Two Fingers isn’t your typical Mexican restaurant outside of Mexico.
No bright colors, no sombrero-wearing, mustachioed men. No mariachi music. None of that stereotypical (and perhaps borderline politically incorrect) decor that basically all the other Mexican restaurants in Bali do.
No, Two Fingers is too hipster for that.
The restaurant and bar opened up for dinner only in Canggu’s Berawa earlier this year and the dark interiors and industrial aesthetic of Two Fingers very much fit the aesthetics of this on-trend neighborhood.
As with a lot of successful restaurants in Bali, Two Fingers is actually the creation of a restaurant group, particularly, the Home Before Midnight Restaurant Group, which is responsible for Canggu hot spots nüde, Kembali Bumbak, and Front Cafe. Two Fingers, and what the place is going for — a trendy spot to go in the nighttime for the group’s cafe clientele — just makes a whole lot more sense to us, knowing its parentage.
Food-wise, it’s also not your typical traditional Mexican eatery; Two Fingers is not a full-fledged Mexican restaurant. It’s self-proclaimed Cali-Mex food, and we’d describe it as playful fusion since their kitchen does like to play with Indonesian flavors and specialties.
We visited the restaurant one Thursday night after getting an invitation to come review the place. It was a little dead, there were only a couple of other groups in the 50-seater restaurant. Definitely the Canggu-based blogger type, with people taking selfies by the neon-lit sign with fingers crossed, reading “I promise I’ll be home before midnight.” In all honesty, we also took some photos by this sign. Tee hee.
So, let’s take a look at that menu. First reaction: ooh, they’ve got jalapeño poppers.
The true origins of jalapeño poppers are hotly debated on the internet but we’re going to go with “probably not traditionally Mexican” and more an Americanized creation — which should help paint picture of what else to expect. Don’t get us wrong, we love us a good jalapeño popper and the ones at Two Fingers (IDR50k/US$3.50) have all the makings of greatness: crispy breaded outside, spicy jalapeño inside, oozing cheese, and a tangy sour cream drizzled on top to neutralize the heat. We snarfed those babies down.
Other sharing plate options include sweet potato chips with house-smoked jalapeño salt (IDR45k/US$3.15), tuna tartare tostado (IDR50k/US$3.50), charred sweet corn (IDR40k/US$2.80), and fried mozzarella sticks with mango chili jam (IDR65k/US$4.54). The restaurant has also got, of course, chips and guac (IDR45k/US$3.15).
We tried the chips and guac and we can recommend it because both components are homemade. The chips were still warm when they came out and had that muy bueno combination of crispiness and saltiness, while the guac was so fresh, and thankfully, not pureed — tragically, we have been to too many Mexican restaurants in Bali where this has been the case.
The tacos are like what you’d get off a food truck in Cali (soft tacos with all sorts of stuff on top) and thankfully cheaper — all are IDR25k/US$1.75, unless you go on Mondays, then they’re just IDR15k/US$1.05.
Going back to that hipster talk, Two Fingers clearly knows its gluten-fearing hipster market: All their tacos are served on gluten-free soft corn tortillas and any taco can instead be ordered as a lettuce wrap.
One of the most popular tacos off the menu is the babi guling with coconuts spiced pulled pork, a burnt pineapple salsa, and to add another dimension of Indonesian inspo: sambal mayo.
Some of the other choices include barbacoa beef cheek, spiced jackfruit, and Baja fish tacos.
We tried one of their more international creations: the fried chicken taco which had the Korean chili-based Gojugang spice, charred mango, and aioli. It was as good as it sounds.
Then we reached for the loaded crispy potato tots (IDR85k/US$5.94), which almost would’ve been a dead ringer for an Americanized poutine if it had gravy. The tots were loaded up with garlic cheese sauce, bacon, and chives. It was like a heart attack on a plate.
The only thing it was missing, in our humble opinion, would’ve been some sort of tomato or chili sauce/spice element. The cheese coated the top layer of tater tots and didn’t quite penetrate to the rest of the tots (which we suppose is fair enough because we wouldn’t want our taters getting soggy), but it just needed another dimension since it was a little monotonous-tasting.
Good thing the wait staff brought out some salsa and pico de gallo with the the chips and guac, so we had some extra to slather on our tots.
For dessert, Two Fingers has three different churros options: jaffa with cinnamon and a chocolate orange dip (IDR35k/US$2.45), Nutella (IDR40k/US$2.80) and caramello with salted caramel, vanilla ice cream, and strawberry salsa (IDR45k/US$3.15).
The caramello was pleasant enough, and notably, massive. The churros had a good level of crisp (not too doughy, not too hard) and the salted caramel was bomb, but we mainly picked this option because it was the only one written as coming with ice cream. In a perfect world, they’d offer the Jaffa churros with some ice cream.
Our but one food regret of the evening is that we didn’t try the waffle taco (IDR65k/US$4.54) with fried chicken, maple, and American cheese. Next time.
The highlight of the evening, however, wasn’t the food, but the drinks. We are big cocktail lovers and take our drinks seriously and the beverages at Two Fingers didn’t disappoint.
The best was the Dos Dedos (IDR110k/US$7.68). It’s listed as the very first cocktail on their menu for a reason: jalapeño infused tequila, fresh lemon, and cucumber. You can taste each of those three elements working together. The spiciness of the jalapeño comes at you full force while the sourness of the lemon and the coolness of the cucumber level it out.
The Vera Glass (IDR120k/US$8.37) is a better option for the spice-adverse (but actually who are these people?) or when you need to cool down: gin, cucumber, aloe vera, and whites for some textural smoothness.
We’d recommend going on a Friday, when they’ve got their weekly special of IDR50k/US$3.50 frozen margaritas. In Bali, where most decent drinks are over IDR100k, that’s a deal we can get behind.
Jl. Pantai Berawa no. 101A
+62 819 0699 2244
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!