Proper food at Turtle Point.
After a few days into our island holidays we switched over to Gili Meno, the smaller and more quiet sister of Trawangan. Our resort there, the Mahamaya, was a beautiful and small boutique hotel with a wonderful reef for snorkelling just in front.
In the evening they did setup tables at the beach for people to have some food in a nice setting without booking these weird staged romantic dinners you’ll often get in places like this and today they had fresh grilled fish as a special. Our exceptionally friendly and helpful waiter for the evening helped us choosing the right fish, which turned out to be a humongous red snapper. It was delicious and finally some proper local style food. The bbq fish was very meaty and juicy and was covered with a flavourful mix of garlic, cilantro and fragrant fruity and mildly spicy chilli. I just wished the heat would have kicked in a bit stronger.
Fresh seafood straight off the boat, stunning surroundings and outstanding service from all staff made this a great start into the second half of our holidays. I miss this place, terima kasih.
Mahamaya Boutique Resort
West Nusa Tenggara
West Gili Meno – Lombok
Tel: +62 888 7155 828
Waroeng Bule boleh!
Just behind the beach strip and semi-attached to our hotel was a small shop called ‘Waroeng Bule’, which despite its’ rather strange name turned out to be a fairly nice and cheap lunch option during our stay. Obviously the food here was also tuned to suit the mainstream tourist’s taste but brought out some delicious options nevertheless.
We had the the ‘Coconut Crumbed Chicken‘ which was absolutely amazing. Covered by a crunchy but not too special tasting apple salad, the chicken breast was still juicy and coated with a comparably light and well drained coconut curry crust that was crunchy and crispy and made this a super satisfying dish. I’m just a fool for everything coconut.
A simple place but with good food to reasonable prices and so close it was our most frequented place for beach day lunching. They also screened two movies each night at the beach here for just a few bucks and people were hanging out on the lying chairs enjoying the breeze and cold beers. Well done but maybe think about a different name.
Hotel Villa Ombak
Kabupaten Lombok Utara 83355
Gili Trawangan, Lombok
Finally some heat.
After a couple of days on Trawangan we figured it’s quite tough to get real Indonesian food down here – maybe apart from the nightmarket – and therefore didn’t feel guilty going for some Italian tonight. I found the chain of ‘Trattoria Cucina Italiana’ on the internet and as it was also ridiculously close to our hotel and we were exhausted from all that sunbathing we came here for dinner.
I generally prefer a thin crust but this ‘Diavola’ was a tad too thin for me, still good but I missed a little bit of dough to chew one since this crust just crumbled away on me. The sugo-cheese-ratio was as usual leaning towards the cheesy side but the taste wasn’t bad at all and to my great joy this thing was sweat-on-forehead spicy. Funny only I had to go to an Italian restaurant for that.
Trattoria Cucina Italiana
West Nusa Tenggara 83000
Gili Trawangan, Lombok
Tel: +62 8190 798 2995
First lunch in paradise.
This year’s holidays brought us to beautiful Gili and our first stop was Trawangan Island. Down the beach from our hotel was ‘The Pearl Beach Lounge’ which we decided to have lunch today.
My main was the ‘Stir Fried Chicken in Bamboo‘ which was covered in a thick glaze sauce, a bit sweetish but delicious as well crunchy from the cashew nuts, the quinoa aside together with the customized cinnamony mango chutney made great condiments.
For starters I had a chilled ‘Garlic Cucumber Soup‘ which was tasty and super refreshing, perfect for a hot day like this but also quite sharp from the huge amounts of raw garlic which gave me severe dragon breath and made my stomach growl for a little while after.
Fantastically tasty and salty were also their ‘Waterspinach Feta Cheese Rolls‘ that reminded me of greek spanakopita and worked pretty well together with the grilled pepper dip that gave it a fruity contrast.
