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Cafe Maya.....

The Hidden Greek !

Greeks aren?ft normally known for their reticence, but this one is almost shy! Down two series of lanes, the second one lit by candles, is a charming dining area set in lush gardens. A more pleasant environment for enjoying a quiet dinner on a balmy Bali night would be hard to imagine. That there are only eight tables only adds to the intimacy.

The offerings, whilst mainly Greek, draw on neigbouring Mediterranean countries, and a couple of others, for inspiration from time to time. Open for mid-morning snacks, lunch and dinner, the menu has a balance of both light and full meals.

The Sandwiches are as European as they are Mediterranean and all come with a side salad. You can select from Greek [feta cheese, tomato, onion and oregano on ciabbata], French [brie and pesto on french bread], Egyptian [falafels and tahini on pita], Spanish [chorizo omelette on ciabbata] or that good old English standby, a Ploughman?fs Lunch [cheddar cheese, boiled egg, pickles and salad].

The dips are very Greek and all come with pita bread. Baba Ghannouj is hard to stop eating and is made from eggplant and tahini. Tzatziki is a mixture of finely diced cucumber with garlic and yoghurt. Whilst the wonderful Humous is that well-known mash of chickpeas. All the dips are excellent, and very easy to devour!

The salads are either Greek [feta cheese, onions, cucumbers and tomato], Danish [the same salad items but with a blue cheese] or Plain [without any cheese].

A great creamy Sardine Pate arrives in a large bowl, with slices of brown toast. This seems to be one of their most popular lunchtime snacks. Also with brown toast are the Aubergine Mousse and the Deep Fried Gruyere Cheese. Keftes are potato and leek croquettes served with falafels. The croquettes are reasonably insipid, but the falafels are wonderful! Kibbeh are very tasty, and a little bit spicy, Turkish meatballs that are served with a salad. Whilst the Spanakopita is a light feta and spinach pie.

If you cannot make up your mind then a Meze can be ordered for two or more persons. It consists of potato and leek croquettes, falafel, a Greek salad and all three dips, with slices of pita bread.

The Mousaka is layers of minced beef and aubergines in a feta cheese sauce. A Souvlaki is not the skewered lamb of many past Greek experiences but a disappointing long thin strip of beef, the size of an elongated asparagus, combined with a few slices of tomato and onion, then rolled in pita bread. The Grilled Tuna, though, is cubes of tuna on two skewers interspersed with onion pieces and accompanied by a relish made from crushed green olives.

A Cold Creamy Chicken Curry with spicy vegetables on saffron rice is about as different as you can get. Alternatively there is an Indian Chicken Curry that comes with raita, relishes and rice. And then to be different yet again, an Omelette that has been stuffed with feta cheese and dill!

Desserts are plain but interesting. Macedonian Ice Cream is based on the style from that northern state of Greece, whilst the Pagota Ice Cream has a topping of cognac! For the healthy ones, you can have a fresh fruit salad or just plain yoghurt and honey.

The wine offering is simple but adequate for this little restaurant. A Jacobs Creek [Shiraz/Cabernet] is available either by the bottle or glass, as is a Wine of the Gods Classic White. Both bottles are at a very realistic Rp.135,000 [or Rp.22,000 by the glass, and a reasonable size one at that!].

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QUICK REVIEW
Cafe Maya
Address:
Jln. Danau Tamblingan 83A,
Sanur.
Phone:
286.106
Email:
batujimbar@yahoo.com
Open:
Lunch & Dinners from 6.30 p.m. [closed Sundays].
Bookings:
Advisable
Parking:
Street only.
Price:
Rp. 150,000 for two [+drinks].
Credit Cards:
- Amex
- Diners
- JCB
- MC
- Visa
Food:
Mainly Greek.
Wine:
Limited, but good value.
Service:
Pleasant.
Atmosphere:
Candlelit garden dinners.
Overall:
Something different for Sanur!
Last Reviewed:
February, 2001.
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