Meja could not be more different from IZE Seminyak, the ultramodern accommodation whose facade the restaurant is housed in on Eat Street (Jl. Kayu Aya). A rustic French kitchen atmosphere is generated by the whitewashed wooden floor and ceiling, and shelves full of eclectic and quirky keepsakes. But at the same time, Meja has a beach house feel to it, with a very cool and provocative mural of a mermaid and seagulls on one wall.
Meja offers simple comfort food with an emphasis on sweet and savoury waffles and crepes. For quality time with your inner five-year old kid, order Meja Mess (Rp.42,000). Topped with mango ice cream, melt-in-your-mouth orange jelly, chunks of fruit, meringue, and small chocolate pearls, this waffle dish is a tropical fiesta. Although it lives up to its messy name, all the ingredients get mixed perfectly. From the healthy salad section, I opt for the roasted pumpkin and quinoa salad (Rp.45,000). The sweet zest from the roasted pumpkin nicely balances the faintly bitter rucola leaves, and the quinoa makes a subtly crunchy texture. My winner of the day is the crab meat and chive crusted mahi mahi (Rp.105,000). This seafood duo perfectly combines a delicious fish with savoury crab crust, fresh tomato salsa and the beautifully lush green-pea mashed potato.
Those who like their drinks stiff and strong can grab their choice of whiskey-based cocktails. I go for the rujak martini (Rp.85,000) – because the name is intriguing – and it turns out that a blend of rujak-inspired ingredients, like pineapple, chilli, apple vinegar, cucumber, lemon juice, orange bitter, plus a hint of Kettel One vodka, actually tastes refreshing. But nothing better represents a girly drink than the marshmallow mojito (Rp.85,000). Lime juice and strawberry Fanta make it red and fruity, with the fluffiness of roasted marshmallows on top!
in a nutshell
Just like the name, Meja – which means “table” in Indonesian – is simple and unassuming. The menu shares those same traits but with a little twist that makes all the difference. If you’re in the neighbourhood just for a drink, head to the cool lounge area right on top of the restaurant, and enjoy the animated street over some great music. • Runi Indrani
Meja Kitchen and Bar, IZE Seminyak, Jl. Kayu Aya no. 68, Seminyak, T: +62 361 846 6997, www.mejabali.com
Excerpt from the Apr 2013 issue of Hello Bali Magazine
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