During our trip to Bali in February 09, Joone
, C & I had a few disappointing meals at popular restaurants such as Bumbu Bali, Kafe Warisan and Mozaic
. While reading one of the local guides, I came across an interview with an Italian expatriate in Bali. He recommended Osteria Telese
for its authentic Italian food. We were initially a little apprehensive about trying it as experience had shown that some places can come highly recommended yet disappoint. Perhaps, it was just our misfortune to catch the chefs on a bad day?
It didn’t help that Osteria Telese’s print ads had pretty unappealing photos. I guess the photos weren’t professionally taken as they had White Balance and Colour Saturation problems that most amateurs (like me) face.
However, I was really curious to try it out and since it was our last day in Bali with only a few hours before I had to head to the airport, the girls obliged. The restaurant is located across the street from the entrance to The Legian
on Jalan Laksmana (aka Jl. Oberoi because of the Oberoi Hotel which is located close by).
It was virtually deserted when we got there at about 11.30 am on a Saturday morning. Oops! I told the girls, well, our flights were only half full when we flew over and we were pretty early for lunch, maybe the crowd would come later. Besides, the decor was very basic so it had to have been mentioned for decent food since the ambience is not its selling point. *fingers, toes & eyes crossed*
Melanzane alla Griglia @ IDR22,000 (abt USD2.21)
We shared a starter of Grilled Eggplants. The thin slices of eggplants were well-grilled with a smoky flavour and a soft yet not overly mushy texture. We were suitably impressed.
Calamari Napoletana @ IDR52,000 (about USD5.23)
Our second starter was Calamari Napoletana. I’m not a huge fan of tomato-based sauces as I prefer the cleaner and lighter flavour of white wine sauces but I had to say that this was pretty good. The tomato sauce was a good balance of tartness, sweetness and savouriness. It added a more well-rounded dimension to the natural sweetness of the squid.
Ravioli with Spinach & Ricotta in Sage-Butter Sauce @ IDR47,000 (abt USD4.73)
C had the Ravioli with Spinach and Ricotta, tossed in a Sage-Butter Sauce. Joone and I shared one of her Raviolis. It was mildly-flavoured and the butter-based sauce was well-infused with the flavour of Sage. The portions here aren’t huge but we didn’t mind as they were very reasonably priced and the combination of both factors meant that we could try more dishes.
Linguine Carbonara @ IDR47,000 (abt USD4.73)
I was craving Carbonara and was very pleased to note that not only was the linguine cooked al dente, it was also evenly coated with the sauce instead of swimming in cream as is often the case at most other places. It was the right balance of saltiness and richness without being overwhelmingly heavy. The girls loved it too! This is definitely a MUST-TRY!
Medaglione Agnello @ IDR57,000 (abt USD5.73)
Joone ordered the Lamb Medallions which were juicily pink and deliciously flavoured with Rosemary and salt. This place has exceeded our expectations yet again. We wished we had discovered it earlier and are determined to return on our next trip (whenever that may be).
Spaghetti Aglio Olio (1/2 portion) @ IDR23,500 (abt USD2.36)
The Italian Chef Owner, Mikko, came by to see how we were doing. The girls and I wished we could try more dishes but we were getting pretty full so we asked if we could order a half portion of Spaghetti Aglio Olio. He kindly obliged. The Spaghetti was done al dente and the sauce was not excessively garlicky nor oily like in some places. We found ourselves thoroughly impressed by the food here. This was honest food (as Joone put it) in that it isn’t pretentious nor excessively fussy yet it hit our foodie sweet spots and all this for a very reasonable price! This is one of our best meals during the trip!
Latte @ IDR20,000 (abt USD2.01)
I ended my meal with a cup of Latte, which unfortunately wasn’t as strong as I would have liked it.
If you’re looking for good, no-frills Italian food in Bali, this is definitely the place to check out!