Karma Lounge is the latest dining option at Jimbaran's Karma Resort. Since the popular di Mare was moved to Karma Kandara at Ungasan a few years ago, the Jimbaran restaurant has been trying to find its own niche. The Steak House concept was followed by a short flirtation with Seafood then reverted back to the steak formula which created enough of a following that a steak section remains on the menu today with different cuts of Wagyu and Australian Angus.
Karma Lounge now offers the Izakaya style of dining. Izakaya started in Japan as upmarket bar snacks in the smarter sake lounges, more substantial than was usually available in a normal bar. The concept has a number of different dishes shared amongst friends. To convert this to a full restaurant formula Karma Lounge offers these dishes in two different size portions, thus catering for any number at the table.
The Izakaya selection offers a wide range of flavours, dishes of Japanese origin whilst others are more International [some even with traces of the chef's Caribbean origin], but the concept remains the same; order a variety of plates and enjoy that wide variety of tastes.
Grilled Lemongrass Pork Loin with sweet banana in cilantro and red wine, Sake Marinated Chicken, tomato risotto, ginger and lime juice, Braised Veal Shank [Osso Bucco style], pumpkin risotto, black kale, cippolini onions and salsa verde, and a wonderful Harissa-spiced Lamb Rump [cooked a perfect pink] with aubergine caviar, grilled chorizo and a sweet potato tortilla.
Dishes with a Japanese touch include Char Siu Braised Pork Belly, scallion, shitake and soba noodles, Miso Marinated Black Japanese Cod, fennel and citrus, a Whole Local Lobster Tempura with wasabi yogurt and a lemon confit. Very different is the Japanese Crispy Soft Shell Crab with coriander, chilli, lime leaf with ginger ponzu sauce.
More seafood options include Pan-fried Sea Bass with confit of fennel and a black olive tapenade, Roasted Sea Bass with sticky pork belly and a butternut squash puree, Ceviche of Mahi Mahi, cucumber, lemon, tomato and chilli, and a Basket of Spicy Steamed Salmon, Snapper and Shrimp, with soy and a sambal sauce. The Braised Local Squid with roasted red onions, tomato and a black olive tapenade is amazingly tender.
And finally a touch of the Caribbean with a Slow Roasted Duck Leg, souse cloves [a pickling method from the West Indies], lemon, green chilli and ear mushrooms. Venison has always been my favourite meat and here they have a Roasted Venison with mascarpone potato puree, red cabbage [another favourite], crispy salsify [sometimes called oyster plant] and an unusual bitter chocolate sauce. A dish to return for!
Sizzling meat plates include a perfect Japanese Spiced Lamb Loin with coconut and a flageolet bean cassoulet, a Five Spice and Honey Duck Breast with crispy bok choi, confit duck dumplings and New Zealand Lamb Chops with crushed peas, a potato fondant and rosemary. As well as the previously mentioned steak options of Wagyu and Australian Angus, which are available in different portion sizes..
With such a variety of tastes the Izakaya method makes sense, order a few dishes at a time, not the complete order, and taste and sip to fully enjoy the experience.
Then it is dessert time, and the variety and range of taste continues. Pumpkin Pot de Crème, an Upside Down Vanilla and Lemon Cheese Cake, and a Sticky Toffee Pudding with Crème Fraîche all tempt the senses, and then there is the Chef's signature dish, a Rosemary, Chocolate & Olive Oil Cake that should not be missed!
Karma Lounge is also open all day beginning with an extensive breakfast menu [Ricotta Hotcakes, caramelized banana, whipped vanilla cream or Fried Polenta with a grilled pork sausage and roasted chilli jam or a Complete Breakfast with all the good and bad things together, my sort of breakfast!] and many lighter things for lunch [Moules a la Normande, Maine bouchot mussels steamed with white wine, leek cream and applewood-smoked bacon or a Grilled Spiced Quail with crisp rice cakes, peanut satay and coriander cress].
Wellness cuisine options, inspired by the Karma Spa, are also available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, for the healthy minded. Power Breakfasts and many other things that are good for you.
Karma lounge is a hidden oasis, a wonderful spot to relax by the pool, in the main restaurant area or lounge, by day, and a little more elegant by night. Karma restaurants have always offered well selected wine lists offering the world's bests. And at very competitive prices, which also increases the enjoyment value.