I’ve shortlisted Sardine restaurant since my previous trip to Bali, but only got to visit them this time round. From the name of the restaurant it is not surprising to know that the menu comprised of predominately fish, available in abundance at the fresh market at Jimbaran.
“Reservations recommended” is stated on the restaurant’s website, but the problem is they only accept telephone bookings and not through emails. Out of convenience we asked our villa to help make the reservation and we were surprised to hear that the restaurant required us to make another phone call personally to reconfirm our booking. Can’t help it, but found it slightly odd and what’s with the reconfirming practise in Bali now?! Was it because diners abused the reservation system? I find it a hassle to reconfirm bookings while on the move. I would like to enjoy my holiday once I embark on the trip and not constantly keep track of when do I need to email or call the restaurants to reconfirm my reservation e.g 2 days prior to my visit. I would rather the restaurants ask for credit card details in order to guarantee the booking and impose cancellation fee for no-show if that’s the case.
The driver who fetched us from our villa to Sardine was not sure of its exact location. Despite driving past the restaurant twice, none of us caught the inconspicuous signage. Perhaps I was too distracted by Metis (which I’m going to visit the following night) to realise that Sardine was right opposite them along the same road. Nonetheless, we managed to arrive for our dinner on time.
We were led to the open-air main dining hall which is inside a bamboo structure with an ultra-high ceiling. Warm bread and amuse bouche of Gazpacho with prawn was served promptly.
It took us quite a while before we decided on our meal as we were spoilt for choices from the variety of seafood for appetizers. Finally chose to have the Banyuwangi Scallops, served warm on the half shell with Asian salsa. It was beautifully presented and I enjoyed the robust salsa that brought out the freshness of the scallops.
Since the restaurant specialise in fish dishes, we wanted to try at least 1 fish dish although we were not big fish lovers. With at least 10 types of fish dishes to choose from we were once again lost on what to eat. We went along with the recommendation by the staff to try their Grilled Whole Fish “Jimbaran Style” served with organic white rice & bedugul vegetables, sambal matah. The staff told us that the grilled whole fish would be served boneless and we were sold by that statement – one reason why I didn’t like to eat fish was the bones. The grilled fish was indeed fantastic! It was one of the best grilled fish I ever tasted. The heat used to grill the fish was so well-controlled, the fish meat was cooked to the perfect firm yet tender texture without charring the paper-thin fish skin. The fish goes really well with the appetizing sambal matah (Shallots & Lemongrass relish).
After tasting the impressive fish, I certainly regretted not ordering another fish dish. We had chose to order a seafood dish Conchiglie “Pasta Shells” with prawns, scallops, calamari, clams & mussels tossed in a light tomato, basil, garlic sauce, parmesan. While this dish was also quite good, nothing beats the grilled fish.
Paired our meal with a glass of Durvillea Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough New Zealand and Macon-Villages Chardonnay 2011 France.
After our meal, we shifted to the outdoor lounge area that overlooks the rice field to enjoy our dessert. Had the Mini Dessert Tasting Warm chocolate fondant raspberry white chocolate & piedmontese hot chocolate, Strawberry & lychee trifle with lemon marscapone, Pandan & strawberry parfait with passion fruit cake and Olive oil gelato. I must say Olive oil gelato was a very special and interesting flavour. The other desserts were pretty much the norm.
Sardine has set the benchmark on the quality of grilled fish for me. Glad to enjoy a fabulous dinner after a disappointing Sunday Brunch earlier.
Other photos taken earlier:
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- Boneka Restaurant Sunday Brunch, Bali
- Cuca Restaurant, Bali
- Biku Restaurant, Bali
- Cafe Jemme, Bali
- Mozaic Restaurant, Bali
- Sarong Restaurant, Bali