This is a very nice place, stylish, extremely friendly staff, delicious food and all at a prime location right on the water, if only just the dishes weren’t so damn westernized. There wasn’t a hint of chili or spiciness to be found even after asking for several different sambal which was a big disappointment knowing how great Indonesian sambal can be . However one of the better places to be eaten at when being on Trawangan.
The Pearl Beach Lounge
Jalan Gili Trawangan
West Nusa Tenggara 83355
Gili Trawangan Island – Lombok
Tel: +62 812 3812 999
Raw fish from around the corner.
The night before our holidays we wanted to have some quick Japanese without too much traveling involved so we went ‘Rakuichi’ at the Oasia Hotel in Novena.
The ‘Akami Tuna‘ looked flawless and had a beautiful clean taste, unfortunately was also a lil streaky at bits. The ‘Ebi Sushi‘ also was close to perfect, fresh and with an outstanding snappy texture. Snappy is also the right word for the ‘Assorted Pickles‘ we had which were a brilliant combination of radish, gherkins, cucumber etc. with only one weirdly tasting purple something that I didn’t find too appealing.
We also had their ‘Agedashi Tofu‘ which was kind of boring compared to others that I had and a big slice of ‘Wagyu‘ that had a nice nutty flavour but was nearly too buttery to eat too much of and sadly quite chewy as well. Last but not least we had one of their special spicy makis with prawn that I forgot the name of. The taste wasn’t bad but completely different to any other maki I had before as it was rolled in chilli flakes and topped with a lot of thinly sliced and flame touched sharpish onions. Not bad, not bad at all.
I like how the place is setup, clean, stylish and minimalistic, they put a lot of effort into their presentation, the service was good and the food was too but for the higher price tag I was just expecting a little more “wow” for our dinner so ‘Rakuichi’ will probably not become my first go to address for my regular Japanese fix.
Rakuichi Japanese Restaurant
8 Sinaran Drive
#01-05/09 Oasia Hotel
Tel: +65 6659 6683
Don’t let it go to your head.
We came back here and this time after along while ordered their famous ‘Fish Head Curry‘ again. The head was humongous, mean looking and meaty. It was beautifully soft and tender, especially the cheeks that were freak’n awesome. The gravy was quite liquid, milky, oily and deeply rich with a fantastic heat that sneaked up on us the more we ate. A beautiful dish that probably will never win any beauty contest but who cares, it’s the inner values that matter, right?
The service today was terribly awful though. First our order of ‘Naan‘ was completely forgotten, after another 15 minutes waiting the wrong order showed up and when we had pretty much finished all our other dishes and were fully stuffed finally the right breads came along. As always the staff was very polite and friendly but unfortunately there wasn’t even the slightest attempt to service recovery. And then those weird iPads again, which become even weirder in a restaurant where you usually eat with your hands, I just don’t get it. This was the first time of my many visits here that the service was that screwed up so as long as this doesn’t become a pattern and the food stays delicious I don’t see any reason not to come back.
The Banana Leaf Apolo
54 Race Course Road
Tel: +65 6293 8682
Totally worth the smelly clothes.
It was meat o’clock and so we headed for Tanjong Pagar, ‘Korean BBQ‘ heaven. We ordered the ‘Beef Set‘ at ‘Manbok Galbi’ which was massive and for only S$85 more than reasonable. All the cuts were tasty but my favourite by far was the wine marinated short rib which had the richest flavours of all. The sirloin was a bit streaky and chunky tonight but the rest of the meats were lean and tender. I also liked their free flow appetisers especially the strong fermented tasting kimchi and the onion salad. As always we added the ‘Kimchi-Jeon‘ (pancake) to our order which tasted pretty good but could’ve done well with some more actual kimchi. It looked quite pale too and I wished it to be more crispy and less oily as well.
The service was rather unemotional except that one waiter so kindly showed me how to properly lettuce wrap my meat (thanks for touching my food dude) but just at the very end also the boss couldn’t resist anymore and gave us a smile on the way. This was great, I’ll come back.
Korean BBQ Restaurant Manbok Galbi
63 Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel: +65 6221 9942