I don’t know what happened at Christmas but my mind went Blanco. Seriously, why would anyone sensible finish a 13-course dinner? Well, I did. Blanco is not your typical local Balinese eatery. It has only eight seats and two time slots per evening. Blanco offered three options; 7, 9, and 13 courses. Not that we needed an excuse but decided to celebrate whatever there was to celebrate and went the whole nine yards. We ordered the 13-course menu. Looking at the photos it does not seem overly garish. I was thinking exactly the same, before I started. Thirteen spoonish-size canapés is not a mission impossible, right? The first three bites – Kerapuk, Cucumber & Apple, and Sawi – were very inviting but a itsy bitsy disappointing. I was expecting Indonesian flavours and this to me tasted too unspecific. It was refined but something I felt could taste at any fine dining establishment outside Indonesia. I persevered. More dishes followed, a lot more. Flavours started to evolve slowly. Chakalang (scroll over the images to read a description of each dish), the fifth course with noodles and coconut smoked skipjack, was the turning point where the Indonesian flavours really erupted. Mid way through the meal all of a sudden I had a déjà vu, a bird’s eye vision of myself laying down on the floor at Hakone in Japan. I guzzled down my welcome cocktail, a few whiskeys, several beers, and copious amounts of water to wash away the saltiness of my dishes. All of a sudden I woke up and realised it was not a dream. I had in fact finished 13-courses plus drinks and was looking at the ceiling of my hotel room.
Jl Campuhan, Museum Blanco, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Tel. +623614792284, www.blancopermandif.com