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South Florida is known for its Latin and Caribbean cuisine, but downtown Miami boasts an Indonesian gem where you can get a taste of the South Seas seven days a week. Bali Cafe is small but homey and features fare from the far-away archipelago, as well as sushi rolls. Beautiful, intricate sculptures of dragons and mythological creatures' faces adorn the interior. The space is cozy, with petite tables and comfortable booths. Lumpia ($5.95), a chicken dumpling filled with cabbage and carrot and topped with peanut sauce, is a good way to start. For a lunch or dinner date, try rijsttafel, an Indonesian feast for two ($17.95); the meal also includes a dessert of sarang burung, a sweet gelatin fla-vored with rambutan, longan, or lychee. Or choose an entree of rendang ($11.95), slow-cooked beef with coconut milk and spices. You can also sample oopr ayam ($10.95), featuring chicken, yellow spices, and coconut milk, or laksa ($12.99), a curry soup that includes shrimp, tofu, mixed vegetables, and egg and rice noodles, topped with chips. If you're not feeling adventuresome, order some miso soup ($1.95) and a tuna roll ($5.95). If you're feeling feisty, there's a sex on the beach roll (9.95), with tuna, crab, cu-cumber, avocado, and mayonnaise. And wash it all down with some fresh jasmine iced tea.
The food here is amazing, well presented and very original. We didn't expect to find this little gem in the heart of the quiet Miami Downtown but, glad we did. We specially loved the Rijsttafel, a whole feast of spices and flavors.
To say that Bali Café is the top Indonesian restaurant in Miami is just as true, and misleading, as lauding Robert De Niro for being the finest actor in Meet the Parents. Both are better than that, and Bali is in fact the best restaurant in... More »
BEST DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT Bali Café 111 NE Second Avenue Miami 305-358-5751 Before we know it, Biscayne Boulevard will cut a palm-tree-lined swath through a downtown canyon of tall, shiny buildings and chic outdoor cafés. At the moment, however, this area boasts more cranes than creditable lunch spots. Bali Café, with its fresh, beautiful, steamy-hot Indonesian cuisine, is an oasis seemingly far from the world of jackhammers. The 30-seat room resembles what one... More »
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