Jalan Pantai Berawa 34, Tegal Gundul, Tibubeneng
T: (0878) 6200 7632
While Indotopia Warung Vietnam & Indonesia in Canggu looks somewhat more glamorous than your average Bali warung, with pretty chairs and dangly things and a very clean, open kitchen, it’s not going to win any design awards. This is a simple, open-t0-the-street affair, with a basic garden courtyard at the rear. Decor doesn’t matter too much, however, as it churns out some of the island’s best pho and other cheap Vietnamese dishes, as well as a short but sweet range of local offerings as well.
Vietnamese appetisers include banh cuon, steamed rice crepes filled with fried minced chicken, yam and mushies (15,000 rupiah for two) as well as goi cuon, fresh rice paper rolls filled with shrimp, chicken, veggies and egg (25,000 rupiah for two) — we saw these being meticulously prepared — and green papaya salad (20,000 rupiah).
We however went for the pho bo — beef pho — which was served in a reasonably rich broth with great fresh noodles and all the accompaniments (small bowl 24,000 rupiah, big bowl 45,000 rupiah).
We’d go back to try some of the three Vietnamese specialities on offer — most likely the bun bo xao, rice vermicelli served with beef mixed with lettuce, onions, garlic, peanuts and nuoc mam sauce (37,000 rupiah). Just two Vietnamese desserts are on offer — sticky rice with mango (22,000 rupiah) and Saigon banana crepes (15,000 rupiah).
It’s a very succinct menu, but what they do they do as well as they can outside Vietnam — the plate of fresh herbs to go with the pho, for instance, while adequate was not particularly abundant or fragrant, as it so often is in-country.
The Indonesian section of the menu is equally brief, covering a few key bases, with some overlap into the Vietnamese department — the resoles Batavia (a nod to the Dutch period) are house-made steamed rice crepes filled with fried minced chicken, yam and mushies… We think perhaps that was a mistake but as we honed straight in on the pho at the time didn’t pick it up.
Otherwise choose from gado gado, nasi goreng, mie goreng or nasi campur (17,000 to 22,000 rupiah).
No MSG is served, no microwaves are used, and free WiFi is on offer — and their authentic Vietnamese drip coffee should power you through a lot of work.
If you eat here, you may want to head for dessert somewhere else along Canggu’s now-thriving Jalan Pantai Berawa, like Butter just down the road, or at the least, you should check out the new Bungalow nearby for a browse and a snack. If for some reason Indotopia’s shut — Green Ginger is just a little further down the road, where you can get a noodle fix.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 27th February, 2015.