Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

Chandi interiors

On Wednesday, I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch and she asked me to choose the restaurant, the only requirement was that it be “somewhere in Seminyak”.  Choosing a place to go in Seminyak isn’t difficult as there are so many restaurants, cafes and bars that there’s always bound to be something new or some place that you haven’t been to.

Chandi is perfectly located right smack in the middle of Eat Street, Jalan Laksmana and specializes in modern Indonesian cuisine.  You walk into an open-air dining area flanked by a large bar on one end and a smaller counter/bar and air-conditioned dining area on the other end.  As it was a humid and wind-less day, we opted to sit in the cooler (in both senses of the word) “VIP” area where we had a view of the street and just a few other tables.
Lunch menus were presented and our drink orders were taken just as a group of other ladies were seated beside us.  We decided to look quickly and get our orders in as we were both quite hungry and eager to chat.  L chose the crispy calamari to start while I chose the vegetarian option – crunchy tofu squares.  For our mains, L had the sesame tuna while I opted for the Balinese crispy duck with a lemon iced tea.  (There are lots of interesting dishes on the menu that I’d like to try on my next meal at Chandi.  They even have small bites and sides that can be shared with a group over pre-dinner drinks.)

Clockwise from top left: chocolate dessert, sesame tuna, crispy duck, fried tofu salad, crispy calamari salad

Our starters were served quickly. L‘s calamari alongside some organic greens and drizzled with a lemon mayo chili dressing were crispy and tangy with the lemon-mayonnaise.  My tofu squares were four chunks of breadcrumb-covered, deep-fried tofu topped with lots of julienned cucumber and smothered in a spicy roasted peanut sambal.  They were delicious and certainly not a bland rendition of tofu, so much so that my plate went back to the kitchen clean.

After a reasonable wait, our main courses were served – L‘s tuna was a big portion of almost ten slices of sashimi-style sliced tuna encrusted with black and white sesame seeds, seared on the outside but left pink on the inside and served with a salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, capers, olives, a hard-boiled egg and some green beans making it a deconstructed salade nicoise given an Asian twist with the sesame seeds.  My main course, the Balinese crispy duck, was a deep-fried duck leg complemented by a tart yellowish tomato sauce and served with nasi kuning (turmeric flavored rice) and sauteed water spinach and chili.  It was traditional but presented in a modern way on a large rectangular plate and with the thick tomato reduction.
We took our time with the mains and by the time we were finished, were the only ones left in the restaurant.  After sharing the fabulously hot dark chocolate fondant (that’s really what it’s called) from the dessert menu and some organic Sumatran Arabica coffee, we finally finished lunch and I rushed off to my son’s soccer game.
Jl. Laksmana, 72
Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 731 060
Open daily for lunch and dinner from noon till late

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