Deus ex Macchina is well known to enthusiasts in both Sydney and Bali. Their Bali factory sits amid the ever-disappearing rice paddies of central Canggu. The high showroom/gallery towers over the local landscape, filled with hand restored vintage motor bikes, and custom made surfboards and bicycles.
However not so many people seem to have discovered the magic Deus Café. It is one of Bali?s great foodie secrets! It sits on the outer veranda that surrounds the showroom. A comfortable bar offers eating and drinking space in the kitchen corner.
Food with taste! A variety of different Asian cuisines, all faithfully re-produced, plus a few creations.
Open early for breakfast [early enough for the dawn surfers hungry after fighting the waves, and local businessmen on the way to their office] they offer the standard items [Fruit Salad with Bircher Muesli, French Toast, Ham & Cheese Croissants, Eggs Benedict, Poached or Fried with Bacon], local [Black Rice Pudding] and a few more exotic things; Baked Eggs on Hash Browns, an Omelette of Goat Cheese, Mushroom and Spinach and Breakfast Burritos [scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese wrapped in a tortilla]. Together with coffee from a real espresso machine, that most important breakfast ingredient.
All day snacks double as entrees and finger food for the drinkers, late afternoon and well into the night. They include Deep-fried Wontons stuffed with chicken meat, Sea Salt and Pepper Calamari, Beef Rollers [marinated beef strips in teriyaki sauce], Prawn Croquettes and the unusual Ji Tu Si, finely diced deep fried chicken pieces combined with coriander, garlic and pepper, spread on toast with a sweet chilli sauce.
Soups and Salads are available on the lunch menu, but more are on the dinner version [which is also available at lunch if you want a bigger selection]. Soups include the Thai special, found all over Bali in a variety of versions, Tom Yam Goong and its chicken alternative the ambrosial Tom Kar Gai.
Salads are numerous and varied. Duck [sliced meat with sticky rice, lime and chilli dressing], Pork Belly [deep fried and crispy with lettuce, lime and palm sugar], Thai Beef Salad [sweet basil, mint and coriander], Soba Noodle [with teriyaki grilled tuna and cold black soba noodles, ponzu dressing], Green Papaya, the original Som Tam, shredded papaya tossed in a coriander dressing topped with crushed peanuts and dried shrimps.
However as wonderful as all these dishes are it is for the Mains that I go to Deus Café, lunch, dinner or in between. The first dish I ever ordered here was their Sri Lankan Chicken, and one that I continually re-order. The skeptics may call it an expensive Nasi Goreng, but then they obviously do not appreciate such a well balanced dish, the flavours subtle yet almost full strength at the same time. For me this dish has everything. Based on a Biryani [which originated in Sri Lanka, but has spread to all neighbouring countries] chicken pieces, raisins and cashews are sautéed with rice, berries, leaves and subtle spices to make this great dish. I savour every mouthful.
Not far behind is a simple Malaysian Indian Curry. Here the chicken is cooked on the bone, no doubt grilled but with flesh so tender it may have been steamed. Covered with a thick masala of intense flavour, and served with yellow rice. The Thai Krapow [chicken or beef] is a surprise, ?krapow? is just the Thai word for basil and that flavour certainly comes through loud and strong. In Thailand the meat is minced and heavy with chilli and Thai basil, here they are slices of tender meat without the chilli, just sweet basil. Different but still great!
Twice Cooked Chicken is leg and thigh, marinated in ground turmeric, steamed then fried. Chicken Martabak is Malay style, spiced chicken and vegetables rolled in an Indian Roti, cut into easy to eat squares, for me a great entrée or finger food whilst sipping, but here listed amongst the mains.
Larb is a popular Thai dish, Larb Moo is minced pork, the lime, palm sugar and fish sauce give it that sweet and sour taste the Thais love. The BBQ Pork is also Thai style, coated with chilli powder, tamarind, mint, coriander and ground rice.
There are a few seafood dishes but the Malee Yum Pla is WOW! Whole fish is deboned, floured and lightly fried in pieces, then tossed in the wok with mint, coriander and lemongrass. Fantastic! The Mixed Seafood [prawns and squid] is cooked with the Chinese origin Choo Chee sauce, very different.
Pure Chinese is the Kung Pao Chicken, sweet and spicy with onions, chilli, garlic and cashews, as is the Black Pepper Beef. Many Vegetarian dishes are also available including some vegetarian versions of the above dishes, replacing the meat content with tofu
Sushi Night was Thursdays, but by popular demand there are Deus Sushi Specials on every night, and the very special Specials on Thursday and Friday evenings only. Sushi as you have never had it before, and sometimes in name only as it is often combined with tempura and wild sauces, creations that even surprise the Japanese! Sushi, Californian style by Tyler Mars, who happened to call in for lunch one day after surfing, and decided to stay!
There is now also a mini Deus Café just offering snacks, salads and sandwiches, no mains] at the new Deus showroom on Jln . Laksmana, Kerobokan.
A relaxed lunch at Deus Café is what Bali is all about, soft subtle flavours from a very high quality kitchen, out amongst the rice paddies of Canggu.