COCONUTS CRITIC’S TABLE — The first thing that’ll strike you when you walk into Batik Restaurant Bar on Seminyak’s busy Jl. Oberoi is its dazzling ambience.
The restaurant’s chic colonial style is immediately impressive with its high ceilings, white walls and furniture with subtle splashes of color, and soft mood lighting. A cute patio out front is perfect for people-watching on Seminyak’s liveliest street (or nice if you want to enjoy a smoke with your meal).
Otherwise, we recommend sitting in the indoor air-conditioned dining area that’s split into two spacious levels so you can enjoy a more intimate conversation. Even on a week night, it’s likely that this place will be packed with hungry diners, so keep in mind, that you may not even have your pick of spots unless you make a reservation in advance.
Batik, specializing in Vietnamese, Thai, and Indonesian dishes is right next to institution Cafe Bali (right next to, as in they share a wall), and if like us, you pick up that the two resto’s have a somewhat similar vibe, that’s because it’s the same owner, the superbly friendly parking attendant out front told us.
There are no bones to pick with the service at Batik. From our encounter with the uncharacteristically easygoing parking guy, we were treated like royalty (or to match the colonial theme, shall we say emperors) during our visit to the new-ish restaurant. Hostesses eagerly greeted us at the door and gave us our pick of the available seating. The wait staff was always a step ahead of us, ready to take our order right was we put the menus down or quick to change out our appetizers for the main course at just the right instant.
Depending on what you order, however, the food may not stun as much as the near perfect ambience and service.
We started out fairly strong with a couple of appetizers when we visited Batik: the pandan fried chicken and nem (Vietnamese friend spring rolls). No complaints about the pandan chicken—other than that the leaf wrappings were oily AF and very difficult to remove. We’ve had our fair share of pandan chicken, but this wrapper was by far the oiliest. That said, the chicken inside was just heaven. Perfectly tender meat with a crispy skin.
The nem, was solid, but not exceptionally better than any of the other spring rolls we’ve tried at other dining institutions Jl. Oberoi.
Moving on to the main course, we went with the Vietnamese crab noodle soup and the Moroccan couscous. Both were good, but the couscous seemed to have a leg up on the soup. The broth had a nice depth of flavor but oddly contained large chicken patty chunks that were a bit off-putting.
The Moroccan couscous actually should have been named the “meat-lovers couscous.” The dish came out with four meat skewers, the typical stew of veggies like carrot, pumpkin, cabbage, and chickpeas, a sweet-flavored plate of golden raisins and onions, and of course a plate of couscous to soak everything up.
It became clear upon getting served this dish why it was Rp 125k, much more expensive than most of the other dishes that were in the Rp 80k range. With all that food, if you want to order the couscous, we would recommend sharing it. Of course it wasn’t the most authentic, delicious couscous out there—even couscous in restaurants in Morocco can’t beat when it’s home-cooked by a real Moroccan matriarch for lunch, post-Friday prayer. But for being in Bali, it was pretty good and we’d go back for it again.
As far as drinks go, we were satisfied but not over the moon. The restaurant boasts a comprehensive mojito menu—they’ve got loads of variations—so we tried the ginger mojito. To be honest, it was a bit syrupy and small size-wise. The plain frozen daiquiri we chased the mojito down with was much better (and bigger), a classic icy blend of rum, lime, and sugar. The daiquiri provided the refreshment we had hoped for. The espresso martini was good, not overly sugary (which can be a common affliction for cocktails in Bali) but could have used a more generous serving of alcohol.
To wrap things up, dessert at Batik thankfully left us with a sweet taste in our mouths (both literally and figuratively). The homemade chocolate volcano cake, was everything you’d hope for in a lava dessert. From the scoop of ice cream on the side, to the eruption of chocolate sauce that oozed out when we dug in, the cake was delightful. The cake was just the right softness and the amount of lava inside was more than enough. We know a lot of restaurants offer choco lava cakes, but this one ranks high.
Coconut’s Critics Table reviews are done anonymously. We pay for our own meals – no freebies here.
Jl. Kayu Aya (Oberoi)
Phone : +62361735171 / +62361 736776