Thursday, July 26, 2012

Taman Ayun (Bali Padma at Legian) 07/2912

The Bali Padma is a 5 star establishment, we were told and in some ways it certainly is. Set in 10 acres of well tended gorgeous gardens with lots of interesting sculptures and modern works in metal and attractive landscaping with many pools stocked with some very large goldfish it's a paradise. It also offers several restaurants and cafes. At different times they serve Italian, Japanese and other ethnic food. The main restaurant, Taman Ayan, occupies a large area, open on all sides with views of the garden. Tables are a good size and woven plastic backed chairs are comfortable. Here Sandra discusses her choices with one of the many waiters. The menu has both Western and Indonesian fare on different pages. For some reason the Indonesian dishes were much less expensive than the Western ones. Generally, even with a 21% tax prices were about half or less than they would be in good International hotels. Service is seriously bad. Wait staff are very gentle and nice but they are readily confused, take orders two and three times and forget requests. A discussion about chili in the spring rolls led to a decision to have the soup. The entree arrived - spring rolls! They apologize frequently but it's all rather meaningless. The cooking is disappointing. The spring rolls were not very crisp, contained duck and crab and were mildly spicy. Minces fish and prawn, a sort of fish sausage was very firm and lacked taste. Waghu steak with mash potato was a bit thin but OK , without distinction. An Indonesian style duck, served with two colour rice and a mild chili salad, was quite tasty but overcooked, tough and dry. A dessert of banana fritter and ice cream was also grilled to death and almost inedible. The ice cream was the best bit with it's sugar cone. The fruit here is remarkable. Pau pau is the sweetest ever retaining that special tropical flavour and although the red water melon was what one might get in Melbourne the yellow water melon was superb. Coconut ice cream was watery.
All in all a very poor meal.
We did return for another meal. This time we had the corn and crab meat soup which was excellent with plenty of crab meat and a fine blending of the crab and corn flavours.
A sirloin "Rendang" offered mild, hot or very hot was just fine with Dijon mustard and no chili sauce. Strangely it was about half the cost of a similar piece of meat served 'Western' style!
Score: 13/20

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