The Manhattan Fish Market - Seafood Restaurants

The Manhattan Fish Market is a restaurant chain specializing in seafood dishes, either poached, grilled, fried, baked or flamed.

They are originally from Singapore, with branches in several countries in Asia and Middle East. In Indonesia, you can find them in Bali and Jakarta for the moment.

I took one of their signature dishes, the Small Flame (Rp129,000 +16% tax and service), which seemed very appetizing on the picture from the menu (you can see all of it here).
Small Flame (Rp129,000++)
They brought me the dish after a few minutes, and flame-grilled it for a few seconds in front of me. It is amusing but I'm not sure it serves a real purpose.

I was quite disappointed with my food as I realized it was just 3 tiny prawns, a fish fillet, some vegetables, french fries and rice. It tasted ok but it fell short of what I expect when paying Rp150,000 for non-imported items. Apart from the original presentation in a pan, there is nothing that differentiate their fish from much cheaper restaurants.
Overall: Unfortunately, as many restaurant chain, The Manhattan Fish Market is mostly about marketing. You buy an atmosphere and an image, but in terms of value for money it is poor.

I would recommend it to you only if you are receptive to themed restaurants and the fantasy world they bring you into. If you care more about finding proper food at a normal price, it is best to avoid.

The Manhattan Fish Market Bali
Near Kuta Beach and Lippo Mall Kuta, Jalan Kartika Plaza 10
Kuta, Denpasar, Bali
Phone number: +62-361 757 106
Opened from 11am to 11pm

The Manhattan Fish Market Central Park Mall
Central Park Jalan Let. Jend. S. Parman no. 28 kav. 34
Phone number: +62-21 2920 0015
Opened from 10am to 10pm

The Manhattan Fish Market Grand Indonesia
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, Sky Bridge 
Jalan M.H. Thamrin no. 1
Phone number: +62-21 2358 1055
Opened from 10am to 10pm

The Manhattan Fish Market Kemang
Lippo Mall Kemang
Phone number: +62-21 2952 8382
Opened from 10am to 10pm

The Manhattan Fish Market Lotte Shopping Avenue
Phone number: +62-21 2988 9466
Opened from 10am to 10pm

The Manhattan Fish Market Supermall Karawaci
Phone number: +62-21 547 3668
Opened from 10am to 10pm

Facebook: MFM Indonesia 

Watercress Café and Revolver Coffee (Seminyak)

Watercress is a café/restaurant located on Jalan Batu Belig in Seminyak. It is mostly appealing for the healthy options of its menu, particularly for breakfast. It also serves a small range of pastries (American ones), healthy juices and extracts, and coffee from the brand Revolver (whose main branch is on Jalan Oberoi).

On the day I visited, most of the customers seemed to be Australians, which is not surprising considering the owner is Australian himself. He may have some French blood too as the playlist was made of songs popular in France a few years ago.

Watercress could be easy to miss as it is small and simple. I would have ignored it but it was quite busy from the outside and it made me curious to try. We had just eaten so we only went for a Lassie (Rp35,000+16% tax and service), a Smoothie (Rp35,000++), a Blueberry Muffin (Rp30,000++), and an Apple Rhubarb Crumble with Ice Cream (Rp55,000++).

The service is friendly but a little disorganized. They waited about 10 minutes to tell us that our first smoothie order (Mango) was unavailable, and it then took another 10 minutes to bring the food and drinks to our table.
None of the items we tried impressed us. It was home-cooking at best, the kind of cakes you could eat at your son's friend birthday party. It was a bit of a disappointment and it made us feel Watercress is a tad overrated. Their prices aren't that cheap either. I should probably try a "real" dish next time though...

My impression about Watercress is that it is the café of a community. It is a place where people go because this is where they will meet like-minded people. If you are a bit of a hippie, a hipster or just plain hip, Watercress is probably the place for you and you'll fit right in.

We were staying in the garden area and it was quite noisy as it is just a few meters away from the road. Corner House or Grocer & Grind, which are very similar to Watercress are more relaxing in my opinion, especially in the morning. I guess I would sit in the back of the restaurant next time I visit instead.

Overall: I may come back to Watercress but with very little excitement. My only expectations would be to eat a decent breakfast under 10$.
Watercress Restaurant and Revolver Coffee
Near Naughty Nuris
Jalan Batu Belig #21a
Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia 80361

Phone number: +62 (0) 361 7808 030

Facebook: Watercress Bali
Twitter: Watercress Bali

Opening Hours:
Every day from 7am to 6pm

Sesto Senso by Hide Yamamoto (Jakarta)

Sesto Senso is an Italian restaurant owned by a Japanese Chef, Hide Yamamoto. Located in Lotte Mall Kuningan, it is similar in concept with other recently opened venues such as AW Kitchen and Popolamama. All of these are managed by Japanese but sell mostly Italian dishes.

