Somebody said: ‘Let’s open an old-style French bistro offering the best dishes France can offer, cooked really well.’ And then, as an afterthought: ‘In Bali.’
This was no ‘after the third daiquiri’ fantasy. It’s come to pass, its name is Sip Bistro, plonked down like a time capsule on a busy street in Seminyak, and it’s quite, quite wonderful.
As always in Seminyak, you’re never far from a car, and there’s not much Sip can do about that, except seat you at a table as far back from the road as possible – not good for smokers but fine for everyone else. I ate there four times in a month and would have gone more often if it had been a wee bit cheaper. Quality costs. I never mind paying a premium for excellent food, and this food is truly expert. Daniel, the owner, is there most nights to see that things run smoothly. He says that his idea was to produce excellent French cuisine from a menu that reflects several regions but always stays with the great basic dishes: onion soup, foie gras, pepper steak, confit of duck, desserts heavy on the cream. This he has done.
Traffic aside, the setting is perfect: properly thick white table cloths, heavy silverware, sparkling glasses, gracefully folded napkins. The arrival of my onion soup was heralded by an aroma that simply talked to me; I’ve never savoured a soup so rich in intense flavour. The duck was perfect, tender and fleshy. The house Malbec was properly kept and served. The coffee, bread and butter are all to die for. The local staff can explain the menu. Service is as brisk and efficient as service can be if quality food is to be timeously plated and served. This is an exceptional venture and no wonder it fills up most nights.
Prices may strike you as being on the high side if you spend the rest of your holiday doing Bali on the cheap. But as I say, it’s well worth it. Save Sip for that special treat and revel in it.