Darcy's offers a different style of dining in Lovina. Slightly west of the main town centre it is a part of and next to the exclusive Dolphin Beach Apartments, but has its own street front entrance and parking. The restaurant itself faces the beach and there even a few tables on the lawn strip that separates the main restaurant from sand and sea.
Traditionally, Lovina has been full of standard tourist restaurants, all attempting many different cuisines of the world on the same menu but as seen from local management and kitchens. Recently new specialty restaurants have been opening up, with professionals at the helm, including this Australian enterprise. The Australian connection may herald a new wave of tourists to Bali's north as in the past most have been traditionally from The Netherlands, many of whom stay in villas along the northern coast.
Being an all day café as well as restaurant, attached to the quality accommodation of Dolphin Beach Apartments, all the usual dishes are available [sandwiches and burgers, all served with French fries] for any time snacking. Open early morning for breakfast pride of place is their Aussie Breakfast, a complete repast of cereal, fruit juice and plate, bacon and eggs, an American intrusion of hash browns, toast/jam and coffee or tea. Continental and Indonesian alternatives are also available.
Pastas [Spaghetti Bolognese, Carbonara, Napolitano and the seafood Marinara] and salads [Greek, Caesar, Tuna, Chicken and Egg] as well as popular starters or all day snacks [avocado and shrimp cocktail, tomato bruschettas, calamari rings crumbed and deep fried with tartar sauce, and a mixed kebab of fish, beef, chicken, onion and red capsicum].
Lumpia [spring rolls] are on just about every Bali menu, irrespective of cuisine. I find the normal Indonesian version boring with its too heavy casing. At Darcy's a plate of three cigar sized rolls are vegetarian with a thin crisp flaky casing. Instead of a minute serve of dipping sauce here you are given a small bowl, sweet and sour thick with onions and peppers. Cut your rolls in half and pour in the sauce, very good!
Mains at Darcy's offer you something from many different parts of the world. Their Sticky Lemon Chicken of fried chicken with a lemon honey sauce redolent of Cantonese Hong Kong, Chicken, Fish or Beef pieces are served in true Japanese Teriyaki style whilst the Tandoori Chicken is as Indian as the accompanying cucumber riata. The Breaded Chicken topped with a mushroom sauce is similar enough to an Austrian Chicken Jaeger Schnitzel and from Italy is their Chicken Valdostana, a grilled fillet of chicken, tender and moist, liberally topped with mozzarella cheese and a rich tomato salsa
The T-Bone with mushroom sauce and the Black Pepper Steak are truly International.
Seafood is always fresh at Lovina, much of it caught locally that morning by the district fishermen in the early hours of the morning. The essential 'Fish & Chips' is fillet of snapper, just breaded and pan fried, served with tartar sauce and coleslaw. Other fish dishes can be pan-fried or grilled and a very budget-priced Seafood Platter [less than $10] contains, fish, prawns and squid. I like the Poached Fish with its lime coriander béchamel sauce. Lobsters [pictured] can be pre-ordered.
Many foreign owned-operated restaurants in Bali ignore the necessity for including a local section to their menu. It is very important for two very different reasons. Foreigners, local and tourist, often want to bring locals with them for dinner and faced with a menu they do not understand that good deed is completely wiped out. Furthermore, many tourists also want to try the local cuisine but prefer to do so from a western hygienic kitchen.
Darcy's has a nice local menu. It includes all the basic standard dishes; Nasi and Bakmi Goreng and Chicken Sate. A bit more daring is the spicy Rendang Sapi [beef] from Sumatra and the Ayam Rica-Rica [chicken, onion, peppers and chilli] from Manado. Ayam Kecap is a chicken version of the Balinese favourite pork dish in a sweet soy sauce and local Indonesian Chinese dishes include Sweet & Sour Chicken or Fish or steamed vegetarian Cap Cay. An Indonesian Ayam Goreng sees fried chicken served in an unusual sauce of coconut milk, onion, chilli and lemongrass.
Desserts are like all else on this menu, so cheap you can order a few different ones to try. There is the very French Croustillant, a sugar-coated puff pastry sandwich, Banana Flambee with vanilla ice cream, Chocolate Mousse and a Darcy invention The Mango Fool.
Chilling out at a beachfront restaurant is what coming to Lovina is all about, yet very few of its restaurants are actually beach located. At Darcy's waves on sand is the background noise. Great value and very relaxing!