5 good reasons to visit The Colonial restaurant in Padangbai
People who know me well (but also those who don’t know me so well) know that my ,,relationship” with food is really special. In my case it’s just 100% true, that the way to my heart is through my stomach. I feel instant happiness when eating food. Or, to be exact, when eating GOOD food. My obsession with food is well known. A rather interesting story has begun to spread that if someone wants to get me on a date, they simply need to invite me for a good meal, because that is the one thing I can’t resist. Well, I don’t know who came up with this theory, but let me tell you, they are right.
In general, my motto is "Eat as if nobody will ever see you naked". When I was planning the trip to Bali, I couldn’t wait to taste the local cuisine. All friends who had visited Indonesia, talked about the fantastic food. I was happy that I would eat a lot of local tropical fruit and vegetables every day and I was even so naive to think (hope) that I'd lose some weight in Bali. What I didn’t know was that I was going to stay in a country where people could fry practically everything (and that deep fried banana, jackfruit, tofu, tempeh…would taste so amazing).
I’ve already visited many restaurants since I arrived in Bali, but I’m delighted to say that the best restaurant is right under my nose. The Colonial restaurant in Padangbai is part of the OK Divers Resort & Spa. I still remember my first visit there, I was just amazed.
These are 5 reasons why I recommend you to visit the "The Colonial" restaurant, too.
1. The relaxed ambience
The restaurant is airy, beautifully furnished, clean and cozy. I was thrilled to find a small library with various international and also Slovak books in the restaurant, because if there is anything that matches my love for food, it's my love for books. There is also a large flat TV in the restaurant, screening amazing videos made by OK Divers team during their many dives in Padangbai or Nusa Penida. I've watched those videos at least a million times now, but I still can’t resist watching them again and again. The restaurant also has a swimming pool and I can say, it is very nice to refresh yourself in it, or just to lie on a deckchair by the pool with a drink (my favorite is Margarita) in hand and watch Open Water Diver students in the pool learning basic scuba diving skills with their instructor.
2. The really friendly staff
The restaurant staff constantly astonishes me with their professional and very friendly attitude. The waitresses Komang, Ria, Suriati, Nenga, Antari, Wati, Viki and Juli are smiling so catchily that you just have to smile too J The manager of the restaurant, Silvia, works almost nonstop on something new with Ketut, the Chef, so that they can surprise the restaurant guests with delicious daily specials. The other day I witnessed a creation of new desserts, namely fried homemade vanilla ice cream topped with coconut flakes and drizzled with chocolate topping, or the oh-so-tasty "Colonial" tiramisu. However, the most amazing experience was to try a chocolate couscous cake (yes, you read it well, this dessert is really made with couscous and the truth is that I have never tried a better chocolate cake in my life), which is served with homemade vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. At the same time, Silvia ensures that everything runs smoothly in the restaurant and on top of everything, she always finds time to talk to guests and ensure that they are having a pleasant time and experience.
3. The Food and draught beer
The food is simply fantastic here. Whether you come for breakfast, for lunch with friends or for a romantic dinner, The Colonial is just the perfect choice. My favorite breakfast options are banana pancakes, fruit salad, banana bread and other homemade cakes, homemade fruit jams and fresh baguette with tomatoes, grilled mushrooms and mozzarella. Sometimes, however, I prefer to start the day with a thick mango or watermelon juice. Meat lovers can enjoy different styles of eggs with bacon, ham or tasty sausages.
For lunch, I prefer the vegetarian version of the special of the day. The best specials I have tried were Pumpkin curry with rice, Colonial XXL Veggie burger with sweet potatoes and Nasi kuning - yellow rice, which is served with tempeh in a sweet chili-tomato sauce, vegetables with grated coconut, corn pancakes, fried eggplant and cucumber with sambal (spicy sauce). From the standard menu I can definitely recommend to try typical local dishes, such as Nasi goreng (fried rice with vegetables, herbs and tofu and tempeh/or meat) and Mie goreng (fried noodles with vegetables, herbs and tofu and tempeh / or meat) or Yellow / green (more spicy) coconut milk curry with vegetables and rice. I have always been a "soup lover", so I immediately fell in love with soups from the menu – I highly recommend roasted pumpkin soup with crispy bread croutons, but also Asian vegetable noodle soup and cream spinach soup with crunchy toast. I try not to eat too much in the evening, so I usually choose one of the salads in the menu (my favorite is the taco salad with fresh greens, avocado, tomatoes, garlic, beans and olive oil sprinkled with feta and parmesan cheese or couscous salad with grilled vegetables, basil, coriander, mint, parsley, drizzled with olive oil and lemon dressing) or beetroot falafel.
I sometimes finish my day with a glass of draught Bintang beer, which is served with roasted peanuts. Warning: once you try these peanuts, you won’t be able to stop eating them, I’m seriously addicted!!! I'm trying to keep my peanut addiction under control though, that’s why I sometimes order homemade chips or salted soybeans (Edamame) instead.
"The Colonial" greatly appreciates the typical Indonesian cuisine, as well as Western specialties. They even serve a typical Czechoslovak meal, Bramboraky (potato pancakes served with garlic yoghurt), which combined with the aromatic mulled wine creates a true Christmas atmosphere for me even here in the tropical Bali. And one more insider tip, since you won’t find this specialty on the menu – fried mozzarella with French fries and ketchup / garlic yoghurt. This meal was created as a vegetarian alternative to schnitzels and steaks, and if you want to try it, just ask the staff for "cheese steak".
4. The eco efforts
The Restaurant’s eco initiative was probably the most amazing surprise for me. As the restaurant is part of a dive resort, you won’t find fish or other seafood on the menu, which contributes to the protection of marine life. Also forget about plastic straws in beverages, which, along with other plastic waste, causes a considerable damage to the oceans and marine life. I very much appreciate that the owners and staff are trying to protect seas and oceans as much as they can. Just recently they organized a free entry screening of a fascinating documentary about corals and how important they are to the overall underwater ecosystem. It was an eye-opening event.
5. The dive center
If you are intrigued by the underwater world and you can’t stop watching the beautiful videos from the dives playing in the restaurant, then maybe you should give it a real try and sign up for scuba diving. All you need to do is take a few steps from the table and you will find yourself in the PADI 5-star dive center of OK Divers. The staff is as friendly as in the restaurant and they will be happy to answer all your questions, so you can book a diving course, diving or snorkeling directly on the spot.
See you soon at the "The Colonial" restaurant :-)