Amid all that is going on in trendy Canggu is The Slow Kitchen & Bar, the restaurant at the Batu Bolong boutique stay of the same name.
The space is simple and stylish, in line with much of the interior trends we often see on social media platforms today, or what some people have referred to as being Kinfolk-ish. We can’t really argue there, and why should we? It makes for a great ambiance to dine in, after all. Plus, they have a small art gallery right next to the bar, which is always a cool thing to check out.
Formerly known as Eat&Drink, The Slow Kitchen & Bar is the new name of the restaurant, where Coconuts Bali was recently invited to for dinner.
Menu items there turned out to be quite straightforward, featuring some classic dishes, yet also offering a little twist to keep things interesting. Like, most of us know what hummus is, but what’s Tokyo Hummus?
The restaurant recently welcomed a new executive chef, Daniel Medcalf. Word is that Chef Dan plans on bringing simple cooking techniques done with modern, high-impact flavors to the restaurant, and we were witness to those during our visit. Some of the OG dishes on the menu will remain the same, but Medcalf will definitely be cultivating some new items with his own flair, we were told.
It was a weekday around 6pm when we visited, and we ended up being some of the first few people in the restaurant. Things picked up a whole lot within the next hour, as parties of four and five soon crowded in. By the end of dinner, the place was full — but we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves.
Dinner began with small plates, and it was off to a strong start with KFB (IDR65k/US$4.60), or Korean Fried Broccoli, served with barbeque sauce and parmesan cheese. It’s a dish done right: crispy on the outside and fresh and juicy on the inside, with a sauce that does well in complementing the broccoli.
Another appetizer we sampled was the Popcorn Chicken Nuggets (IDR65k/US$4.60) — sounds so basic, but in our experience you can still go wrong with fried chicken. We’re pretty happy to report that this one, served with barbeque sauce, mayonnaise and shichimi togarashi, was the right kind of crisp, juicy and savory that is essential for good popcorn chicken.
Next up was the Tokyo Hummus (IDR85k.US$6), served with seaweed crackers. A soy bean-sesame dip with puffed rice, making for a creamy dip that paired well with those light crackers. It was a little on the thick side though, so it might not exactly be everybody’s cup of tea.
We also tried a side of their Crispy Potatoes (IDR55k/US$3.9), which is not like anything we’ve ever tried before, and we’re big potato fans here at Coconuts Bali. The Slow’s comes in square-shaped cuts, and it is another dish with a great, flaky crisp on the outside and a munch-worthy softness on the inside. This one is served with truffle & vegemite mayo to add some creamy, richness to the spuds.
Charred broccoli salads seem to be a real trend in the Bali dining scene these days. The one at The Slow (IDR70,000/US$5) is served with almonds, mint, shallots, parsley, green chili and parmesan. It was a good side to have amid all the fried food we were enjoying, just to keep up with that health-oriented lifestyle, you know?
As we learned during our visit: sharing meals at this establishment is a must, given the portions and options. For instance, the large size of the tacos (IDR125k/US$8.8). If you want to taste a number of things, it’s better to split the tacos so you don’t fill up all at once. Ours had soft shell crab, avocado, sweet corn & mango salsa, spicy cream and mojo verde. While we weren’t exactly the biggest fans of the tortilla’s texture (something was just off), the flavors inside almost made up for it.
As for the Octopus Bolognese (IDR135k/US$9.6) — ink noodles with tomatoes, ginger flower and basil — we’ve got nothing but praise. Don’t be fooled by the western appearance, this dish definitely features an Asian flavor profile.
Culminating our meal at The Slow Kitchen & Bar was their Coconut Panna Cotta (IDR50k/US$3.5), which was served with lime caramel and mint. The dessert was light in its sweetness and refreshing to the taste, giving a satisfying finish to a delightful dinner experience.