New year, same old me with a big ol’ bag of dad jokes, puns and poorly thought out analogies.
However, I did go to a new restaurant in Bali called Merah Putih and my God I couldn’t wait to Putih this post out into the world so here it is.
A mix of traditional and modern fare, Merah Putih tips its hat to its Indonesian forefathers but also understands that change and innovation is the lifeblood of the culinary world. Without it we wouldn’t have amazing things like the cronut, the cruffin, and er….other crazy pastries by Dominique Ansel but I hope you understand what I mean.
Let’s just get to the photos.
The first cab off the ranks was a complementary bowl of chicken noodle soup. Warm and hearty with corn, chicken and noodles; this was a great way to whet the appetite. It comes with a small bowl of sambal that had a lethal dosage of heat. I had a tiny sliver and reacted as if someone had unleashed a flamethrower on the right side of my face.
Oh snap, this one was a doozy. Plump slices of red emperor snapper complemented with different textures. A bit of lime mousse and seaweed crisp made every bite a textural journey.
First of all, shout outs to the minds in the kitchen that decided to pour the rich coconut laksa onto the dumpling table-side as opposed to behind the scenes. This process allows the dumpling to retain maximum bounce like me dunking on a shortened rim.
There is a generous amount of lobster in these dumplings prompting me to repeatedly calling them big boys which led to some confused looks from passing waitstaff but alas, I was all in on having this big boy in my mouth.
Merah Putih’s take on classic peking duck really intrigued me as a concept because peking duck is one of my favourite foods. A lot of the same components are there with a pancake to wrap your cucumber, duck and accompanying condiments but it didn’t quite give me the same level of joy and satisfaction that peking duck usually provides.
In saying that, this was still freaking delicious but it’s hard not to compare. The basketball equivalent is acknowledging how amazing Kobe Bryant is but in the back of your mind knowing that Michael Jordan did everything he did except better and achieved more success.
I love pork, man. Seeing pork belly on the menu meant it was an automatic selection and it lived up to my insatiable desire for fatty pork belly. Deep fried and oozing with pork fat, every bite was a melt-in-your-mouth moment.
It was so good I immediately requested more pork dishes (that’s a lie, I had already ordered another pork dish that was already making its way towards our table).
A modern take on babi guling, Merah Putih tries to elevate all of the aspects of the classic dish.
It’s crazy how the dish was essentially an all-star lineup of pork. You had a bit of fragrant pork sausage, lean pork neck, crunchy crackling and then the star of the show being fall-off-the-bone baby back pork ribs that I separated with a spoon.
A spoon! No need for a knife and fork, just a prod with a spoon and it left the bone easily like a canine chewing an old bone but flinging it aside for doggy treats.
My eager mouth were the doggy treats in this poorly thought out analogy.
An often-ordered takeaway classic, this was my first meeting with the dish in Indonesia. It was incredibly, so smoky and the love of the wok permeated throughout every spoonful of rice. The trickle of yolk from the poached egg added another layer of satisfaction to the dish.
It was so rice to meet this dish and to cap off my experience at Merah Putih with it.
Here’s the TL;DR for everyone scanning the internet looking for cheap flights to Bali so they can begin Merah Put-ing these delicious dishes in their mouth:
- Though not very authentic or traditional, there was an undeniable layer of quality and deliciousness.
- You have to get the lobster dumplings, ribs, snapper and nasi goreng. Absolutely mandatory.
Merah Putih, Kerobokan Kelod, Bali
Jl. Petitenget No.100X, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
Open 7 Days (Bookings Essential)
Lunch: 12 – 3PM
Dinner: 6 – 11:30 PM