Half way down the hill from Sayan Ridge to Ubud, is the Indus Restaurant. It is situated behind a Gallery of the same name, and no doubt ownership, and has adequate off-street parking. The restaurant portion consists of two raised floors of a purpose-built building, open on all sides, with views across the rice paddies and adjoining green hills.
The place is elegant and stylish, and the predominately Indonesian menu is very interesting! Not everything works as well as it could, but ten out of ten for trying to come up with something different and refreshing!
Entrees include a sweet potato and amaranth [local spinach] soup, and a middle-eastern style Mezze of hummus, spiced and roasted tomatoes, and ciabetta. The Spring Rolls with a sweet chilli dipping sauce and are nice and crunchy.
Prawn Wontons with a sweet chilli sauce sound great and don't disappoint. Pretty good value, as well! Balinese Tapas [mini entrees], however, seem the way to go. This entree spread consists of spiced fritters, tempe chips [soybean cake], spring rolls, mini chicken satays, rujak [pickled julienne of fruit and vegetables] and assorted sambals. This is a perfect line-up of little picks for the start of a leisurely lunch in a most delightful atmosphere.
There are six different salads available including a Gado Gado [Indonesian vegetable salad with wok-fried tempe and peanut sauce]. You also have a choice of four pasta dishes, but one of Prawn Ravioli in a creamy wasabi sauce really catches the eye!
A Nasi Campur with a difference, heads the list of mains. Whilst there may be a number of ways in which this dish is usually put together, it really has no rules. After all ?mixed' rice, is just that, rice and whatever! This one arrives surrounded by a most unusual array of side dishes. Jackfruit curry, satays, beans in coconut milk, chicken with lime leaves, coconut fritters and sambals. All quite tasty, and enjoyable.
A house speciality, shared with sister establishment Casa Luna [where cooking classes are regularly held] is the Bali Paella. Red-coloured rice, combined with a mixture of local seafood. Unfortunately, the concept sounds better than what is presented for the finished result. Fish and squid are just about the total of the seafood, and the whole mixture is quite soggy. Not much resemblance to any paella I've ever had in Spain, maybe they should change the name.
A Smoked Duck Feast, Balinese-style, is the traditional Bebek Betutu, and this must be pre-ordered. The duck is seasoned with spices, wrapped in thick coconut bark, and baked over smouldering coconut coals for six hours.
The most popular dish at Indus, judging by the days when I have visited, seems to be their Balinese Tuna Curry with a touch of ginger. Served in a coconut with it's top lopped off, instead of a bowl, it certainly seems to have the Japanese visitors enamored. The accompanying dinner plate holds the rice and mixed vegetables. By the way the coconuts were having their contents scrapped out, I guess they were enjoyed by all.
The other mains are also reasonably varied, rather than being just the same as those served everywhere else. The Grilled Beef comes with roasted vegetables and a creamy lime basil sauce. Spiced Fish is wrapped in banana leaves with a coconut salad and yellow rice, the fish nice and firm and full of taste. A Seafood Crepe is stuffed with fresh tuna, prawns and crab that have been combined with fresh lime leaves, coriander and wasabi.
The wine list is small but quite sensible. Both the white and red wines comprise a selection of six labels of French, Californian and Australian origin. All are priced at Rp. 200,000 per bottle. As well, Western Australian wine by the glass is available for Rp. 25,000 each, for both red and white varieties.
Overall, it would be hard to find a more pleasant environment in which to relax over a slow lunch, after having driven up to Ubud from the coast. As for the locals, well they can come here anytime!