The sun, the sand, the surf and the culture of paradise. Bali's reputation as a “best-loved international beach destination” is being re-branded by gourmet travellers who've coined a new catchphrase, “Eat, Play, Love.”
There are many cool places to eat, drink and make merry in Bali, making it a foodie paradise. From preservative-free microbrews to pesticide-free produce, pure water, fine seafood and coconut everything, this is the new gourmet getaway.
Articles in Gourmet Traveller magazine highlight this trend. I plan to check out a few of them myself in Kuta and in Ubud, the epicenters of Balinese and international cuisine. On top of the list this week was lunch at Oma Thia's Kitchen, with gay-friendly staff and owner, Cynthia Camelia.
Joining me at the warung (Balinese for small restaurant) for their expert opinion on Indo food were locals Rio and Allan from Gaya Bali Travel. I wanted to try some Balinese dishes to learn to appreciate spicy meals (read: broaden my Western and Australian repertoire.)
The atmosphere is cosy and it is nicely decorated, giving it a fresh, clean look. (The owner is an Interior Designer with a nice flair.)
The secret to the success of Oma Thia's Kitchen, of course, is the spicy ingredients and home-style cooking recipes found in the illustrated cookbook-like table menu. Yummy. Just like your Mum would make.
Oma's is a BYOB establishment, with licensing for beer. (Pity only two choices of beer, and not the great-tasting, preservative-free Storm Beer made locally). They also brag about serving some of the best coffee, tea infusions and fresh squeezed juices on the island! I enjoyed the Mint & Lime juice with my grilled mahi mahi dish, then chased away dessert yearning with a smooth latte made with Balinese coffee.
Allan liked the pumpkin soup with onions, cumin and a pinch of nutmeg. Rio selected and shared Thai Beef Salad with me. Loved the beef strips, coriander and bean sprouts.
After lunch, we drove from Kerobokan-Kuta area to visit some villas in Umalas (Moon Villas) and Canggu (Villa Elanora). International visitors staying at either accommodation are just a 15 min/$5 taxi ride away from this cafe, which I recommend for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Selamat Makan (Bon Appetit).