May 29 2013
Warung Hotei is a breezy, shabby chic-style restaurant nestled into a picturesque patch of paddy just north of Seminyak. Serving up a range of well executed Asian and Western dishes and some scrumptious desserts at reasonable prices, if you’re looking to escape the mad traffic of the Petitenget area, it’s a fine choice.
It seems that Umalas, an area wedged kind of between Seminyak and Canggu, is the latest area in the busy south to grab the attention of restaurateurs in hunt of cheaper rent. And some fine ones have certainly shown up over the past year or two — you can’t drive past Gusto’s ice cream without stopping by, Monsieur Spoon has many convinced it’s producing the best croissants on the island, and new Nook is serving up some great nasi campur with — shock, horror — affordable Jacob’s Creek wine by the glass.
Warung Hotei was among the first to spring up, about a year ago, tucked into an elbow of green paddy down low, so you’re surrounded by terrace all round with a view of a few farmer rest shacks. Red umbrellas provide shade if you sit outside, or grab a table in the white brick building with wide windows open to the elements.
With an emphasis on fresh produce, Vietnamese, Thai and Cambodian dishes are served up alongside a few Western standards. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but we’ve only been a few times for lunch.
Just a few breakfasts are offered, like eggs benedict (33,000 rupiah) and a continental with eggs, fruit salad, toast, orange juice and jam for (35,000). We’ve ploughed through quite a few sandwiches here — they are huge! — and their hamburgers are another good lunch choice. Starters include chicken gyoza (35,000 rupiah) and lettuce parcels (25,ooo), while the Caesar salad (39,000 rupiah) is good. We’ve had the chicken basil a couple of times as well, served with white rice on the side for 35,000 rupiah, and fiery if you ask for it that way.
Cocktails include arak madu (25,000 rupiah) and margaritas (60,000). We like the non-alcoholic lemon squash, which is a bit on the small side, but refreshing (17,000 rupiah). We have to be honest — we haven’t tried their coffee yet.
If you’re after a solid evening meal, the jumbo grilled prawns with rice and salad (38,000) sound good, as does the prawn and pineapple curry (35,000). We love the Cambodian chicken ginger and peanuts (37,000). It’s an eclectic menu for sure, but each dish is clean and simple, with no unnecessary fuss. Western dishes like chicken Kiev and tuna steak are a touch pricier (65/55,000) and come with green salad, wedges or mashed potato.
The dessert range is short but sweet — Belgian biscuit mousse, Toblerone cheesecake, dolce di latte, pannacotta with poached mango and vanilla and raspberry coulis…
Go on, have dessert. Warung Hotei is a comfortable enough spot where you won’t feel pushed to leave and could easily while away a couple of extra hours if you don’t mind being off the beach. If you don’t have time to get to Ubud from Seminyak, it’s the next best bet for a taste of some paddy views.
Umalas 1, Umalas, Bali (about 200 metres from the turn-off to Umalas 1 on the left)
T: (0361) 739081
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