Thursday, November 21, 2013

revolver espresso, seminyak, bali

The buzz : An ex competitive surfer from Narrabeen, Katie turned her experience working in cafes worldwide to create a relaxed space with an urban, grungy edge that has become the coolest coffee hangout in town. Stepping through the laneway entrance behind the fashion/lifestyle boutiques “This is a Love Song” and “Home” is a like finding an exclusive den. You feel as if you should whisper a secret password or execute a clandestine handshake, but you can waltz right in without any magic words and be imbibed in the hip scene. There are no windows to the outside, and after a while you forget you are in Bali and start to envisage stepping out onto the streets of Melbourne. 

Mac screens of choice accompany vision sessions for the latest magazine spread, Indi surf label or secret spot. Short shorts, loose singlets, glorious manes of blond hair, tight jeans and dark sunglasses befit the creative hipster crowd. Staff are trendy and buoyant, flitting lightly through the space with a smile and flick of their fringe. 

Revolver have quickly gained a reputation around the world for their perfect espresso shot and silky smooth milk, heated to perfection and poured into a beautiful rosetta. You can hear the audible sighs of love when one is placed in front of an itching coffee lover.  

An original mix of art, paintings and movie memorabilia from the days of Elvis and Marilyn are tacked around, and vintage wares sit beside the metal chairs that have become ubiquitous in the Seminyak café scene this year. Records are stored into Coca Cola crates and spun on an old player that looks like it was dusted off from dad’s shed. The high ceilings have exposed foil insulation and wiring, with bare incandescent bulbs casting a warm glow. 

Its simple breakfasts and light lunches are legendary, with chewy toast, wraps, salads and sandwiches under $5. Vegetarians are well catered for with offerings like The Boss (tempe wrap, lettuce, bean shoots, carrot, cherry tom, coriander & sweet chilli) and The Business (couscous, feta, roast veggies and rocket salad). Once I’ve secured my ristretto soy latte, I can’t go past the Smith & Wesson - mashed avocado on open sourdough toast with sweet roast tomatoes, basil and olive oil. Bang on.

*since taking these photos there have been a few small changes to the interior, and a new menu was launched yesterday; I'll be sure to let you know what's on offer.
beans : Caswells Indonesian house blend or a single origin special of the day
leaf : variety of loose leaf
soy : Australia’s Own organic (extra Rp5000)
caffeine free : fresh juice selection (Rp25,000)
latte price : Rp25,000

fork : caramel pop - dark chocolate and caramel with a biscuit base
spoon : Bang Bang - fresh fruit, crunchy granola, yoghurt and honey (Rp35,000)
knife : Le Pistol - thick brioche French toast
plate : Smith & Wesson, smashed avacado on open sourdough slices with deliciously sweet roast tomatoes, basil and olive oil (Rp35,000).
bowl : The Business - couscous, feta, roast veggies, pumpkin and rocket salad (Rp40,000)

footprint : bejeweled Havianas and well worn Sanuks
service : fast, energetic, eager to please
open : 7 days, 8am to 5pm

Jalan Kayu Aya (Jalan Oberoi) #3, Gang 51
behind This is a Love Song Concept Store and Home Store, or enter from the lane 
T: (0361) 788 4968

Sunday, August 18, 2013

balique, jimbaran, bali

Jalan Uluwatu 39
Jimbaran, Bali

The first time I saw an image of Balique in the Yak Magazine I was smitten by the vintage styling.  Anyone that has the guts to use rusty tin on their façade has my applause. It has taken me a while to get out to Jimbaran, but on my recent Bingin trip I made it down the hill to see for myself.

The meld of Moroccan born Zohra Boukhari and Blaise Samoy from Belgium has already made an influence on the Seminyak restaurant scene, with the striking renovation at Khaima and the recently opened Bistrot on Jalan Oberoi, sister café to Balique.

The main street of Jimbaran is yet to be consumed by cafes and design stalls, and Balique sits inconspicuously near motorbike mechanics and helmet stores.  The structure is a vast open sided joglo, revealed as you enter through the shuttered front doors and modest tin panels. White washed timbers and a checkered cement tile floor are grounds for hand-selected vintage treasures, European style furniture, art deco ornaments and a stunning array of light fittings. There are multiple seating options to suit your dining style, and I chose to sink down in a plump cushioned armchair beside a coffee table complete with magazines. 

The extensive menu, like the team behind the venture, is a blend of French, Moroccan and Asian flavours. The food has gathered high reviews, however I bypassed the tenderloin steak and couscous and went straight for the coffee frappacino; presented in a balloon glass and topped with thick cream. If you like dairy this would no doubt thrill you to the aorta, but I sucked the cold goodness from below and left a whipped puddle in the bottom of my glass. A vegan establishment this is not. 

Balique offers a dining experience unmatched in Jimbaran and with its location close to the five star resorts I don’t doubt it is a favourite alternate to in-house restaurants.  It doesn’t open until 11am, so it isn't a destination for early morning eggs benedict and coffee (you can find these down the road at Grocer & Grind).  Go later for lunch, dinner or a cocktail, and let the eclectic soul of Balique welcome you with a touch of tousled glamor. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

food photography & styling workshops

I am very excited to announce that I will be teaching two workshops in Brisbane next month, hosted by the team at Locale Italian Cafe.

Are you a writer, blogger, traveller, foodie or culinary professional with an itchy shutter finger and a desire to capture café culture, critical caffeine moments and delicious Italian food? Then join me for two intensive one-day food photography and styling workshops on location, fuelled by coffee, Sicilian pastries and lashings of enthusiasm.  No previous experience needed, and all types of camera devices including iPhones are welcome. 

If you aren't in the Brisbane area but know someone who is, please forward them the information about my workshops. Contact me for bookings and information, and let me know where you would like to see the next one.  


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