Jalan Drupadi 11 no. 56, Seminyak, Bali
T: (0361) 738 514
The brochure saying, “Soul food cooked with passion,” and the bright ribbons dangling in the wind at the entrance to Seminyak’s Kreol Kitchen drew us in to this quirky, lovely spot. Entering the cafe, we were met by an enormous blackboard presenting an enticing menu, which at first glance was a tad overwhelming. Australian owner Annick soon came to our rescue and made a few suggestions based on our likes.
We selected a table towards the back, enjoying the breeze coming from the large sit-in window overlooking (surely one of Seminyak’s last patches of) paddy. While waiting for our house-made sodas of lime & ginger and rosella & vanilla (no Coke or Sprite here and hooray for that) a complimentary appetiser of crisp breads and spicy pumpkin dip arrived. Do try the sodas – family-secret recipe syrups are mixed at the table with plain soda water and the flavours are quite unique and delicious – the syrups should soon be available to take home (16,000 rupiah for a soda and mix).
The decor is quirky, with a retro-vintage vibe, and a collection of Tupperware, teapots, cutlery, copy Royal Doulton crockery and bits and pieces collected by the owner over the years. For anyone old enough to remember the 1970s, this will evoke memories of what was in the childhood kitchen. An eclectic display of black and white photos, old prints and album covers adorn the walls, and bright blue fans slowly whirl below a bamboo ceiling.
Ms Travelfish ordered a slow-cooked chilli pork with black beans, served with a choice of white or red rice, and coconut chutney (48,000 rupiah). The flavours, she told me, were exceptional, with star anise dominating (in a good way), lending an exotic touch. My choice was a kreol tali platter of eggplant and pea curry, which was presented on a canteen-type platter, separating the different dishes and accompaniments (45,000 rupiah). The coconut chutney that came with both our meals was particularly good; a blend of freshly grated coconut, lime and chilli.
We couldn’t resist the sweet counter that tempted us on the way in, so with noses to the glass we selected a caramel cup and a melting moment, both ideal ways to end a good meal (sweets are around the 10,000-15,000 rupiah mark). Other dishes on the list to try include country-style pies, curries, wraps and salads, with a good selection for vegetarians.
Kreol Kitchen is located on Jalan Drupadi, a back street where more and more interesting cafes and shops seem to be opening these days (along with a few large hotels under construction). It’s just a stone’s throw from the more well established La Sal, and is certainly worth heading to if you’re staying in the area, or strolling down from the main streets to reach if you’re in the mood for some food cooked with passion — just like it says on the can.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 27th February, 2015.