Balmy KUVE Nights: Bali
Published 06 January 2011
By David Trauts
It was a Saturday evening near the end of the High Season and after telling a friend of mine how delightful Ku De Ta’s KUVÉ had become in its latest incarnation we decided we’d take the trip down there and try it again.
One of the benefits of being a Bali local (who actually goes out sometimes) is that one does get to know all the people in the industry and Ku De Ta, being no exception, is full of familiar faces behind the bar, the waiting staff and management. It wasn’t until we arrived in the car park and saw the amount vehicles and people milling around that I remembered that on this particular Saturday night a band from Melbourne was playing live in the garden. At that moment I thought maybe it wasn’t the most auspicious time to try to find a table a KUVÉ, but how wrong I was.
Walking through the side entrance, which was open for most of the High Season due to the temporary structures built at the main entrance for the famed Ku parties, we walked straight into a sea of punters having sunset drinks and waiting for the band to begin. The atmosphere was electric and abuzz. I said hello to new-guy (and floor manager of sorts), Jonah as we walked through and wondered aloud in his direction if there may be a table free in KUVÉ. Hey presto, Marcus and I were whisked up the stairs and after a few moments of negotiation with Jocelyn, Ku’s Functions and Events Manager, who happened to be overseeing proceedings upstairs that evening in KUVÉ, we were directed to the beachside corner table overlooking the whole scene below.
We looked around and the place was packed. Kuve was rammed too and that corner table was the last empty table in the upstairs section. The lights were dimmed more than previous occasions I’d been there and on closer scrutiny we noticed that most of the tables in KUVÉ that night were taken by couples looking rather romantic. This made us feel a bit uncomfortable, us being two blokes of course, and since we were already told that the table had been booked for a little later we decided to try the downstairs dining area and vacated the KUVÉ table. We arrived downstairs to find that there wasn’t a seat left in the house.
“Oh man,” I said to Marcus, “we just left the best seats in the house to come down here for nothing.” By the time Jocelyn came back with the bad news that all the tables were taken we had decided to head back upstairs, and with Jocelyn’s help once more found the corner table still vacant but this time we could have it till 10pm – the time the band was scheduled to start. “OK, we’ll take it.”
The same romantic couples appeared to be still whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears when we sat down but I thought I’d try something to get some atmosphere back into that new KUVÉ scene. After a short discussion with Jocelyn we managed to turn the lights up to the same brightness as previous trips and the outlook changed instantaneously from subdued to a party atmosphere. And while we were watching all the faces light up around us, it was now time to experience the menu.
It’s a kind of light snack menu at KUVÉ, but with all the best of the best ingredients. The prices too are for the crème de la crème, but the quality is assured. We started off with oysters – a must at any dining experience at KuDeTa, since they have the best, plumpest and tastiest oysters in town by a country mile (40k each). Two each of the three different oysters on offer with three separate sauces to match was the perfect way to start proceedings while tasting our first wine, a French red from long stemmed wine glasses. Yes, even the glasses are finer upstairs at KUVÉ. Next course was a choice of salmon and kingfish sashimi that came with ginger, wasabi and soya dressing on baby shiso (100 & 110k). What a novel way of serving a Japanese classic and the healthiness of the dish can not be denied. For the finale we ordered a wagyu carpaccio, ravigote sauce, parmesan and kipfler potato crisps (150k).
10pm came and went and the people who had booked the table were a no-show. We didn’t mind as the Tijuana Cartel started up below. What a great band and the crowd that had built to about a thousand below were now dancing like mad all over the lawn. It was a balmy Bali night and a night that only Bali and in particular Ku De Ta can produce. That’s the crazy thing about this place that we call home; you just don’t know what’s going to happen next.
Ku De Ta
Jalan Kayu Aya 9
T: +62 361 736969