Bali’s Ngurah Rai bypass — stretching from Nusa Dua past the airport, skirting Kuta, Sanur and then, well, we’re not quite sure where it officially ends — can feel like a bit of a wasteland at times (you know, when it’s not slicing through mangroves). If you are using it to get from say the airport to Ubud, Sanur’s probably about half way, and you may be in need of a coffee break. Both Kopi Bali House and La Tartine are decent spots to try on the bypass, so you’ll avoid the need to take a detour down Danau Tamblingan, the main Sanur drag. (If you are heading to Ubud, do go the longer Sayan route so you can also try Gaya Gelato.)
Kopi Bali House
Kopi Bali is the fancier spin-off of Bhineka Jaya, which we wrote about here. Given its relative distance from anything else, it’s incredibly popular, particularly it seems with wealthier Indonesians as well as very small groups of tourists — think say honeymooning Japanese couples — who are dropped off by their personal guide for lunch.
I’ve always found the food here slightly disappointing — croissants reheated in a microwave, mandarin salad served with the segments of mandarin covered in thick white pith — but the coffee, ah, is something to write home about. Whether you’re after a basic cappuccino or a frozen Oreo cookie-filled, calorie-laden extravaganza, they have you covered. (And they do takeaway.)
The service is also always notably courteous and professional, so you can be in and out quickly if you literally do just need a quick caffeine boost on the road.
Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai 405 E, Sanur
T: (0361) 270 990-92
This pretty little spot is on the same side of the road as Kopi Bali but further north (both will require you to do a U-turn if you are in fact heading north along the bypass). It’s a converted joglo — think Biku in Seminyak, but in white, and you’re getting there. The furnishings are cute, from the lamps to the lounges, making this a good spot for a longer stay.
The coffee here is smooth, but what you must try are their eggs cocotte — a delicate little glass filled with an egg plus say creme fraiche, dill, walnuts and smoked salmon and baked gently in the over. Served with a small salad with mustard dressing, and fingers of toast and butter, they make a special little breakfast or light lunch. Their eponymous “tartines” — open-faced sandwiches — come with somewhat oddly wacky names but are good as well.
Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai 209, Sanur
T: (0361) 286 542;
I mention this place as a potential quick stop if you just can’t do that U-turn. It’s bizarre! A staff member who was clearly not senior enough to know better told me that it was aimed at tour groups — mostly South Korean, he said — and it does have a bit of a bus station feel to it. Oddly enough though, the coffee wasn’t too bad. If feels like half a forest was felled to furnish the vast place, with heavy furniture throughout, but if you can get past that and you just need your hit, you’ll get it here, and unless there’s a bus in the car park, you’ll have it all to yourself.
Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai 278, Sanur
T: (0361) 281 511
By Samantha Brown
Last updated on 27th February, 2015.