Chiding a former a colleague for always eating at McDonald’s when he was on holiday in New Zealand leaped through my mind when I was on my Bali holiday. Instead of going for the famed nasi campur and satay ayam, I opted for Western meals. I should have reproached myself, but the situation is completely different. Local food is always part of my meals and I always do the reverse when I’m on holiday – I don’t have what I can normally eat back home. Bali is no exception to my travel rule.

Walking down Kuta road from Hotel Santika Premiere Resort in the evening led us to Flapjacks, a pancake and home-made gelato place on Jl. Kartika Plaza. In truth, I ignored it the first time I zoomed past by it in a cab. I was dead set on arriving at Hard Rock Café, which was just at the end of the road following a right turn. After the caterwauling of musician wannabes near my office every so often I wanted again to believe in the power of live performance. I was so stoked to enjoy pleasant warbling while digging into some nosh – cheesy nachos with jalapeño and creamy Apple Crumbler.

Sweet night at Hard Rock Cafe, Bali - Apple Crumbler and great crooning

Sweet night at Hard Rock Cafe, Bali – Apple Crumbler and great crooning

Who says banana caramel pancakes don't make for a good dinner choice?

Who says banana caramel pancakes don’t make for a good dinner choice?

Paying attention to Flapjacks, “guarded” by a huge statue of a chef with a paunch and a smile, most pop in for a cup of gelato to stay the creeping humidity while others, like my friends and I, decided for late dinner.  My choice: two banana caramel pancakes. The fluffy pancakes were just right – not bland, starchy or cloying – and formed a perfect alliance with the scoop of smooth, creamy vanilla gelato.

Meanwhile, straying away from Kuta, a restaurant in Ubud was a sweet revelation. It didn’t, admittedly, figure in my mind because I was tuned to seeing the façade of Ubud traditional market, of the sellers and their products forming a mosaic of easy-to-pack souvenirs from hand-made sandals to should-be-shipped household items. Shockingly, the market is getting a facelift and corrugated steel boards were what greeted my sight instead. The sellers had moved to the deeper recesses of the market that completely wrecked my mental map of and mood for the place. Disconcerted by what I saw, my gaze slowly turned to the busload of Japanese tourists spilling out of a huge coach, myriad Ubud visitors, gawkers, nice floppy hats of some women, a gelato place and Oops.  I vaguely remember Oops from a previous visit; I knew a restaurant was fronting Ubud market but I didn’t give it a second look, perturbed by the slow fading of quaint cafes and restaurants from the scenery.

Enjoy a drink or a meal at Oops

Enjoy a drink or a meal at Oops

I crossed the street from Ubud traditional market without hesitation, descended the stairs to the al fresco area for a table, which, sadly, was too humid for lunch. A table under the mist-fan was a better choice.

Cool your heels at Oops

Cool your heels at Oops

Oops Restaurant and Bar’s menu is a cornucopia of Western dishes juxtaposed with Asian cuisine. Indonesian cuisine took a backseat for me but not for my gal-pal who heartily dug into a plate of nasi campur – ground chicken on a stick, tempeh (fermented soybean cake), nasi kuning (yellow rice),   shredded chicken, Indonesian salad, which, when eaten together, was a melange of different levels of spiciness. I, on the other hand, settled for a Western main course and an Asian appetiser.  The Duck Vegetable Roll looked tempting but was a slight disappointment. It was lukewarm when it reached my table and was a bit tough; I guess it sat on the counter a bit longer than it should have. The Chicken Tarragon, however,proved much better. The succulent and flavourful grilled chicken leg came with fresh green salad and smooth mashed potatoes with peas.

Duck vegetable roll - best eaten immediately so it's crunchy not tough

Duck vegetable roll – best eaten immediately so it’s crunchy not tough

Grilled to perfection and partnered well with crisp salad and velvety mashedpotatoes

Grilled to perfection and partnered well with crisp salad and velvety mashed

As an intermission before the sweet coup de grace, I had a cup of cappuccino, which was, like the main course, equally pleasant. Every sip glided down smoothly and just had the right punch to keep me awake, without giving me a headache, throughout the journey back to Kuta.

End your meal on a sweet and creamy note

End your meal on a sweet and creamy note

A meal is never complete without dessert, I always say. That’s just half of my belief. The other half goes something like this – wonderful dessert, not just any kind of dessert. Fruits don’t count, as they’re breakfast food for me (it’s a personal quirk) so choices normally ran the gamut of cakes and pastries. I was enticed by the tiramisu standing talk and proud inside the glass display at Oops. I was right in my decision – it was compact and creamy, not fluffy and empty. The cocoa sprinkled on top mingled well with the mascarpone giving a semi-sweet taste that makes you clear the plate of the last morsel. Thank the universe it wasn’t an “oops” moment but an Oops event.



Jl. Raya Ubud, Gianyar – Bali (in front of the Ubud traditional market)

Tel: 0361 364 7339 (restaurant) | 0361 364 7340 (gelato)



One response to this post.

  1. Gelato Secrets – There is a homemade italian ice cream parlor near the market which is hard to be missed. Of course we tried some and the flavours are quite interesting. Specials of the day are Tomato basil, Beetroot chocchips & pumpkin hazelnut gelato.


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