Bali now boasts a bevy of coffee houses worthy of any city. Caffeine addicts, aficionados and lovers rejoice.
By Katie Truman
STEP off the street and through the bougainvillea-framed wooden door for a charming garden oasis slap bang in the ‘Hood – not that you’d know, it’s so tranquil. This rambling open-air home setting in a tropical garden smacks of rustic European meets traditional Balinese – eclectic seating arrangements range from recycled communal wooden tables in a separate wing, to a daybed sofa corner on the mezzanine floor in the white clapboard main building.
Not surprisingly, patrons linger longer in this ‘secret garden cafe’ than they’d planned.
Behind all this is Roma boy, Luigi – chef and die-hard espresso shot fan, who creates his own signature coffee blend of organic beans from Kenya and Sumatra by natural processing. Beans are freshly ground to order, and the taste, especially for a classic like long black, is smooth and full-bodied – without any bitter aftertaste or need for milk. Standard espresso-based coffees run from single-shots to cappuccinos and large macchiato; iced coffees feature Italian specialty café scegherato, or signature Vienna eiskaffee, a size zero’s nightmare of vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream.
The organic, good living concept extends to a remarkably good value, all-day menu, providing, as far as possible, organic vegetables, wholesome foods and goods freshly baked on the premises such as breads and cakes. Not surprisingly, there are also wonderful homemade pastas. By the time you read this, it’s all change at Vienna, starting with a new name, Zibiru.
Renovations, including a new open-air mezzanine terrace and evening restaurant-style dining, with a more sophisticated menu featuring classic Mediterranean traditional dishes with a modern twist, highlighting pastas. Nicely rounded off with post-dinner coffees and impossibly romantic with tree-strewn lanterns and candlelight… well, it is Italian.