Cuca Flavor Restaurant, or more widely known as ‘just’ Cuca, is one of the best restaurants we’ve been to in Bali. Billing itself as a casual restaurant focusing on food, Cuca Jimbaran combines locally-sourced ingredients with globally-inspired techniques to serve, in our opinion, some of the most interesting dishes on the island.
Dinner at Cuca Jimbaran
The dinner menu has three sections: Harvested (vegetables), Hooked (seafood), and Farmed (meat and poultry). Food in Cuca is meant to be shared – expect a tapas-like experience with dishes served one by one as they come. We ordered six main dishes and one dessert, and we particularly loved how they served the food one after another in increasing order of flavourfulness – this attention to the details really made the entire dining experience so much richer.
We started with a serving of four baked scallops, each came with a dollop of mashed cauliflower and topped with toasted butter crust. This was A’s favorite dish – the scallop was perfectly baked, while the soft puree-like cauliflower and the crunchy crust made for the perfect balance of texture.
Next up was the broccoli caesar – charred broccoli coated in whipped coconut and anchovy crumble. O rated this as her favorite dish for a couple reasons: it was light and yet still managed to put a unique twist on something as simple as broccoli, and she actually liked the crumble when she usually doesn’t enjoy anchovies.
After the scallop and the broccoli, dinner continued with the rice tempura soft shell crab, black squid ‘risotto’, turkish meatballs, and meat & potatoes. Every dish was perfectly put together, with contrasting textures and unique flavours that complemented and balanced each other well. We felt that each new plate on the table was a new exciting experience to discover – it was that good.
We also tried the tea-ramisu for dessert. It’s an interesting local spin on the usual coffee and kahlua-infused tiramisu – Cuca’s version uses black tea cake and grass jelly, topped with a generous lather of mascarpone cream and caramelised seeds.
We thoroughly loved our experience at Cuca – the menu features some of the most inspired dishes we’ve had in a while, service was excellent and staff was highly knowledgeable. The chef himself also went around the restaurant to talk to the diners, which is always a nice touch. He was so excited to know we were Indonesians, he said it was very important for him to know that locals love the restaurant 😉
We can’t recommend Cuca enough – it really does deserve a spot on your to-go list in Bali. Reservations are highly recommended, and pro tip: ask for a table outside if you’re going for dinner, otherwise the indoors dining room is lovely for lunch. You can also opt to sit at the food bar, where you can watch the chefs in action and have your food served directly off the open-plan kitchen.
Cuca Flavor Restaurant Address: Jl. Yoga Perkanthi, Jimbaran,Kuta Selatan, Bali 80364 Opening hours: Everyday - 12PM to 12AM Phone: +62 361 708066 Website: www.cucaflavor.com