Vincent's is unusual, and not quite what you expect to find in Candi Dasa, an area that has been traditionally considered to be rather staid and conventional. Beyond the entrance of water fountains and hanging gardens is a front room with a comfortable bar alongside tables and lounges. The second room contains a similar configuration of tables and lounges, and behind that a pleasant garden courtyard. Quality music plays softly through a quality sound system, and sets the scene.
This is an all day café/restaurant and the menu reflects that fact. Snacks, lunches and dinners all have their own place. Amongst the anytime snacks are the usual assortment of sandwiches, baguettes, salads and hamburgers. An unusual choice is Uitsmijter, the traditional Dutch breakfast [here it has to be more of a brunch]. Whilst Uitsmijter is normally just fried ham and eggs served on bread, there are many variations. Here you can order with just ham, or cheese, or both ham and cheese Yes the management of Vincent?s is Dutch.
Interesting snacks or entrees as part of a main meal include a Pineapple Shrimp Cocktail. A half pineapple is stuffed with shrimps, lettuce and chopped pineapple, then covered with a Whisky sauce. The pan-fried mushrooms in butter, garlic and red wine are just perfect. They are spread over toast to make an acceptable anytime snack, as does Grilled Goat Cheese with a honey & thyme dressing or a slab of juicy Melon draped with thin slices of Parma Ham. The International Croque Monsieur is a toasted sandwich of ham and cheese, topped with a melt of mozzarella.
The Calamari Salad surprised with the tender crunchiness of the squid rings and no shortage of chilli taste. Soup Udang is a hot and sour prawn soup whilst the Vegetarian Lumpia are with sweet and sour sauce. Tahu Isi is a tasty mix of tofu, pork and vegetables topped with peanut sauce.
The Chicken Sates at Vincent?s are different from the norm, being a large skewer of grilled chicken with a tangy honey-mustard sauce. Also different is the Chicken Cordon Bleu, this version is stuffed with only cheese and with a Thai-like sauce of chilli jam. The Wiener Schnitzel will delight schnitzel lovers, a flattened piece of pork dipped in egg yolk and breadcrumbs before being pan-fried till slightly crunchy. The Escalope of Pork is similar but stuffed with ham and cheese and served with a BBQ sauce.
The Pepper Steak is prepared as it should be, pan-fried in butter with peppers then flambéed in brandy, and only Rp.45,000++. The sauce is only slightly peppery, soft from the butter and with that unmistakable tang of brandy, quite special. Fillet mignon and Steak with your choice of sauce are also available.
Eating in Candi Dasa, surrounded by the fishing industry, you expect as a right to be able to order fresh seafood at will. No disappointment here. The Red Snapper is served whole, pan-fried in butter, Tuna Fillet is with a lemon butter sauce, or you can have Fish Fillet gently steamed with herbs. The Seafood Kebab consists of three large skewers of tuna, mackerel, squid and king prawn, covered with a red chilli sauce. A Thai Seafood Curry combines mixed seafood in coconut milk and vegetables with those Thai flavours. King Prawns are straight from the oven, whilst the Lobster is grilled with garlic butter.
Balinese and Indonesian mains include an Ikan Panggang Sambal Matah, fillet of fish with that oh-so-Bali sambal of finely minced garlic, shallots, lemongrass, onions and red chillis combined with oil, sugar and salt. Sambal Sotong is stir-fried squid in a chilli and ginger sauce. Ayam Pelalah is the norm but here at Vincent's they have an Udang Pelalah. The Ikan Pepes is very traditional, wrapped in banana leaves.
A variety of vegetarian dishes includes an unusual one, Pesan Oong, mushrooms with Balinese spices wrapped in a banana leaf or Oseng-Oseng, green vegetables stir-fried with garlic, onion and red chilli.
Desserts include local ones [Pisang Goreng, Dadar Gulung and Black Rice Pudding] and a few international favourites such as Crepe Suzette [thin pancakes in orange and caramel, drizzled with Grand Marnier].
The reasonably priced wine list has more choice than normal in these parts. Vincent's presents a surprising service level. The waiting-staff achieve that hard-to-attain combination of friendliness and total professionalism. And this is in Candi Dasa!
A pleasure to visit, and a pleasure to return! You will not regret stopping on your next visit to or through Candi Dasa.