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Nero Bali.....

Don?t Step in the Water!

What a makeover! The bloodhouse that used to be `001? is now one of Bali?s most modern designer spaces. Endless series of strips and squares of stone and wood are separated by continuous running water and fountains. A series of small areas, all on slightly different levels, help to give you total privacy, no matter where you sit. A mirror-encased kitchen only adds to the illusion of boundless size.

With a light summery Mediterranean cuisine, this is one new restaurant that is definitely here to stay!

Start with the traditional fishermen?s soup, Boullabaise, or one of Carrot and Ginger Cream. For a cold alternative there is always Gazpacho [a blend of fresh tomatoes, herbs and vegetables]. A Green Salad with Soya Beans is roasted soya beans, tossed with lettuce in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A Mykonos Salad is fresh sticks of vegetable plus some vegetables served tempura-style, and a spicy goat?s cheese dip and eggplant dip, for dunkiing.

Then there is a Mezze [assorted plate of small Mediterranean snacks], that conveniently comes in three different sized portions, although judging by the medium sized one, are only sufficient for one person. Ours contained small sticks of leek encased with both tuna and ham, and a variety of mini dishes, most of which constituted not much more than one mouthful. They included a stuffed tomato, moussaka, pickled octopus, stuffed mushroom, potato tart, a dip of eggplant and some feta cheese. Small, but good! The excellent complimentary hot and crunchy bread, that arrives at your table automatically, disappears very fast with this entrée spread.

Shrimps alla Nero have been done in a sauce of white wine and fresh tomato, then topped with goat?s cheese. Pastas include a Squid Ink Tagliatelle with a Caviar Dressing! Others include a wonderful soft fluffy potato Gnocchi in a pesto sauce [combining basil, pine nuts and parmesan]. Alternatively, there is a Spinaci Gnocchi con Salsa Bianca, spinach gnocchi in a prosciutto flavoured white sauce.

The mains, in normal Italian style, are small in size but full of taste. As you are expected to have already consumed large plates of entrees and pastas. A Chicken Fillet Mandarino is a scallop of chicken breast topped with mandarin segments and a mandarin and lime sauce, with mashed potatoes. The Baked Lemon Chicken is also served with a baked potato.

A Mixed Meat Kebab is a combination of pieces of tenderloin of beef, pork fillet, chorizo sausage and chicken breast, and comes with a pile of sauteed vegetables. The Grilled Tenderloin with Lettuce Ravioli is a well-seasoned, flattened piece of beefsteak with a pile of tasty ravioli alongside. The Pork Fillet in Black Pepper is served with a baked potato and tempura style zuccini. Two large disks of rather firm meat, that have also been flattened.

Lamb Chops Rosmarino, have been grilled with rosemary and served with yellow rice and grilled mushrooms. Nice and pink and very good, although my yellow rice arrived as a funny shade of white!

Seafood lovers are not forgotten. Grilled Tuna Fillet `al Mediterraneo? is in a basil garlic sauce and served with mashed potatoes. The Seafood Kebab consists of pieces of snapper, cuttle fish, and tuna, with prawns. A Snapper Fillet is served in a wine sauce, with capers. The Coral Grouper alla Pacasso, is a firm piece of strongly flavoured fish that has been lightly fried. It comes with a radicchio salad.

The desserts are the usual fare of sorbets and ice creams, only the Honey Puffs `Loukoumades? with Ice Cream looking different from the norm.

Wine, either by the glass or carafe, is priced very reasonably. The menu here is interesting and represents reasonable value, particularly for this part of town. All prices shown on the menu are inclusive of government taxes.

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QUICK REVIEW
Nero Bali
Address:
Jln. Legian 384,
Kuta.
Phone:
750.756
Open:
From 10.00 a.m., daily.
Bookings:
No
Parking:
Street only.
Price:
Rp. 180,000 for 2 [plus drinks]
Credit Cards:
- Amex
- Diners
- MC
- Visa
Food:
Mediterranean.
Wine:
Very limited.
Service:
Very good.
Atmosphere:
Glamorous.
Overall:
Good value.
Last Reviewed:
September, 2000.
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