611 Sixth St. S.W.
Calgary, (403) 261-9888
Signature dish: Rendang
Signature drink: Bali iced coffee
Dinner and drinks for two: $45
Island serenity and a flavourful history combine for a fantastic meal at Bali Indonesia.
The Bali platter ($11) shows the blend of different cultures that has created Indonesia’s signature tastes. Chicken and potato croquettes with a honey mustard dip come from Dutch colonists; Chinese-inspired spring rolls stuffed with veg, pork and shrimp have a fantastic light peanut sauce; Indonesian pickles pair well with the fried pork-filled Arabic martabak.
Biting into the beef rendang ($14) releases all the flavours it has absorbed from being stewed in coconut milk and spices for several hours. We get an extra bowl of plain rice so we don’t waste the sauce with its tinges of lemongrass and sweetness.
Traditional Indonesian fried rice, or nasi goreng ($14), has a slow-release heat amid the marinated meat, veg, and fried egg, which adds a nice texture and almost cooling touch. A large shrimp cracker adds crunch.
Bali does a brisk lunch service, but treat yourself (and a few good friends) to the Indonesian rice table, or rijsttafel, for a leisurely sample of the variety Bali has to offer (13-18 dishes for $100-$140) amid the soft trickle of a waterfall and extremely cordial service.
FLEA MARKET FIND
Authentic Colombian and Mexican food are gems in the dusty Heritage Flea Market (7640 Blackfoot Tr. S.E., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Try a platter of sausage, beans and plantain from Colombian Flavor. $19.
Acquired Tastes Food Tours are back with new trips for May around Calgary’s culinary neighbourhoods. Explore small stores, taste new flavours and take in cooking demos. Details at www.calgaryfoodtours.com or (403) 968-2783.