Funky La Finca

September 2, 2014 Nina Hearne
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When the doors were thrown open on this charming rustic Iberian Spanish eatery just over a year ago, nobody could have foreseen the dramatic success it would have, especially given its less than desirable location off the beaten bends of Batu Belig.

Riding the wave of the tapas revolution going on in Bali at the time, owner Thomas Mack and Spanish consultant chef Asier Arroyo pieced together a truly authentic dining experience that was built on a solid understanding of Basque country cuisine (a region in which Asier was raised) and a passion for sourcing quality local ingredients and the best imported meats available. The rest, as they say, is history.

The distinctive farmhouse style with a massive open garden, funky chalkboard menus and unpretentious daytime setting morphs into an incredibly romantic venue by night with candlelit tables and fairy lights adorning the trees around the dining area. Leading in from the tapas menu, it’s hard to turn down the house favourite slow boiled octopus served on soft-boiled potatoes drizzled in olive oil and peppered with a hint of paprika, or the exquisite cuts of imported acorn fed jamon iberico. The calamari is in a league of its own in a tapioca and sesame seed crunchy batter with a wonderful squid ink aioli. Or opt for the excellent croquetas de chorizo y canela, super light croquettes with a slight hint of cinnamon and salty chorizo undertones. The truffled garlic prawns in white wine sauce and crispy mushrooms with paprika aioli also come highly recommended.

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A special mention must be reserved for what is arguably Bali’s best carpaccio plate (certainly the finest we’ve come across and we’ve done some looking). The wagyu and manchego cheese with lemon vinaigrette is a show stopper, perfectly chilled wagyu with a tangy dressing and finely grated salted manchego – it does not get much better than this.

La Finca’s famous hot-stone grilled premium Australian rib-eye steak, accompanied by a tray of selected fresh spices, herbs, and sauces leads the way on the mains menu with the double roasted, crispy pork belly and slow-roasted pork ribs with a honey-lemon-Dijon marinade also making the grade. Vegetarians, and those watchful of the calories, fear not as there is a more than substantial selection of cold and warm salads on offer including a world class offering of rocket, grilled beets, avocado, mozzarella cheese and basil pesto with a vanilla-balsamic vinaigrette.

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Going thirsty isn’t an option at La Finca. House sangrias are fantastic value as is a well thought-out wine list with new world offerings from New Zealand, France, Italy, Australia, Chile, Argentina and, of course, Spain. But the really interesting concoctions are to be found on the cocktail menu with a playful interpretation of a Cosmo in the shape of a Cosmonalisa with muddled black grapes and a sinful blood orange puree Naranja Amarga.

Just in time to celebrate a year of outstanding Iberian cuisine, the team at La Finca has thrown open a new bar setup and homespun DJ talent can be found most nights around the sunset witching hour. Well worth a visit.

La Finca, Jalan Subak Sari #77, Batu Belig, p. +62 361 274 0088, e. enquiry@lafincabali.com. Open daily 11am-11pm.

 

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