As fairly regular visitors to the Ponsonby International Food Court, we were interested when Kuta Bali arrived to take over the stall previously occupied by two Mexican food businesses.
Kuta Bali’s reputation precedes them – they were formerly located at Food Alley on Albert Street and have another outlet in the food court at Atrium on Elliott. They also have a Putaruru location. “Well, why not?” was owner Freddy’s reply when I raised my eyebrows at this piece of information.
Kuta Bali serves authentic Halal Indonesian food and business has been brisk on the two occasions that we have visited. Freddy’s wife Monica heads up the kitchen. All our meals showed a light touch with no greasiness spoiling the flavours.
On my first visit for lunch I ordered #22 Stir-fried chicken with vegetables with special Balinese sauce ($10), medium heat. This was a delicious meal, a serving of rice and lots of chicken with a good variety of vegetables, even asparagus spears! Monica told me that the Balinese sauce included lemongrass, but that was all that she would reveal.
A repeat visit for dinner with my family meant that we could try more dishes – this time the popular Indonesian dish, Rendang Padang ($12), Oseng Klaten (chicken stir fry with special sauce $10) and Bakwan Jagung (sweet corn fritters $7).
We started with the fritters, a serving of eight pieces. Although the description stated that they included minced prawn and onion, the flavour of the prawns eluded me. The fritters would also have benefited with some dipping sauce and we should have helped ourselves to some condiments which were on the Kuta Bali serving area.
The beef Rendang and Oseng Klaten were delicious. The pieces of beef in the Rendang were larger than expected but were tender and flavourful nonetheless. Kuta Bali excels at stir-fries. This chicken and vegetable version included that famous ingredient “special sauce” (!) and coconut cream. Once again, there was a good mix of vegetables, including asparagus and garlic chives. Both were accompanied by generous servings of rice.
There are several soups on the menu ($10-$11), their version of Gado Gado – the Indonesian warm salad ($9) and several seafood dishes ($11-$13).
We like the Ponsonby International Food Court because it is set in a clean and pleasant environment and caters for all ages and palates, all at Cheapeats prices. Italian, Japanese, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and more are all here. And because of its location in Ponsonby, you may even spot some famous faces in the crowd!