Villa Bali (Little Bali) (closed)
9A Lock Road, Gillman Village
+65 6733 0185
At the risk of sounding clichéd, stepping into Villa Bali is like stepping into paradise. It’s as if the English owner, ex-pilot Robin Greatbach, teleported a little corner of that beautiful island into Singapore – along with intricate carvings, wooden bridges and traditional daybeds. It even smells like Bali, as the heady smoke of citronella mosquito coils curls around the exotic garden.
The menu is actually a mix of three cuisines: Balinese, Thai and North Indian, and most dishes are made for sharing. As the platters are specialities, we tried the small Jimbaran barbecue seafood platter ($60), which feeds two people nicely, but can be upsized to serve three or four people ($80).
I do like food to be served to me on a silver platter, so was much pleased when that was how it arrived: a beautiful, deep-fried snapper served whole (avec head), a pile of spicy squid, mussels (a little dry for my liking) and some fat, succulent prawns, accompanied with nasi goring (fried rice), crunchy vegetables and kai lan.
The bloke washed his down with a Heineken ($10 for a half-pint; however, see website for happy hour specials). I had something infinitely more frilly and pink: a summer rain frozen mocktail ($9). Our dessert of pisang goring (deep-fried banana) was sticky, sweet and delicious, once we had picked off its bizarre topping of rubbery cheese.
While the food here is tasty, it’s the gorgeous landscaping that would entice me back; and next time, I’d bring friends.