In short: Amazing setting, great Aussie-style café fare, chilled atmosphere, a must try.
Bali bound? Suffering café separation anxiety? You can stop hyperventilating right now and go to that caffeinated happy place in your head, because Bali has the Aussie café experience down pat. Nook Café, only minutes from the hub of Seminyak, not only has the coffee and food quality any Aussie would expect at their local, but drop that experience into a tranquil rice paddy setting and that’s where Nook really shines.
With paddy workers in traditional dress tending the rice crops, and distant rhythms from the local temple marking our arrival, we slide into the bright and breezy cabana-style space. Nook Café offers many of the familiar favourites of any hipster café you’d find in Sydney or Melbourne, but also blends in a little taste of the tropics.
With a night on the town still pounding in the heads of some in our group, caffeine kicks off our Nook experience as we order up a few lattes and cappuccinos. Nook’s coffee, in all its forms, is strong and bold, but still goes down smoothly. You know they mean business when double shots are offered as standard.
The “cap” is served at the perfect temperature with a silky froth and natural sweetness that tempers the bold blend.
We’re a hungry bunch, so the food orders go in with the coffee orders and as we’re just settling into our coffee bliss amongst the rice paddies, the plates start appearing and none too soon. Sure, we’re not in New York, but a bagel in Bali is just as yum. The Veggie Cream Cheese Bagel boasts a moist, yet crunchy poppy seed bagel partnered with fresh cherry tomatoes, mixed veggies, and crispy cucumber slices. Top this all off with a silky smooth cream cheese and it’ll give a New York deli a run for its money.
The eclectic mix of brekky favourites continues with the Eggs Benny with Spinach and Avocado. Perched atop a brioche-style English muffin, each expertly poached ooey-gooey egg is coated in buttery hollandaise. Slide in some spinach and avocado, for freshness and texture, and you’ve got yourself a perfect remedy for any ill effects of the previous night’s festivities.
For the stubborn side-effects that may still linger, it’s time to bring out the breakfast big guns with the Full English. Reminiscent of authentic Full Englishes had in the “Queens Kingdom”, this big brekky at Nook would do old Liz proud. The picture probably says more than I can here, but the inventory of this massive platter goes something like this; scrambled eggs, hash browns, potato croquettes, bacon, sausage, fried tomato, fried mushies, and wait for it…baked beans. Phew! If you’re planning a long scooter trip around the streets of this beautiful island of Bali, then this brekky will keep you churning out the K’s!
A constant in our visits to any Aussie-inspired café is some version of the good ol’ Avo Smash. At Nook café, you can get your avo fix in a few ways. This morning we divide and conquer with both the Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich and the Nook’s Smashed Avocado on Crusty Bread. The grilled “sarnie” is plain and simply yum. Fresh avocado, mushrooms, and top that with mozzarella, which is a nice change from feta, and how can it possibly be anything but good?
Nook’s Smashed Avo is a more traditional take on this café staple, with super fresh avo and cherry tomatoes, a sprinkling of feta, and why not throw an egg on top to gooey it all together?
The Egg in the Whole Grilled Cheese Sandwich combines deliciously runny eggs, bacon, and mozzarella. This combo is so lusciously gooey that it need to be skewered to keep all that melty, crispy goodness together.
How do you wrap up an Aussie inspired breakfast set in tropical surrounds? With a Watermelon Sandwich and fresh Coconut Water of course. Watermelon on toast is probably not at the top of your combos list, but this one works! The sweet, chilled, and juicy melon rests on crispy whole-wheat toast with a thin layer of smooth cream cheese between. It’s fresh, sweet, and crunchy. A perfect little palate cleanser.
Not ones to shy away from cliché culinary curios, what better way to take in this idyllic Balinese backdrop than with fresh coconut water served in a rather delightful container. While not their most delicate of beverage dispensers, one gets the feeling that this design has its roots in the past.
Nook café wowed us with perhaps one of most beautiful settings for any café experience so far. Pair that with food that rivals any Aussie café fare and the result is simple. Nook Café, come for the scenery, stay for the food!