Adding a warm energy to Kuta’s bustling vibe, Spice Mantraa stands in front of the Discovery Mall Kuta, which makes it easy to spot especially with their eccentric colors, bohemian interior design and the written slogan “Inspirational Indian Cuisine.” As soon as we walked in the aroma of spices greeted us, but it was the menu that we found most interesting. The menu was quite thick, more like an Indian food Bible that explains what Indian food consists of – spices, herbs, coconut milk, and other ingredients that make each dish tasty and colorful.
Our culinary journey started with a Masala Tea. The mix of cinnamon, milk, tea, oil and other spices that are blended in the ceramic cup warmed us up, and the smell was totally relaxing. Another recommended drink is the Cucumber and Mint Tumblr, as the freshness of the rosemary and cucumber neutralize the spices so you can enjoy the dishes without feeling too full. For our starter we decided to have the Maharaja’s Salad and Dahi Tiki – which both contain yoghurt that becomes the dressing in the first dish and a filling in the second.
The Dahi Tiki is quite interesting as the yoghurt must be put in plastic first, and then hung for quite some time to make it thick enough to be fi lled in the deep-fried semolina. A little tip is to take a bite while they are piping hot and taste the sensational yoghurt that is almost like cream cheese that melts in your mouth. Meanwhile, The Maharaja’s Salad has a nice combination of potato, pomegranate, sprouts, chutney and yoghurt. Goodness Golgapa is another appetizer that is worth trying, as it consists of crisp bite-size puri (deep-fried Indian bread) filled with potato, sprouts and tamarind chutney. Each of the puri has a hole that you can fill with Jaljeera flavored water – Jaljeera is Indian cumin water that is usually served cold in the summer or warm in winter to help soothe a sore throat. The Jaljeera has a spicy sensation that had us wide-awake as we munched on the puri.
Then it was time for the main course; the Chicken Tikka and Andhra Fish Pulusu. The Punjabi-style boneless Chicken Tikka is authentically cooked in a clay oven, and the fragrance of the tomato is as strong as the density level of the creamy sauce. Meanwhile, the fish dish came in Southern Indian style with coconut milk and red sauce. But our favorite is the Garlic Naan Bread – dip it into the Chicken Tikka sauce or the Andhra Fish sauce, and we definitely can have it every day!
Jalan Kartika Plaza, Kuta
Founded by two Japanese-Balinese men who have mastered the authenticity of Japanese culture and dishes since childhood, Rayjin Teppanyaki – Dining Bar houses a teppanyaki, a casual dining area and a small bar with a wide selection of sake and liquor. Everyone who walks into the restaurant will be greeted by all of the staff in unison in Japanese. This proves how Rayjin tries to introduce Japanese hospitality to the people on the island.
During our visit we ordered the Pork Gyoza for a starter, which came with ponzu (Japanese citrus) dipping sauce. This dumpling dish consists of fresh vegetables and tender pork wrapped in thin dumpling skin – each piece is even more flavorsome when dipped into the sauce. As for the main course we had the Chicken Nanban and Gyutan Pirikara Negi Shio. The first dish was served with asparagus stacked with grilled chicken and Japanese tartar sauce. The chicken was cooked in a teppanyaki style and the tartar sauce gave a sweet and sour sensation to every bite. Meanwhile, the Gyutan dish was a portion of ox tongue cooked with chili and garlic as well as some drops of lemon – and don’t forget to order a bowl of rice to accompany the Gyutan.
To complete the culinary journey we ordered a crafty cocktail named Matcha Colada, a green tea cocktail that was more like a smoothie it was so refreshing. Who would have thought that authentic Japanese dishes could be perfectly paired with creative cocktails such as these?
Rayjin Teppanyaki Dining Bar
Jalan Petitenget No. 98X, Seminyak
Ever since it first opened, Motel Mexicola has been full of guests having rounds of drinks and dancing to the Latino music in its colorful interior. However, Motel Mexicola is more than just a place to party, especially since Chef Steven Skelly joined the team. This restaurant now offers dishes that are closer to the roots of Mexico – not only with a more authentic Mexican flavor, but also adopting some old Mexican cooking techniques. “I spent three weeks in Mexico to research the food as we wanted to bring more old Mexican recipes to the table and elevate them,” said Chef Skelly as he shared where he got his insights on real Mexican food. “We want to create a place where guests feel as if they are dining by the beach in Mexico.”
His statement was well proven on the dishes that were brought to our table. Our culinary journey started with the Calamares that consisted of crispy deep-fried baby squid served with coriander, chili and lime sauce. The Sandia Salad and Ceviche Mixto are also perfect for starters as their flavors suit the tropical vibe of Bali. The Sandia Salad is made of watermelon, tomato, jalapeno and jicama while the Ceviche Mixto consists of lime cured prawn and sea perch, aquachile rojo, cucumber and chili – both fresh with bold flavors that will burst in your mouth.
For the main course, De Camaron from the Quesadilla list is very flavorsome with chipotle marinated prawn and melted cheese served with black bean puree and a blend of onion, tomato and garlic. Empanadas from the Fritangas list is also a top-notch choice as it combines Mexican corn with mushroom, garlic and sour cream sauce. For a real taste of Mexican home cooking try the Carnitas de Pato, a duck dish that is made with a Mexican braising technique, resulting in meat that is juicy and skin that is crispy. Don’t forget to save some room for the Pinguino, a warm chocolate mousse dessert dish with chocolate cake and ice cream.
For a full Mexican experience, come for dinner where Sangrita shots are served at the end of the meal. And continue the night by joining “Ola Ola!” where guests are invited to dance around or stand on the chairs as the staff serves a round of Tequila, a lively party that has become the signature of Motel Mexicola.
Jalan Kayu Jati No. 9X, Petitenget
Located in the Bali Dynasty Resort, Gracie Kelly’s is Bali’s first ever Irish pub. It has its own door with a canopy before guests reach the lobby of the hotel from the parking lot. Green dominates the exterior while brown wooden furniture and bar fills up the interior, giving a warm vibe to the place. This pub is also adorned with decorations that will take you instantly to Ireland, from a poster of Hurling, an Irish sport, to a display of selections of cigars, liquors and tea.
This restaurant feels even homier as it serves simple Irish home cooking. The Dublin Bay Prawn Cocktail and Mammy Kelly’s Baked Potato Skin are perfect for starters. The first dish consists of freshly blanched prawns with meat so succulent, served with homemade Irish soda bread that is soft and airy. Meanwhile, the Mammy Kelly’s Baked Potato Skin will please your palate with crispy potato skins topped with smoked bacon and cheese.
For the main course, Gracie Kelly’s has a selection of pies to choose from such as Chicken and Mushroom Pie, Beef in Guinness Stout and Shepherd’s Pie. Fish and Chips and traditional Irish stew are also available, but it is the grill selection that is the main star of the menu. Choices of local and imported tenderloin, sirloin and rib eye are on offer. During our visit to the pub we decided to have the rib eye, and were excited to see the steak served on a sizzling hot stone along with vegetables and French fries as side dishes. Don’t forget Gracie’s Hot Sticky Pudding, which is made of date and served with sticky coffee sauce and vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Of course an Irish pub is not complete without some beer and other alcoholic drinks. Gracie Kelly’s has Guinness and Kilkenny draught beer as well as a number of fresh cocktails including coffee drinks like Irish Coffee, which is made with Irish whisky, and Bush Baby Coffee with Baileys.
Bali Dynasty Resort
Jalan Kartika, Kuta