There was a short 2 hour slot before having to go to the airport. This was just enough time for one more meal. Luckily taxis around Seminyak don't take too long and don't cost too much to get to most places of interest. Anantara to Potato Head only took 10mins which left plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings in an otherwise unexpected visit.
It initially feels like an odd place - taxis drive through a security area and dropoff outside some fancy looking shops. You go past more security into what looks like an enormous speckled Colosseum and wind around the impressive corridors. A series of young females greet you and ask where you'd like to go - eat side 1(Lilin - Balinese), eat side 2 (Potato Head Bistro) or fancy eating (Tappingshoes - French). I think there are additional options of the lounge areas but I'm sure you pay more for those.
Being in Bali, the choice was always going to be Lilin, and I'd read briefly about it online somewhere so the name was familiar. As you are led towards the eating area, you can't help but notice the grassy central grazing area, the umbrellas, infinity pool, ocean and horizon. It's a beautiful setting and explains the popularity, nearly all tourist crowd (Western and Asian), beach bodies and high prices. What's also surprising is the number of older patrons and families including young children.
The drinks menu has dreamy cocktails. The Mango Jerry (vanilla tequila, spice sugar, honey, lime juice, mango, orange liquer) was selected for both the picture of it in the Potato Head mug (of which I was tempted to take one away like those delinquents at Oktoberfest) and the fruity sweet elements that I like. Others enjoyed on the day were Mai Tai (light & dark rum, lime, orange curacao, almond syrup, pineapple), and a non-alcoholic Mango Lassy.
- complimentary Shrimp, grapefruit, fish sauce and coriander was a nice tangy spoonful to commence.
Entree Set of Four:
- Crispy Roasted Pork Belly (with honey chilli reduction) - tasty pieces reminiscent of Chinese style;
- Golden Prawn Ball (crispy minced prawns marinated with a selection of fresh herbs, served with sweet chilli & plum sauce)
- Catfish with Red Chilli Sambal (fried fillet of catfish served with homemade red chilli paste) - a little crumbly and not as crispy as I would have liked;
- Baby Squid in Yellow Curry (stuffed with minced pork & fresh herbs) - only a few small squid morsels, but an absolutely delicious curry sauce that I could drink or eat alone with rice.
- Grilled Prawn (live sea prawns grilled with garlic, lemon & chilli sambal) - expected larger prawns rather than the bite-sized snack versions. In any case quite nice but could've used more seasoning and chilli;
- Asian Chilli Crab (served with fried buns) - small crab in chilli sauce. As usual I feel the effort for crab meat isn't always worth the reward. What I did like was my second experience with fried mantou buns (which I've had trouble finding since Melbourne's Mao Restaurant);
- Wok-Fried Clams (with chilli paste, kaffir lime leaf, spring onions) - potent heavy flavoured sauce with only very small (other than a few) clam meat. I like my clams big and meaty (a la Borough Market Richard Hawards);
- Kangkung Belacan
- Coconut Rice and Red Rice
The food is fine, the drinks are great, the prices are high considering the quality you can get in Bali for low costs. The setting makes it a worthwhile visit though - you're enjoying more here than just tastes. Give yourself more time than 1.5 hours and enjoy the sunset and basking warmth.