Merah Putih - I'll get straight to the point. Eating at Merah Putih is a-ma-zing. Wat can I say. I loved it!
In a previous post I mentioned finding authentic Indonesian cuisine in the ever vibrant Seminyak was fairly difficult. On one side because I am used to Indonesian cuisine flavors and thus quite spoiled. On the other side because the island and especially the south has adapted to (western) tourism. So at some spots I just had a few question marks and couldn't find the same enthusiasm I read about when I was prepping for our journey. And then... There was Merah Putih.
Where do I start? Maybe literally just at the beginning. When you stand in front of the dark restaurant outside you'll walk up a steep stairs. You then enter the dark yet cooling reception. When you'll be taken to your table by the host you'll first pass a most impressing bar then through a slightly descending but increasingly getting brighter hallway to the restaurant. Once in the restaurant you'll feel a soothing breeze, look upon palms and other lush green. There's a high ceiling supported by a sort of white canvas structure giving you the illusion of being outside in an oasis.
Baffled by the spectacular interior I almost forget to check the menu. Believe me, that's rare. Merah Putih's menu consists of local classics. But with a modern, creative swing to it according to the flavors of the different Indonesian islands. That's the concept.
We are baffled once more. Not the surroundings this time but the by our appetizer. A mini bowl of soto ayam, a classic Indonesian chicken soup. Spectacular. Literally every ingredient held its own and build together one hell of a soup.
After this we got our order, a bakpao sapi (steamed bun with braised beef, cucumber and chilipaste) and jagung bakar (roasted corn and baby corn). Velvety smooth steamed bun and beef so tender is melts away at just the touch of your mouth. Perfectly balanced spices, just enough heat. A mouthful of harmony. The corn keeps up. Good flavours, a hint of smoke from the grill and kaffir lime give it the finishing touch. As a side we had perkedel kentang, Indonesian fried potato fritters. These had a panko crust too... Di-vi-ne! We also ordered a vegetarian nasi goreng (fried rice). Indonesian classic but here at Merah Putih they add a poached quail egg. There has to be some difference right?
For dessert I had a 'Beri'; Coconut meringue, Bedugal raspberries and hibiscus. The BF opts for Markissa, a spiced passionfruit layered cake, brulee, ganache and kenari. I never had the notion to put raspberry and coconut together. Don't know why but as it turns out they actually work out quite well.
As we enjoyed our full bellies I realize I have rarely eaten Indonesian cuisine away from home that was this good. Eating at Merah Putih to me was an adventure and coming home at the same time.
100 Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak, Bali
The travel season
The travel season isn't really a season. Travelling can be done year round. And I wish I could do it year round too. There's just so much to see and do in the world! So that's why started the subject 'The travel season' where I'll be keeping track of abroad culinary adventures. You can find a short intro post here.