Merah Putih Restaurant in Bali is definitely one of my most favourite restaurants of all time. It is housed in a stunningly beautiful space, serves amazing Indonesian traditional as well as fusion food, and has impeccable service. I have been twice now, both for dinner, and always loved every bit of the experience.
The dinner menu is split into two sections – Traditional and Modern. They are exactly as the names suggest – Traditional comprises of faithful renditions of Indonesian cuisine, like Tahu Isi Terong (tofu stuffed with eggplant) and Perkedel Udang Jagung (sweet corn fritters with prawns), while the other is made up of more imaginative interpretations of local flavours. There are also Small Plates and Large Plates – which for me is just another way of saying appetisers and mains.
For my most recent visit, we ordered three small plates and two large plates. You can opt to have them served all together, otherwise they will serve your small and large plates in succession.
First came our small plates – Balinese Octopus (Modern), Mie Lobster and Jangkang (Traditional).
The Balinese Octopus was the highlight of the meal! In case you were wondering, the white-and-pink round pieces you see in the picture are actually the octopus. The crunchy cauliflower and chewy octopus gave an interesting mix of texture, while the basa gede, or basic Balinese spice, lent this Modern dish a quintessential Indonesian taste.
The Mie Lobster and Jangkang – fried soft-shell crab with salted egg and corn sambal dip (IDR 85,000, ~SGD 8.5) was good too, but nothing to shout about as compared to the Balinese Octopus.
Between the small plates and the large plates was quite a long wait. It’s good if you’re dining with a group of friends and just slowly enjoying each other’s company over a good meal, but on that particular occasion my hungry family got a bit impatient. Nonetheless it was all good – the large plates came out after around 20 minutes.
Both dish were from the Modern category, and really good. The duck leg was succulent and so well-cooked that the meat fell off the bones really easily without it being soggy. The bumbu rujak (Indonesian peanut dressing) gave the dish an interesting twist as well.
The Slow Roast Balinese Pork had a juicy slab of pork belly as well as a portion of pork neck confit, and both parts were tender and flavourful at all the right levels. The meat was not too tough to make eating it turn into a jaw exercise, nor too oily that it was too yucky. It was just right. And personally I like the pork neck better.
For a sweet ending we had Kacang Mente (which is actually the Indonesian word for cashew nuts) from the desserts menu. I totally loved it. The warm and fudge-y palm sugar tart, the cool jelly-like lapis cream, and the soothing cashew ice cream make for an absolutely delicious combination of taste and texture.
All in all my most recent dinner at Merah Putih was pure two-hours of gastronomic joy in lovely surroundings, and an experience no Bali vacationer should miss!
Merah Putih Restoran Indonesia Jl. Petitenget No.100x Kerobokan, Bali, Indonesia 80361 Phone: (0361) 8465950 Website: merahputihbali.com Click here to make online reservations.