The Colours of Sunset at El Kabron

Published 28 November 2015   

Text: David Trauts

Photos: Sulthon & Trauts

The clifftop pool There’s no better spot to see the sunset in Bali.

The clifftop pool
There’s no better spot to see the sunset in Bali.

Sunset is one of the great moments to be on Bali. It is literally an awe-inspiring, but gentle time of day as the hustle and bustle subsides and most people slow down to say goodbye to the lasts licks of the sun and to another day.  There are many great places to catch the last moments of the day, but none better than up on the Uluwatu hill and the Spanish restaurant and cliff club, El Kabron.

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El Kabron has one of the most breathtaking coastal vistas of all Bali on the cliffs overlooking the Uluwatu peninsula, and sits above the famed Bingin surf break. Standing on the edge of the cliff, the Indian Ocean stretches wide before you as the sun begins to set in the west, and what’s most obvious is the owners haven’t paused in their pursuit to make this spot one of the best destination restaurants on the island. Since opening four years ago, many improvements have been made, including a new sun deck hanging over the edge of  the cliff, and  swapping the original beanbags for the stately lounge settings of today .
The beach club atmosphere has the feel of the Spanish island Ibiza, and with the chilled DJ sounds coming from the sound system you could feel you have been miraculously transported to the White Island itself.

Dinner time Dine under the stars in the outdoor setting.

Dinner time
Dine under the stars in the outdoor setting.

There are three areas at El Kabron. There’s the main restaurant with its indoor and outdoor seating, the beachclub-style lounge  setting surrounding the oval-shaped infinity swimming pool, and right at the front, the lower deck space on the cliff top offering more perfect vistas. Most sunset worshipers prefer to hang out on the sofas and seating of the pool area sipping cocktails and taking a dip, but as the sun makes its final descent and darkness falls, the restaurant area is the place to be to savior further tastes of Spain and El Kabron.

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While there is an extensive tapas menu available by the pool side, which is also available in the restaurant, the main dining area’s menu is kept simple and focuses on a selection of paella, seafood and meat dishes.

We had already devoured a number of tapas while seeing the sunset, including Croquetas de Jamón Ibérico Rp. 95k – authentic cured Ibérico ham croquettes with a touch of sweet onion, Bombas de la Barceloneta Rp. 90k – tasty meat and potato fried balls with a spicy sauce, and a Picadillo de Pulpo Rp. 90k – steamed octopus served cold in a salad of bell peppers and onion with olives. These tasty morsels were perfectly washed down with beers and cocktails like piña colada Rp. 125k, espresso martini Rp. 125k and there is a complete selection of sangrias to choose from by the glass Rp. 115k or jug Rp. 430k. As the sun sets the sky turns into a psychedelic show of fiery reds, blues and greens – there is nothing quite like a clear sundown up there on the Bukit.

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At this point we moved to the main dining area. The outdoor section was full of expats and holiday-makers alike and the candlelit tables and palm trees under the stars above makes for a picture-perfect and romantic setting. We decided to share a few dishes amongst the three of us. Mejillones a la Marinera Rp. 165k – a large bowl of first steamed and then baked “imported” black mussels with a marinara sauce. Pincho Moruno 300g Rp. 275k – grilled Australian Black Angus beef striploin marinated with Spanish herbs and paprika on a skewer. These two were shared as starters while one of the many paellas on the menu, Arroz al Horno de Gambas Rp. 235k we decided to order as a shared main.

Indoor dining Come rain or shine there’s space for everyone at El Kabron.

Indoor dining
Come rain or shine there’s space for everyone at El Kabron.

Before the first dishes arrived it began to sprinkle with rain, which was one of the first times in months on the island and well needed, so we moved into the ample undercover part of the restaurant. The indoor space is a stylishly designed area too with authentic Spanish, modern rustic overtones. The dishes began to arrive, first the mussels and meat skewer. Being baked, the mussels were tender and different to the steamed variety, which I’ve also tried at El Kabron, and they were tasty little numbers. The meat was also tender and had a small flower salad with an alioli and tomato sauce to accompany.

Viva Espana A couple of tasty Spanish dishes from the menu.

Viva Espana
A couple of tasty Spanish dishes from the menu.

The paella was topped with jumbo prawns, clams and baby squid, and was served from the large fry pan to our plates by our always attentive waiter. With the owners of El Kabron hailing from Catalunya, this is a Barcelona-style paella, with the rice a little darker than its Valencian cousin. All the dishes were tasty and authentic, and the whole setting takes one back to languid moments in the beach chilingitos (bars/restaurants) of Spain – a style well suited to our very own Bukit Penisula. El Kabron has some big plans over the next year to extend wider, which will surely take it to a new level, but meanwhile, right there and right now, it is a great place to catch some rays no matter if they high in the sky or setting low, and to experience a variety of excellent Spanish cuisine.

www.elkabron.com

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