Salt Tapas and Bar, Pepper's Sentosa Seminyak
Salt Tapas and Bar, Pepper’s Sentosa Seminyak
The website blurb says Salt Tapas and Bar “celebrates friendship, good wine and great food.” Good start. The mix of Australian and Spanish, with Aussie celebrity chef Luke Mangan and, a Latin inspired tapas style theme, spikes our interest further. Checking out some online reviews, which hint at excellent cocktails and a good wine list, and we’re on the phone making a reservation.
|Lounge and Bar|
Located poolside at Pepper’s Sentosa Seminyak, the atmosphere is distinctly relaxed. Comfortable couches, padded bar stools, picnic tables with umbrellas and, an air-conditioned dining room give plenty of options for seating, while the lagoon shaped pool, equipped with cascading waterfalls and surrounded by thick lush greenery, lays a happy scene for the eyes.
|Lounge Under Tree|
Tropical weather is a great excuse for a cocktail (not that we need one other than, “we’re thirsty”) and the original creations give real reason to splurge on a few beverages here. Hubby is hankering for a cool sweet drink and rum is on my mind.
|Sun Chairs Poolside|
The Passionate Painkiller (IDR 140) satisfies my fermented sugarcane cravings and is a bright blend of coconut and rum touched up with passion fruit. It ends up being creamy yet fresh as a result of the nut and fruit, and hubby takes over half way through, licking his lips as he finishes the last drop.
Lemon, passion fruit, house made falernum (a spice and almond infused syrup) and orgeat (another syrup with almonds and rose water) grab hubby’s attention in the Bikini Lines (IDR140). (Though I’m not sure if it’s ingredients or name of the beverage that truly has his eye.) Finished with whiskey, he’s content with this drink.
We find the first two cocktails pleasing so are encouraged to order more. Knackered Knees (IDR120) features house made mangosteen gin, Balinese honey and lemon with a drop of fresh raspberry. A purple orchid and mangosteen segment acts as a garnish.
The house favourite is the Seminyak Smash (IDR120), combining crisp apple puree, bright mint and 100% agave Tequila. It’s presented deceivingly as an icy slushy, but don’t have too many without standing up in between. Tequila will get you every time. Afternoon G and Tea (IDR120) snazzes up the classic recipe with gin matured with chamomile tea and lemongrass.
|Afternoon G and Tea|
All are frosty, revitalizing and clearly made from fresh fruits, not artificial premixes. Charging the classics with a modern spin, expect to see umbrellas and orchids as garnishes and familiar mixes livened up with local ingredients. A drink or three is highly recommended at Salt Tapas and Bar.
Too many mixed drinks and my night is assured to be a short one, so I switch to wine to accompany our meal. Wine by the glass is always appreciated. Hubby and I vary greatly in preferences so ordering a bottle is not ideal. Salt Tapas and Bar goes way beyond the all-too-common cheap chardonnay and merlot for house wine and instead provides a good list of dignified drops by the glass.
Fritz’s 10 Reisling (IDR130) from Rheinhessen, Germany wafts minerals to the nose, presents a crispness in the roof of the mouth mid-swig and, a departs with a mildly sweet soft finish. I’m rather happy with this vintage and stick with it for the rest of the evening.
|Fritz's Riesling 2010|
We’re here for dinner and enjoy the easy-to-read way the menu is divided into Nibbles, Garden, Sea, Paddock and Sweets. The lunch menu sports an additional section of Bali Favourites, which I imagine are popular poolside fodder.
While ‘tapas’ might encourage thoughts of tortilla Española, olives and cold cuts, chef has taken the concept of small plates and thrust upon it his own modern Australian flare. Drawing from both regional and international influence we delight in finding inspiration from opposite sides of the world not only across the menu, but also within a single dish. Take Taco of Tempura Prawn with Pineapple Salsa and Chilli Aioli for example - Mexico, Japan, the Caribbean and Europe all in one mouthful!
From the nibbles section we taste the Marinated Olives (IDR50). Kalamanta and green olives are shiny with oil and brightened with red capsicum. Juicy and flavourful, it’s clear these are quality product. The Spiced Cashew Nuts (IDR30) too are a tasty snack. A tiny touch of spice felt around the edges of the tongue is a subtle kick, which makes us enjoy our icy cocktails even more.
|Spiced Cashew Nuts|
Suckling Pig Sliders (IDR40 each) are matched with cucumber and chilli and, are much larger than most sliders I’ve encountered. A soft white bun envelopes savoury meat, a sweet relish, chewy crackling and a garden of cilantro. It’s a mixed bunch of flavours and textures. A mouthful is delightful, yet satisfying so one or two are enough.
|Suckling Pork Sliders|
Faintly reminiscent of a prawn cocktail, the Taco of Tempura Prawn with pineapple salsa and chilli aioli (IDR40 each) is based with shredded ice burg lettuce and topped with a pink sauce. The fried shrimp provides a meaty filling and cilantro and fruit personalize a tropical lift.
|Taco of Tempura Prawn|
Seared Scallops (IDR80) come with lemon, leek, crisp pancetta and horseradish. The taste of the pan is still in the flesh and the golden outer makes way to a moist core. While the dominant taste is savoury, a faint tingle of sweet lingers on the tongue.
A taste of spring is brought to the palate with the Beetroot Salad. It’s a colourful tangle of leaves. Asparagus, egg, radish and rocket glisten with a tarragon dressing.
Oceanic inspiration sees Garlic Prawns (IDR120) topped with rouille (a sauce made from olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic, saffron and chili), apple, fennel and a blanket of mint. A creamy sauce provides a direct contrast to the texture and taste of the fresh leafy herbs.
Sticky Pork Chops (a new dish soon to be added to the menu) with a soy sauce are topped with a tsunami of herbs. They combine sweet, spicy, savoury and, earthy all in one bite. Marinated overnight and char grilled the edges are sticky and sweet, while the inside is soft yet meaty.
|Sticky Pork Chops|
Lamb Cutlets (IDR180 2 pieces) are seasoned with a North African spice blend, ras el hanout, baba ganoush, pistachio tabouleh and saffron yoghurt. They’re softly tender and juicy, with a faint salty finish, and too one of chef’s favourites.
Liquorice Parfait (IDR70) with lime syrup is on all of the Salt menus and is a MUST try! Velvety smooth ice cream has the distinct flavour of Darrell Lea liquorice. If you’re Aussie, you’ll know that Darrell Lea is famous for this decadent sweet. Luke Mangan has made the unbelievable possible and actually improved on this Aussie favourite by turning it into a chilled, creamy parfait. Heaven.
Churros and Chocolate Sauce (IDR50) make the most of local cacao. We’re a tough sell with churros. Few have ever met out expectations outside of Latin America. We think vendors in Caracas make some of the best in the world and we’re personally fond of a slightly dense and lightly chewy version in a rich intense caramel sauce. Chef Angus at Salt Tapas however may just sway us to expand our tastes to include a lighter fluffier style and give up the ‘dulce de leche’ every now and then in favour of his rendition. ;-)
|Churros and Chocolate Sauce|
We’ve had a delicious evening at Salt Tapas and Bar. The relaxed poolside setting, excellent cocktails and, fine food, are all reasons to make a visit when visiting the island. Check out their website for some fun and good value weekend deals.
Reason to visit: tasty menu of modern tapas; good cocktails; relaxed atmosphere; Liquorice Parfait (must eat!).
Salt Tapas and Bar
Luxury Private Villas
Jalan Pura Telaga Waja
+62 361 737 676