All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Gonta (restaurant review)

Last night Wid and I checked out a new restaurant that we heard from one of Wid's distant relations. We actually wanted to try it out last week but we were in the mood for something lighter, like sushi. Gonta is located right next to Hardy's Sanur. It was about a five minute walk from Ryoshi, but unlike Ryoshi, Gonta served mostly noodle dishes. The main selling point of the restaurant was, according to the glossy brouschure, “Real Japanese cuisine, by real Japanese.”

The place was tiny but tastefully decorated and uncluttered. The place reminded me of being at someone’s house except there’s a tiny counter/bar. All the cooking was done behind the counter and since we were sitting at the counter, it was really interesting to see the cook at work. I was amazed by the big pots of broth, and I liked the idea of having a faucet right where the pot for cooking noodles was located. The man cooking was an old Japanese guy, and he was very efficient and seemed friendly enough. We couldn’t communicate with him since he only knew Japanese and maybe a tiny bit of Indonesian. The head waitress did most of the translation for him and chatted with us. She asked me where I was from and stuff. Hehe.

We ordered shoyu ramen, shio ramen, and gyoza because they looked like the shop’s signature dishes. Wid asked for agadashi tofu, but they didn’t have that dish. Instead the cook recommended cold tofu salad (hiyayakko?) which consisted of a block of tofu with grated ginger, scallion, and soy sauce. The tofu salad was similar to the version that I learned to make from my mom, and even though this dish had fewer ingredients, it was surprisingly tasty. Wid really liked the slightly bouncy and porous texture of the tofu, which is different from most of the tofu found here. The taste of the tofu with the toppings was quite good.

The dishes were prepared and served very quickly. The ramen dishes were surprisingly light yet full of flavor. Compared to the Ippin Nyukkon ramen, the flavor was different and lighter, but from the taste and the consistency of the soup, you could still tell the broth isn’t just dashi stock plus soy sauce. Both dishes had half a soft boiled egg, a sheet of nori, scallion, wakame, bamboo slices, and a piece of boiled pork. The noodles themselves were very fresh and flavorful. One interesting thing to note was they seasoned the dish with generous amount of cracked black pepper, something not seen at Ippin Nyukkon. The ramen was very filling, and it was very nice to wash down the rich broth with some hot green tea. We also had the gyoza which was full of vegetable and pork.

The service was excellent. Everyone working in the restaurant was very friendly and attentive. Food was prepared and served really fast and we didn’t wait long to get our check either. With the two of us, the bill came to around 120,000 Rp. I guess not a bad price considering we had two bowls of ramen, a plate of gyoza, green tea, and tofu salad. Unfortunately, they didn’t have dessert (maybe I should sell them my Japanese cheesecake, hahah) but they had a nice variety of booze, which we didn't partake.

The ramen dishes we tried are on par with the Ippin Nyukkon ramen, and both these restaurants are clearly superior to the Ida Bagus ramen place. The price is decent and I wouldn’t mind going back there again.

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Blogger Marlene Detierro said...

Nice foods. I always make sure to visit this restaurant whenever I'm in Bali.

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