like to sit down. They led us to a table and produced the menu and while we were looking at the incredible selection, they brought over two bottles of sparkling water, complimentary. So nice of them!
We asked if we could make a reservation for that evening however, the restaurant was fully booked as it was for every night we would be in Seminyak, apart from our final evening where we would have to rush through a meal then head to the airport. As that was our only option, we decided to book a table for our last night in Bali.
Sarong opened in 2008 and is one of the most sought after Asian cuisine restaurants in Bali. The founding chef, Will Meyrick, whose career has taken him from London to Sydney and onto Asia, used to work at Sydney’s very successful Longrain. In starting Sarong, he has created a menu based on inspiration he found from street-food vendors around Asia.
We arrived at around 6pm and the restaurant wasn’t yet busy. You can sit outside although those tables are quite close to the street which is chaotic and noisy. We asked for a table towards the back of the restaurant where you can leave what’s going on in the street behind you.
The interior throughout the restaurant is opulent. Parts of it appear more like a lounge room than a dining room with upholstered chairs beside coffee tables and lots of lamps, curtains, candles and indoor plants. It had a feel of dining in someone’s home rather than being in a restaurant.
We were shown to a table in the rear pavilion that opens onto a garden with a water feature. It was a very calm and serene setting that would have been a great place to relax and unwind and forget about the time on the clock if we weren’t so conscious of needing to get to the airport.
The service we received was impeccable with quiet and softly-spoken staff being extremely attentive and forever smiling. The Balinese people are extremely gracious and their standards of service are incredibly high.
The food sourced by the restaurant comes from eco-friendly farmers who grow organic produce. The restaurant believes in supporting rural communities who maintain and develop sustainable farming practices. We were handed the standard menu however if you have specific dietary needs like being gluten intolerant or vegetarian, they can give you a menu specific to your dietary needs.
Complimentary cracker bread was brought to our table with a yoghurt-based green dipping sauce. The bread was light and crispy and the dip very refreshing. This was a lovely way to start our meal as we sipped a glass of wine.
We shared an entree of Signature crispy pork belly with Sichuan chilli salt tamarillo and tamarind sauce. I just love tamarillo but had never before had it paired with pork belly. This was a beautifully presented outstanding dish with the sour and tangy taste of the tamarillo cutting through the richness of the pork.
For a main, Drew ordered the Tandoori squid stuffed with paneer cheese cashew nut potato cauliflower marinated in a jwani seed kasoori methi and yoghurt. Drew couldn’t stop raving about this stuffed squid dish. He said the squid was extremely tender and the flavours amazing.
I ordered the crispy chicken tangkap with green chilli curry leaf which is a Malay dish. The chicken was very crispy although I did find the curry leaves a little difficult to chew. There was a rich and dark and sticky sauce on the chicken that was divine and I did love the heat from the chillies.
Unfortunately we had to end our dining experience there as we rushed to the plane but definitely Sarong left us wanting more. The entire menu fits onto a single page however there are so many tempting and amazing options I would love to have visited Sarong again. If only we could have stayed another couple of nights!
Sarong was a highlight of our Bali experience. The restaurant isn’t open for lunch, it allows children over the age of 12, and you definitely need to book.
Sarong: Jl. Petitenget No, 19 x, Kerobokan, Bali 80361, Indonesia