SANAK is a paradise of relaxation. It is in the hills below Munduk, in northern Bali. After passing through Bedugul, and climbing the mountain you drive along the ridge [many places to stop for a coffee whilst taking in the breathtaking views] to Munduk. Downhill towards Seririt, the way to Sanak is well sign-posted. At the village of Kayu Putih a 1km turnoff to the right takes you to Sanak.
You have been transported to a peaceful haven. The restaurant area has been hand crafted from wood from Kalimantan, as are the 10 bungalows that comprise this amazing complex. It adds to the 'back to nature' feel about the whole place as you gaze down the valley, across rice paddies and natural bush.
The food fits the image. Basic, healthy and tasty! Wherever possible local produce is used, that includes organic vegetables from the markets of Bedugul and fresh seafood from the fishing villages along the coast of north Bali. Added produce comes from the Sanak gardens and rice paddies.
Babaganoush [an Arabian dish of cooked eggplant mixed with onions, tomatoes, olive oil and various seasonings] comes from the Sanak garden, it is combined with a hummus dip. A simple Bruschetta, tomato, mozzarella and pesto on toast and a serve of Spiced Tuna with that unique Balinese peanut sauce for sate, are simple snacks you can enjoy with a drink.
Entrees are all interesting. Top of the bill is a Tuna Tataki. High grade fresh tuna is just seared then coated with sesame seeds and served with a wasabi mayonnaise. It is easy to eat healthy food when it is like this! Pumpkin Mousse is with an unusual strawberry balsamic dressing, and is served with garlic prawns. The Lumpia Trio is three different shaped crisp parcels, each with its own dipping sauce [pictured], Vegetables [sweet and sour], Chicken [peanut sate sauce] and Prawn [hoisin]. The casings are thin and crisp, the ample serve of sauces quite intense, finger-licking good!
Salads can be just a collection of locally grown organic produce with a lemon and garlic dressing or a Young Papaya Salad tossed with apple, mango and grated carrot. This is served with crisp chicken wontons, all tied up like those Thai 'moneybags'. A larger salad is available for those who want to make a full meal of same. A very organic mix of tomato, chickpeas, carrot, cucumber and beetroot is tossed with an olive-lemon dressing. To this can be added strips of seared tuna or beef tenderloin.
Soup can be Indonesian [traditional Soto Ayam of turmeric and coconut milk scented chicken soup laced with glass noodles], Balinese [seafood with calamari, shrimp and fish with banana stem] or International [tomato and bell peppers with chilli].
Bali?s current Hamburger craze has even spread to healthy Sanak where you can order one that uses beef tenderloin with your choice of emmental or mozzarella cheese. A tad healthier is the Vegetable Curry, with tofu.
Grilling is probably the healthiest way to prepare meat or seafood and at the Sanak Kitchen you have quite an array of choices. Seafood is calamari, fillet of local fish or a whole fish [big enough for two persons]. Meat can be organically raised chicken or tenderloins of beef or pork. All grills are served with your choice of side dishes; locally grown jasmine rice which can be steamed or fried, fresh salad or grilled vegetables, potato done anyway or a Sanak cap cay. Accompanying sauce can be Bali?s own Sambal Matah, an Asian Pesto, Chinese favourite Sweet and Sour, Red Wine or Lemon-Garlic butter.
Gulai Kambing is on most Indonesian menus, but of varying quality. Here it is very good. A ceramic bowl contains the ambrosial broth of lemongrass, Kaffir lime, galangal, ginger, white turmeric, clove, coriander, cumin, candle nut, nutmeg, cinnamon and garlic. The lamb pieces have been cooked in this broth and then, just prior to serving, coconut milk is added. Also on the plate is a mound of coconut rice, a perfect balance! The rice has been organically raised in the rice paddies in front of the restaurant. A great example of eating healthy food that tastes great!
As the sole diner is a rare phenomenon at Sanak there are a range of large dishes to be shared, apart from the Grilled Whole Fish mentioned earlier. Mixed Skewers contains those of beef, pork, chicken and seafood, served with jasmine rice, urab and sambal. Pepes Ikan & Ayam, fish and chicken wrapped in banana leaves, served with rice that has been steamed with lemongrass, and sambals. With a full days prior notice you can enjoy a Whole Roasted Chicken [with curry rice] or the Balinese classics; Chicken or Duck Betutu [with coconut scented rice].
Desserts include local; Balinese [coconut pandan crepe, cassava cake and black rice pudding], Indonesian [Pisang Goreng, banana fritter with caramelized palm sugar and vanilla ice cream] or International [Crème Brulee].
Sanak is a wonderful place to switch off from the rest of the world, total relaxation, wholesome food of the highest quality, and a friendly level of service to round out the package.