The design of Sesto Senso is modern minimalist, which made me feel like it was soulless, a bit as if I was sitting in the waiting room of a brand-new hospital. It is a good thing the waiters were warm and friendly to compensate for that feeling. I also enjoyed the view of Jakarta's skyline from the large window.

The menu (available in detail here) features all the popular Italian classics, particularly pasta. The prices are rather expensive, about 20% higher than average.
Pocket Size Pizza Margarita (Rp89,000+21%)
Spaghettini Aglio Olio Peperoncino (Rp85,000+21%)
I had a Pizza Margarita (89,000rp+21% tax and service) and the Pasta Aglio Olio Peperoncino (85,000rp+21%). The Pizza Margarita tasted ok, but certainly not as fine as those you can have in authentic Italian restaurants. It was quite small too. The pasta portion was rather tiny as well and the taste was very common. The thing I preferred actually was the free bread they gave as an appetizer (from their own Flour Flour Bakery). 

Overall: Being used to eat authentic Italian food, I was a disappointed with what I ate in Sesto Senso. I did not see any Japanese or innovative touch in any of the dishes. I could try again if I happen to be in Lotte Mall, but I wouldn't come specifically from far away only to eat there.
Sesto Senso & Flour Flour Bakery
Pasta and Antipesto
Ciputra World Super Block - Lotte Mall
Jalan Prof. Dr. Satrio Kav.3-5, First Floor
South Jakarta

Phone number: +62-21 2988 9153
Fax: +62-21 2988 9155


Opening Hours:
Every day from 10am to 10pm
Pasta Menu in Sesto Senso

Artoz Whisky and Cognac Bar (Jakarta)

Artoz is a whisky bar/lounge located in the Energy Building in SCBD. It replaced Marley's Bar which closed down a while ago.

It claims to be the largest collection of Whisky and Cognac in Jakarta, but I am not sure it is true as I believe there is quite an extensive spirit menu in Nip & Dram as well.

I visited Artoz during Ramadan, probably not the best time to do so and unsurprisingly it was empty. Artoz is similar with Nip and Dram actually, both in terms of concept, size and setting: You have comfortable leather sofas and chairs spread across a windowless room, with a bar on on side and a live music stage on the other one. The main difference I saw is that Artoz is not as dark and it seems they don't have those crazy minimum spend amounts.

The prices are pretty steep still, about USD15 for a standard cocktail. You are also given the menu of the French Restaurant Amuz, which belong to the same person (Chef Gilles Marx, also behind Auroz).

They have weekly Jazz live music, currently every Wednesday. It is best to make sure about the schedule on their facebook page here: Artoz Bar Jakarta.

Overall: I can see three kinds of people who would enjoy Artoz: Whisky and Cognac enthusiasts, Jazz lovers, and people who want to have a quiet and upscale drink in the SCBD area. If you are looking for a hip, busy place, it is best you go to Potato Head instead. 
Whisky, Cognac and Jazz Lounge
Energy Building 2nd Floor - SCBD
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman Kav 52-53, South Jakarta
Phone number: +62-21 2995 9050

Twitter: Artoz
Facebook: Artoz Bar Jakarta

Wilshire Restaurant Jakarta

Wilshire is a new restaurant located in one of the hippest nightlife areas in Jakarta, in the Foundry 8 (SCBD). It is just next to Canos, Blue Monkey and Empirica. All nearby restaurants have a very similar design and they are hard to differentiate. As the Foundry 8 is only a temporary location (it should be destroyed in a few years), I imagine that each venue only wants to invest the minimum to look good enough.

Wilshire is simply designed if we compared it with Loewy, Union or E&O, but it is elegant and comfortable. The main original feature is the copper sticks display hanging from the ceiling, a great and inexpensive idea to decorate the room!

