Tired of eating at the same old places in Singapore? How about lunch in Bali? Not the real Bali of course, but Blue Bali in Singapore. We were astonished to discover such a restaurant in the heart of Singapore. The dining area looks and feels like a restaurant in Kuta, from the structures, the worn out wooden furniture and the lush foliage. Such a place may not be surprising if located in some far away place like Sungei Kadut or Changi, but Bali Blue is just next to the Botanic Gardens – along Cluny Road, five minutes from Orchard Road.
Blue Bali Indonesian restaurant is in a restored colonial building that was part of the old University of Singapore campus. Presently, the only university activity in this vicinity is the National University of Singapore Law Faculty which is just right across the road. From the outside and even at the reception, the place looks like a regular restaurant. The dining area is in the backyard where it seems that a piece of Bali has sprouted. The upstairs area is mostly empty, presumably used for conference and function rooms.
It is when we stepped into the backyard that the Bali atmosphere hit us. The main wooden pavilion looked like it had been transported log stock and barrel from Bali. The entire dining area is not air-conditioned, which adds to the Balinese mood and feel. Dozens of electric fans and piped in Balinese gamelan music provide the atmospheric balmy breeze and background sounds to complete the Balinese feel.
How about some Balinese music to get you in the mood as you read on? Just click “play” and I read on.
Here are pictures of parts of the Blue Bali restaurant menu. We ordered a random selection of dishes.
For starters we had the soto ayam ($13) and gado dado ($13). They looked great but the taste was quite average. The soto ayam had a good gravy but the shredded chicken was dry and pulpy. The gado gado had a diluted sauce and the dish tasted like plain salad.
The homemade tofu ($9) and “dirty duck confit” ($28) were the best dishes of the day. The tofu had good flavours and just the right texture. We were surprised to see duck confit on the menu of an Indonesian restaurant but according to the menu this is a traditional dish. It was a good piece of duck thigh with crispy outer skin. The duck flavour was just right, not too gamey nor too weak.
The nasi goreng special ($16) was quite a regular Indonesian fried rice with some keropok, two sticks of satay and a fried egg. It was not bad but we did not think it was special.
Finally we had space to try one dessert and we decided on the mango with sticky rice ($12). The half mango was very sweet. Together with the ice cream and neutral tasting sticky rice, it was a nice combination. We would like to eat this again!
Overall, it was quite an experience eating at Blue Bali Singapore. With the thick foliage and water features there was the constant thought of mosquitoes, especially with news of the Watten Estate incident fresh in our minds. We noted that there were some incense (we presume of the anti-insect variety) burning points along the perimeter of the restaurant. They must have done their job that day as none of us suffered any bites during lunch.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
One D Cluny Road
(behind NUS Bukit Timah Campus
oposite Law Faculty Eu Tong Sen Building)
Tel: +65 6733 0185
New Operating Hours from 1 June 2015
Closed on Mondays & Lunch*
Brunch: Sat, Sun & Public Holidays, 11am – 3pm
Dinner: Tues – Sun, 5pm – 10pm