These days, one might say there’s a growing appetite to get away from all the hubbub of Bali’s tourism hot spots. When it gets a little much in, say, Seminyak or Canggu, the relative peace and quiet over at Sanur sure sounds like a lovely alternative.
At least, that’s what Coconuts Bali had in mind when we accepted an invitation to dine at Oomba Beach House recently. We arrived on a calm weekday afternoon and was immediately taken by the calm view of the beach and the shallow water just steps away from the restaurant’s patio. There’s cozy sofas and cushions, a safe shade from the trees around, and just generally the kind of chill we were hoping to find — a welcome respite from the more hyped areas in town.
When it comes to food, however, we were decidedly not as impressed as we had been with the ambience.
Oomba offers a pretty wide selection of food, which tells us there should be something for everyone. A quick look at their menu shows Indonesian options like Sate Babi (IDR30k/US$2.19) as well as classic Western dishes like BBQ Chicken Wings (IDR30k/US$2.19), most of which are on the more affordable side.
To start, we had the Molten Mozzarella Croquette (IDR30k/US$2.19) and Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos (IDR50k/US$3.65), both of which were decent but not quite exceptional. The croquette was served with arrabbiata sauce, whereas the crispy tacos came with mango salsa-lathered pulled pork. Both dishes gave a surprising yet pleasant sensation to our taste buds, which felt like the sort of twist that could give Oomba an edge, but we found that neither transcended other takes on the dishes one would find elsewhere.
The star of our visit happened to be Oomba’s Tuna Tartare (IDR70k/US$5.10), served with avocado and tomato concasse. It’s simple, fresh and tasty (even for someone who doesn’t normally enjoy raw dishes) and wholly fitting to the refreshing vibe of the whole dining experience.
For the main course, Coconuts Bali tried the El Mexicano (IDR65k/US$4.74), a burrito wrap with chicken, white rice, avocado, tomato and black beans – a classic Mexican dish served with chips, sour cream and guacamole. As fans of Mexican cuisine, we were pleased with the dish and found the tortilla – which was firm with a crisp on it – to be more of a highlight than the dish as a whole, the contents of which were too dry. Perhaps more than a little salsa would help.
The classic options of Roasted & Chicken Avocado Salad (IDR70k/US$5.10) and Margherita Pizza (IDR70k/US$5.10) were again on the okay plane. The salad came in quite a filling portion and with barley, mixed lettuce, cherry tomato and pomelo, drizzled with honey mustard dressing (they also have the option of lemon and soya sauce dressing or evo and balsamic vinegar dressing). As far as the pizza goes, we love that they make their own dough but can’t say that it really blew our minds.
Oomba’s Bikini Smoothie (IDR45k/US$3.28), a mix of honey, dragon fruit, strawberry and kecicang flower, topped with sliced almonds and a small jelly, is a refreshing option at least, and they notably have a number of offerings in the juice and smoothies department.
Meanwhile, Oomba’s Kintamani Gin & Tonic (IDR85k/US$6.20), consisting of butterfly pea flowers, dried orange ring, elderflower syrup mixed with the classic dry gin and tonic water, is a little on the strong side, but with a distinct kick that might just become a signature of the restaurant.
We were not entirely underwhelmed by the end of our visit, due to our selfish hopes that Sanur will make an epic comeback and Oomba as one of its frontrunning establishments. The restaurant itself might not be too big, but the space was cozy nonetheless – quite the spot to spend a quiet afternoon, be it by yourself, or with friends and family. Oh, and if you’re looking for something of an “It” factor, the restaurant boasts a signature colorful mural courtesy of renowned Balinese illustrator Monez.
Furthermore, it sure helps that there’s all that colorful jukung fishing boats and beautiful beach in view, but we were also charmed by their sofa session, with tunes from a live DJ (which they have every Monday from 5pm to 8pm), which we caught a little bit of just before we left that day.
Oomba Beach House opens pretty early, too, for breakfast — perhaps an option for those looking for a nice, relaxing ambience to start off your day. All in all, we think this is a pretty chill spot in Sanur and we’d still give it a chance to maybe blow our minds next time.
Oomba Beach House is at Jl. Duyung No.9,
Sanur, South Denpasar
8am to 10pm, everyday
+62858 5886 8478