The Nammos Beach Club is unique for Bali, and fairly unusual for anywhere else in the world as well. Yes, it is a private club, part of the wonderful new Karma Kandara complex set on the southern cliffs of Bali at Ungasan. The Nammos Beach Club covers the complete length of a pristine white sand private beach. There are only two ways of getting there, one is by way of Karma?s long and very steep funicular, descending from the upper deck of Karma?s fine dining di Mare restaurant, the other is by boat.
To preserve the exclusiveness of Nammos, a payment of Rp150,000 per person, must be made in order to proceed down to the beach, this amount is subsequently deducted from your day?s bill, but you are then welcome to spend the entire day relaxing, wining and dining in the manner of the rich and famous!
The food at Nammos is simple. It is typical of Raymond Saja, Karma?s Executive chef and the magic man behind their Karma Steakhouse and di Mare. His food reminds me of a visit, many years ago, to Robert Carrier?s famous restaurant in North London. The regular attraction for me was their Roast Guinea Fowl in juniper berries, but I was surprised by a dish I constantly saw being served to other guests, a Cucumber Salad. I could not imagine a more boring or uninspiring thing to order in such a wonderful restaurant. So on one occasion I had to try it! I sat there smiling to myself as I devoured it spoonful by spoonful, not believing how such a nothing dish could taste so wonderful! The real test of a great chef is when you savour their simplest dish rather than what they can add to foie gras that no one else has thought of! Carrier did it to perfection as does Raymond Saja. Robert Carrier though of French descent was also American, an unusual co-incidence.
Nammos is a place for all day relaxing so the menu is designed accordingly. Rather than a conventional 3 course meal taken one course after the other [although you can still do that if you wish?], it is the perfect menu for ?pickers? or snackers?. The Starters are perfect bar-food, not exactly finger food but a small fork works perfectly. Talking, sipping or reading a book, just work your way slowly through a wide variety of tastes, mostly from the countries that fringe the Mediterranean, and take as long as you like about it.
A Greek Salad or Hummus with pine nuts [with slabs of grilled pita bread warm and crisp straight from the pizza oven]. The Beef Meatballs with tzatziki and coriander, have both tang and taste, the Sun-dried Tomato Fritters I could eat all day. Portabello Mushrooms baked in a parchment paper are example of great simple tastes. If you like cheese then Nammos has two delights for you. That special Ladotiri cheese from the island of Lesvos in Greece, made from goat and sheep milk is presented fried, Saganaki style which is Greek for ?flaming cheese?. Haloumi Cheese [a soft Cypriot cheese] is also served grilled with lemon and parsley.
If a luxury yacht arrives to take you from the beach you will be convinced that you are on the Mediterranean.
Pizzas are another dish that can be quietly eaten, segment by segment. A pizza can even be as enjoyable eaten cold as it was when hot from the oven. Behind the open bar at Nammos is a giant pizza oven. If you want to be boring then have the simple Margharita, but more daring challenges await you! You could try a topping of wild mushrooms, truffles and that classic cow?s milk cheese from the Italian Aosta Valley, Fontina or one of sliced Greek Meatballs and potato, with Haloumi cheese and Fettoush. But for me the prize goes to a Pizza that I could not have previously imagined, combining fig, prosciutto and gorgonzola. Eat this one slowly and savour every mouthful!
Everyone wants something different so there are also a couple of mains. You guessed right, they are simple yet wonderful! Big tender chunky prawns tossed in linguine pasta along with saffron, tomato and shiitake mushrooms. That must be as perfect as you can get whilst lazing on a towel draped deck chair under a sun-protecting canopy. Want something more solid? A Loin of Lamb crusted with herbs, cooked perfectly pink, accompanied by a Spinach and Feta Pie. Large chunks of tender chicken doused in Moroccan spices grilled on skewers, kebab style or Grilled Sea Bass firm to the touch, with a tomato carpaccio and a caramelized shallot-balsamic vinaigrette.
If you care not about your figure on this day of excess then a simple Greek Baklava, an Italian Tiramisu or an International Apple Tart Tatin to finish. The triple Chocolate Mousse is only for those with that death defying habit! Simple fruit [berry] ice creams and sorbets are enough for me.
Just for one day, pretend that this is the way you always live!