The two owners are Indonesians. Mrs. Hanna Tjhin is focusing on the operations and Mrs. Dolly Chia is the Chef (she had classes at Le Cordon Bleu's culinary school). Both are former alumni of the University of Southern California which is popular among upper-level Chinese Indonesians. It probably helped them to attract the right crowd upon opening: Even though Wilshire is still new, it manages to be quite busy with trendy/rich Indonesians, particularly on weekends.
Braised Beef Quesadillas (Rp99,000+21%)
Flaky Apple Pie (Rp75,000+21%)
The menu is interesting as it features many personal creations and not just all the standards dishes that can be found everywhere in Jakarta. I was not in a daring mood though and I went for an easy one, the Braised Beef Quesadillas (Rp 99,000+21% tax and service). For a dessert, I had the Flaky Apple Pie (Rp75,000+21%). The prices are higher than average, but the food tasted pretty good which is rare in this city. 20% less on my final bill and it would have been perfect.
Overall: Wilshire is a fine new restaurant, worth trying on the weekends just before going to one of the clubs in SCBD. The food I tried was good, the menu is varied and the service professional. The main downer is that it is quite expensive. If you are looking for a restaurant with good value for money, this is not the place for you.

Wilshire Restaurant Jakarta
The Foundry No. 8, SCBD Lot 8 (a second venue is planned to open this year in Mega Kuningan)
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman Kav 52 – 53
South Jakarta

Phone number +62-21 5140 1018
Check their menu here: Menu of Wilshire Jakarta

Opening Hours:
Everyday from 11am to midnight (until 1am on weekends)

Swiss Restaurant (Legian, Bali)

Swiss Restaurant is located on Jalan Legian, about 200m from the new Mercure on Jalan Padma. The venue is rather noticeable from the street as it looks like a small chalet from the Alps, just between a tourist shop and a massage parlor. It is owned by a Swiss German who has lived in Bali for over 30 years.

You would have guessed it yourselves, Swiss Restaurant is specializing in Swiss dishes. They also serve the typical international fare that can be found in any restaurants in Kuta. You can have a look at the full menu on their website below. Note that they serve "raclette" and "fondue", but on a plate instead of the traditional sharing casserole.
Tomato Salad (Rp15,000 net)
Cut Veal Zurich Style (95,000rp net)
I tried the Zurgschnetzlets mit Rosti (Rp95,000 net) - Cut Veal Zurich Style - which I found just ok for the price. I don't know how it is supposed to taste though so if there are Swiss readers of this blog who tried Swiss Restaurant, I'll be happy to receive a comment. My salad was very simple but cheap and tasty. Definitely worth trying!
Overall: Swiss Restaurant is decently priced, good enough, centrally located and a with an original design. I recommend it if your hotel is nearby, or if you are a big fan of Swiss food.

Swiss Restaurant (Legian - Kuta)
Jalan Raya Legian
Phone number: +62 (0) 361 762 345


Barbacoa - Latin American Grill - Bali

Barbacoa is one of Seminyak's buzzing spots in 2014. It is a Latin-American themed restaurant located on Jalan Petitenget, in front of the Fave Hotel Umalas and Sardine.

It has a large air-conditioned main room with a bar, and an outside area with rice field views. When I visited, it was busy with people who seemed to be for the most part chic and trendy. Typical Seminyak crowd.

The main attraction and originality of the restaurant is the over-sized wood-fired grill where they roast a different animal every day:
It was the first time that I saw such a barbecue so I felt compelled to try their signature dish, the 8-hour Wood Fired Asado of the Day (220grams). Priced at 250,000 (+16% tax and service) and served without any side dish, I was expecting something incredible that I could tell my grand-children about one day.

How disappointed I was to see a small portion of pork arriving at my table! I thought that maybe the taste would be exceptional but it wasn't at all. Sure it was good, but the price is completely disconnected from the overall experience. I remembered having Babi Guling (Bali's favourite dish = Roasted Pork) for only 30,000rp and it didn't look much different than what I ate in Barbacoa.
The most expensive suckling pig in Bali (250,000rp + 55,000rp Potatoes + 16% Tax and Service)!
Overall: Barbacoa is well-designed, stylish, crowded, and original. For these reasons, I would recommend you to have a try. The service was good also and at least one of the Australian owners was on site. However, my total bill reached almost Rp500,000 for just a cocktail and a main dish made of pork (the cheapest meat available in Bali) with a side of Potatoes. It is ridiculously overpriced and I would not visit a second time because of this. For Rp500,000, you can have a Sunday Brunch in Mulia Hotel with unlimited Foie Gras, Oysters and King Prawns!
Barbacoa Grill Restaurant Bali
Jalan Petitenget 14, Umalas, Seminyak, Bali
Phone number: +62 (0) 361 739 233 / +62( 0) 361 739 235
Email: or

Facebook: Barbacoa Bali 

Opening Hours:
Every day from 6pm to 12pm

Menu of Barbacoa (yes, only 1 page!)