Last week I went on a short trip to Bali with a group of friends (wonderfully organised by one of my guest reviewers Shirley Adams) and stayed in Villa Chocolat in Seminyak. We were served breakfast in our villa every morning – cooked fresh in our kitchen with a choice of Indonesian, American or Continental. The banana pancakes were amazing! Despite having this on offer, I really wanted to see what else was available in the Seminyak/Oberoi area and decided to check out a few places recommended to me by my fellow brekky lovers.
All prices mentioned are AUD based on 10 000rp = $1 AUD
Sea Circus22 Jalan Kayu Aya, Seminyak (in between Ku De Ta and Potato Head)
Breakfast served daily 8am – 1pm
Sea Circus sits neither by the sea or near a circus but it is does remind you of a fun beach shack with its louvre style shutters and calming turquoise blue decor. As Shirley Adams, Miss Maiden and I walked in, I noticed it was full of trendy people. People who had foregone the stale hotel buffet in favour of a cafe that could easily be sitting on Scarborough or Cottesloe beach.
The menu was impressive. Lots of choices ranging from small light breakfasts right up to big filling meals to fix the most painful Arak induced hangover. Prices start at $1.80 for Sourdough toast with a selection of locally made jams up to $10.50 for the “Sin City” hangover cure – eggs on toast with bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, red onion marmalade, espresso coffee, oj, berocca shot, panadol and a happy game. You can even add a massage for $4!
We all ordered a coffee ($2 for a cappuccino) and Miss Maiden ordered a fresh juice and Shirley Adams and I ordered vanilla milkshakes. The coffee is roasted locally under the Five Senses name and is sourced from Kintamani. The coffee was at a perfect temperature and had a creamy texture but the flavour was bordering on bitter. It was “good for Bali coffee” as Shirley Adams commented. We all loved how our coffee’s came with a “feel good” quote on the side. The vanilla milkshakes were icey cold and were made with real vanilla bean, which was a very pleasant and delectable surprise.
Miss Maiden chose to have eggs benedict ($5). One egg was poached perfectly, yet the other had a hard yolk which was a little disappointing. She straight away commented that the hollandaise sauce was better than some she had tasted in Australia. I had a little try and it was creamy, smooth and buttery. Exactly what you’d expect from a good hollandaise.
Shirley Adams ordered Avo Eggs - 2 poached eggs & squashed avocado on toast with lemon & red onion marmalade ($5) with a side of mushrooms & feta ($1.50) and a side of bacon ($2.50). Both eggs were firm on the outside with soft warm runny yolks on the inside. They certainly didn’t skimp on the avocado which was fresh and nutty in flavour. The onion marmalade tasted like it was made from pickled onions. It was interesting in a “I want to keep tasting this, but I don’t really like it” kinda way. Shirley Adams makes no secret of her love for mushrooms and these really hit the spot. Sautéed with basil, garlic and soft feta, these mushrooms were moreish.
I had the corn fritters with feta, chili jam & rocket ($4.50). The fritters were dotted with sweet corn and salty feta – a perfect contradiction of flavours. Topped with some peppery rocket and the sweet but spicy chilli jam , each bite left me wanting another. This was a well composed dish and I loved how all the opposing flavours complimented each other when put together.
The service in Bali is top notch. They aim to please and are always friendly and smiling in my experience. This is consistent from the small Warung selling nasi goreng up to the likes of Potato Head. Sea Circus was no different. So PLEASE take a step back from your hotel buffet and pay a visit to this cafe doing all the right things for breakfast in Bali.
Grocer & GrindJl. Kayu Jati No.3x Petitenget, Seminyak
Breakfast served daily
Sitting right near Seminyak Square is Grocer & Grind. As you cross over a calming goldfish pond into this bistro cross deli style cafe, it’s easy to forget you are in Bali. There is a cake display full of colourful macrons and delicious looking carefully decorated cakes as well as bins and baskets full of take home goodies. It reminded me somewhat of Fresh Provisions or the Boatshed. Much like Sea Circus there was a refreshing lack of Bintang singlets and an abundance of tanned mums-to-be on their “baby moon” and men in cool linen trousers.
The menu was very comprehensive. Eggs any which way you can think of and a decent selection of both sweet, savoury and gourmet style breakfasts on offer. The prices ranged from $1.50 for a muffin up to $7.50 for a big breakfast – eggs, bacon, mushrooms, hashbrowns, sausages, tomato and toast.
Shirley Adams and Miss Maiden joined me again for this review and we all ordered a coffee as well as juices and milkshakes. The coffee is their own locally roasted blend and it wasn’t good. It had a good temperature but was so bitter that even I had to add sugar. I never have sugar – even in instant. We couldn’t even say that this coffee was “good for Bali”.
For breakfast Miss Maiden chose the sweet corn hotcakes with bacon, avocado, roasted tomato and cottage cheese ($5) and a side of mushrooms ($1.50). She saw how good mine was at Sea Circus and decided to give these ones a go. She was disappointed. The hotcakes were too thick and doughy. Barely cooked through and devoid of flavour. It was as if they had forgotten to season the batter. The side mushrooms were watery and also had no seasoning. However, the roasted tomatoes had a balsamic glaze and were soft and sweet. The dish was presented beautifully but the flavours just weren’t there.
Shirley Adams had the creamy mushrooms on ciabatta topped with a poached egg, parmesan and rocket ($4.80) with a side of hash browns ($1.50). The poached egg was almost overcooked but the mushrooms were creamy as described. Rocket and been substituted for spinach for some reason. The peppery rocket would have added the nice punch this dish needed. The hashbrowns were home made – nice round pouches of soft potato yet upon tasting lacked seasoning.
I ordered the avocado eggs which came with poached eggs and a tomato, avocado and coriander salsa on sour dough ($4.80). The egg was cooked to perfection and the salsa had a good combination of crunch from fresh tomato and softness from the avocado. The coriander gave the salsa a fresh asian flavour. It was almost a “tom yum” kind of flavour.
I can see that Grocer and Grind are trying to offer a breakfast that is gourmet and really… it could be a menu from any trendy cafe in Mt Lawley but I feel that they missed the mark with the quality of flavour. It was good but not great. The flavours just weren’t there due to lack of seasoning. Top marks for presentation and service though.
Jl Kayu Aya (Jalan Oberoi) #3 Oberoi – Seminyak, Bali.
Behind ‘This is a Love Song’ Concept Store and ‘Home’ Store. Or enter from the lane way opposite Bali Clinic.
Breakfast served Monday – Saturday from 8am
Blink and you’ll miss it. Revolver is a tiny cafe down a lane way off “eat street” in the Oberoi district. Follow the gun pointing signs and you’ll enter into a small bric-a-brac cafe run by a friendly girl from Sydney who is very proud of her popular cafe.
Miss Maiden and I went to Revolver for coffee only as we had already eaten breakfast. I wish that we had breakfast here because it looked incredible. I had a look at the menu and prices ranged from $1.50 for toast, muffins or croissants up to $4.50 for the “Double Barrel” – scrambled eggs with tomato, basil, bacon and parmesan on sour dough.
The coffee is sourced from Australia and roasted locally by Five Senses. This had to be the best coffee I have had in Bali. Hallelujah! It was smooth, creamy and had a rich caramel flavour.
If you are after the best coffee in Bali that would rival even counterparts in Australia then this is your place.
Thank you to all my fellow brekky lovers for your suggestions whilst I was in Bali!
Feel free to view the rest of the photos I took at these reviews and at our villa. Check out the gallery