May 11 2013
Seeking out cliffside El Kabron on Bali’s Bukit might take a bit of time, but the reward of incredible views, delicious classic Spanish cuisine, a chilled swimming pool and comfy bean bags makes the journey more than worthwhile.
Beanbags and umbrellas are scattered around a curved pool that looks straight out to the Indian Ocean; southward lie Dreamland and Padang Padang. Snare a beanbag or sit at an outdoor or indoor table if you really need shade — be warned it can really get hot here. The pool will be tempting, so make sure you do bring swimmers.
Minimum spends are enforced, starting with 100,000 rupiah per person for a table and heading north. This is becoming more standard practice at places with pools in Bali these days, so don’t get cranky — and unless you’re planning on sitting on iced water all day, the minimum is pretty easy to reach. Prices are splurge-y but not as high as institutions like Ku De Ta or Rock Bar; for a special afternoon or evening, we reckon El Kabron is worth it. We’d go for sunset, but make a booking.
Loads of classic tapas is on offer — perfect for the pace you’ll want to take here, which is slow and steady. We tried the Mediterranean anchovies with onion marmalade (55,000 rupiah), and though simple, it was a flavourful side to a classic Mojito (90,000 rupiah) that also came well prepared.
Other tapas selections include spicy chorizo, grilled calamari, prawn and lobster croquettes, and octopus with potatoes, most around the 45,000 to 75,000 mark. Or nibble on Spanish cured meats and cheeses.
If you’re hungrier, head for the paellas — minimum order is for two — with for instance paella de marisco, a traditional seafood paella, priced at 145,000 rupiah per person; a vegetarian version is 130,000 rupiah.
Desserts also tend toward the classics — brownies (50,000 rupiah), crema catalana (40,000) and Sacher torte (55,000) are included in the offerings. A full bar offers cocktails, wines and beers — wine starts at 295,000 for La Plaga and a small Bintang is 30,000.
Service is prompt and friendly — though he must have done it a million times, the owner enthusiastically offered details directions on how to find our way back to the main road down to Jimbaran. We still got completely lost and found ourselves waving our iPhone in a figure 8 to get our compass back… but part of the allure of El Kabron is its isolation so we can’t really complain about that…
El Kabron Spanish Restaurant & Cliff Club
Jl Pantai Cemongkak, Pecatu Bali
T: (0361) 780 3416
Oddly, website has no map — it’s reasonably well signposted
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