Mar 23 2013

Review: Watercress, Bali

Published by at 11:16 am under Food

Watercress Cafe on Bali’s Jalan Batu Belig is the latest lovely addition to the island’s burgeoning healthy cafe scene. Set in an airy tiled building with beautiful shabby chic design touches, it makes a great pitstop for breakfast, lunch or coffee and for the wonderful quality and friendly service, prices are excellent.

The magic shack.

The magic shack.

Juices, smoothies, coffees and teas are available if you’d just like a drink — we tried the refreshing cleansing juice (28,000 rupiah ++), a mix of carrot, apple, ginger and lime.

They are a little obsessed with coffee, they say on their website, with their latte glasses hand-carried from Australia (it’s Australian-run) because they couldn’t find the right size glasses in Indonesia. They offer their own house blend of 100% Arabica from around the archipelago and Ethiopia and all coffees are poured as a double ristretto, which is a single shot of coffee passed through a double hit of coffee grind, and reputed to create the best brew. We had a flat white (well, we hadn’t heard about the special glasses at that point) — it was very good. The teas are Dharma (25,000++).

Words to eat and live by.

Words to eat and live by.

A good selection of “rustic” imaginative breakfasts are on offer. We like the sound of the sweet corn fritters served over tomato, coriander and avocado salsa with sour cream and chilli jam, topped with two poached eggs (55,000++) as well as the smashed chats and goats cheese stack: baby chat potatoes, rosemary sauteed mushrooms and goats cheese tossed with rocket and balsamic reduction, again with two poached eggs on top (65,000++). Having just tried to poach eggs myself at home the other day, I now consider any poached eggs at any price an absolute bargain.

Bursting with flavour and goodness.

Bursting with flavour and goodness.

We were here for lunch, however. I picked and pointed at the front counter to make up my own nasi campur, Watercress-style. I had tofu in black pepper, which was just so much better than it sounds — fluffy cubes of gently fiery flavour, plus the last slice of tomato and feta tart and an airy, crispy sweetcorn fritter — it came in at roughly 30,000 rupiah for the plate, which was plenty for lunch.

Burgers (tempeh, mahi mahi or chicken), salads and sandwiches — again, very creatively put together — are available on the short but sweet main menu, and there’s also a specials board.

This passed the official brownie test.

This passed the official brownie test. But we may need to try it again to be sure.

The pastries and baked goods (including breakfast croissants) come from Monsieur Spoon (which has an outlet just near Gusto’s ice cream in Umalas, if you need to get to the source directly). I tried the brownie, which was melt-in-the-mouth good, and came with a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream on the side. While it looked good wrapped up in baking paper with string, it was a bit of a pain to unwrap — the reward was well worth it.

Vintage shabby chic.

Vintage shabby chic.

Batu Belig, which runs off Petitenget in Seminyak down to Batu Belig beach, where you’ll find Mozaic Beach Lounge, is developing into a little bit of a bustling area these days, though it’s hard yakka walking the length of the street from the Petitenget turn-off during the heat of the day. Take a cab here if you’re staying in Seminyak; though you may also want to consider Brown Feather, a new midrange hotel that’s popped up just down the road and is very cute.


It’s the little things.

If this sort of food appeals, consider also trying Betelnut or Bungalow in Canggu and Little Green or Zen in Kerobokan.

Watercress Cafe
Jalan Batu Belig 21A
T: (0361) 780 8030

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