TUCKED AWAY IN A QUIET CORNER OF HUMMING SEMINYAK, LASAL BRINGS A TASTE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN TO BALI’S DINERS. COOKED UP BY BUENOS AIRES-NATIVE EXECUTIVE CHEF LINO DE ZORDO, LASAL SERVES UP SPANISH-STYLE CUISINE WITH AN ARGENTINEAN TWIST. THINK PAELLAS AND TAPAS, THEN THROW IN SOME BARBECUED ARGENTINEAN TREATS.
With an amiable dining room on the ground floor, and a chilled out lounge area upstairs, LaSal introduces a relaxed and friendly take on typical fine dining. There may be white linens, exquisite food and a romantic evening ambiance, but the vibe is mellow and unostentatious. It is stylish without meaning to be – rustic yet urban; a nonconformist kind of style. However you describe it, it is a dining experience that must be tried. This is fine dining, without the fussy extravagancies.
Let’s Set the Scene
When the elements of a fine dining restaurant meet the décor and the ambiance of a modern Mediterranean ‘casa’, a charming and convivial restaurant is born. As I sit back in a simple bamboo-woven chair, admiring the glistening tableware atop the pristine linens, I feel at home, yet in the hands of professionals. Lino’s Argentinean background, together with his love for the Mediterranean and its culture, has shaped the vibe of this endearing restaurant – alive with passion and personal touches.
White tablecloths float above the salmon pink marble flooring, stimulating the feel of a stylish cafe on the coast of Valencia. A colourful patchwork design cloaks the contemporary bar, whilst vibrant pop art of classical Spanish films adds cheerful character to the whitewashed walls. My taste buds are captivated as the lively ceiling fans send the smells of a simmering paella throughout the breezy dining room, dancing to the sounds of Latin-American flamenco.
The vibrant purple tones of succulent octopus peek out amidst a colorful fusion of green and red peppers, crunchy onion and a tantalizing vinaigrette. Once again I am transported to the heart of a Spanish coastal town, indulging in the ocean’s delights with crisp and refreshing accompaniments.
The Soft Shell Crab Caesar Salad also makes its way to my plate – an exciting and decadent twist on the typical Caesar recipe. The crab is deep-fried, offering a pleasantly crisp exterior around a tender middle. The flavors are subtle, but far from underwhelming. Bright radishes, lettuce, and a creamy Caesar dressing serve as a bed for the crab; a delightful union of contrasting textures.
For a richer taste, try the beef carpaccio, topped with velvety foie gras and a cloud of Manchego cheese. The flavors are bold and full, yet clean and exuding purity. The beef is light and delicate, falling apart with each touch. Meat lovers can also enjoy the Argentinean Char-Grill barbecue menu, featuring homemade sausages and hearty, juicy steaks.
As we move onto dessert, I recommend the white chocolate mousse and passion fruit pudding. Resembling a cheesecake, the dessert has a light and spongy base, with layers of bright orange passion fruit and creamy white chocolate towering above. The Matador cocktail serves as the perfect Spanish-inspired tipple to round off this delectable cuisine; a fusion of Bulldog Gin, tequila and Grand Marnier, with a colorful mix of grenadine, orange juice, lime and raspberry – just be sure to make time for an after-dinner siesta.