This post comes direct from the tropical climate of Bali where I am based for the next 4 days to escape the inclement mid-Autumn arctic chill of Melbourne. Today we checked out the well renowned Potatohead Beach Club in Seminyak. This is easily one of my favourite places in Bali and the perfect place to laze away an afternoon in the sun.
After passing through the security ring and down a long driveway, you are greeted with an imposing wall of shutter blinds that make up the outer layer of this structure. You then walk past a concrete wall of flowing water, onto a walkway that leads you past the interior of the shutter wall and snakes through to the maitre-de (and further security check).
You are then led out from the horseshoe shaped building into a picturesque setting of palm trees, manicured lawn and infiniti pool surrounded by day-beds in front of you (sitting atop the nearby beach) and then bars and seating to your right. Fortunately we managed to secure a table for a big group without a reservation.
Now, let's get down to business - the cocktails and other drinks here are outstanding. The drink of choice was a light sangria concoction which was served in a fishbowl and included fresh pieces of mango and lemongrass. Previously I've tried the Drake Mojito which was doused with mint, lime and rum and came with a fresh spring of cane sugar. I also tried a mint julip which was a strong mix of brandy and bourbon and I'd also recommend this one too.
The unfortunate part of the Potatohead experience is definitely the food. For a place that is so aesthetically appealing, it is disappointing that the food is so far off the mark. How would I describe it? It is like a dingy outer suburban Melbourne pub which just converted to a gastropub, but kept the original chef, who still can't cook, with Gordon Ramsay screaming profanities whilst tasting the food shrieking: "Dear oh dear. What the $%@& is that? You can't send that out like that!!" I had a wagyu burger that came out a full 25 minutes before the the other 6 dishes - the patty was a perfect circle and exactly 3 cm thick (which tells me it came like that off the hamburger conveyor belt). Tasted passable, but had nothing on some really great wagyu burgers (for example, Cafe Vue, Rockpool, Barney Allens, etc).
The rest of the table were scathing in their criticism - a Tuna Nicoise salad contained canned black olives, canned potatoes and low grade canned tuna. I can hear Ramsay pleading with the owners in the kitchen: "C'mon guys, canned ingredients in a fresh salad. What the #$%!" I tried the beer battered fish and chips which, although the batter was crunchy and tasty, the fish itself was so dry it was amazing to think that it had lived its life in water.
The remaining dishes were pasta which although the pasta was cooked al dente, the respective sauces were each bereft of a pulse (Ramsay: "Taste that. Come here and $%##en taste it NOW. Did you taste that before it went out? $!%@$ If you tasted, it you would know it tasted like #$%!")
I always like to leave you with something positive, so I would say don't avoid Potatohead because of the above. Go for a drink, a swim in the pool, then another drink. But stay away from the food (maybe a short walk up the road to Sea Circus is the way to go).
Potato Head Beach Club
Address: Jin Petitenget, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Contact: +62 (361) 473 7979