FLMK - Vivai Dine and Lounge is located in Seminyak square. Just follow the Kayu Aya Street (Oberoi road) and you will see the Seminyak Square sign. That’s exactly what Diana from the beat did just last week and this is what she found.
Vivai restaurant is a surprising experience. Hidden up the far end of Seminyak Square and up a flight of stairs, it always struck me as a ‘bit of a hassle to get to’ kinda restaurant. How wrong was I. It’s dead easy to get to and as a matter of fact, so worth the trip. The space upstairs has plenty of room and is partly covered and partly open to the stars. There’s a chill out area on one side with comfy sofas, a bar at the end with a pool table area, and the main dining space is both covered and open air. It looks good, but more importantly, and the most surprising thing of all, is the quality of the food they serve.
There are a large number of seafood items and meat options on the menu. According to chef, Dean Fisher, all the seafood comes fresh from the Jimbaran fish markets every day. Since he lives down that way he picks it up himself every day on the way to work. “I’d like to live up this way (Seminyak) but it’s really difficult to find, or train, the right person to buy the fish so, looks like I will have to continue dealing with the traffic,” he told us on our visit on Friday night. While the DJ played over in the distance, we began to work our way through the menu.
The first course that we tried was an all-time favorite, Deep Fried Calamari (50k). The calamari was excellent. It had been cooked perfectly: crunchy on the outside but really tender inside. It was flavored with exotic Mediterranean spices and served with a garlic and lemon dip. The Seared Sea Scallops (90k) were up next. They came in three separate small dishes with grilled parma ham on top and sitting on a base of creamed potato. They were so fresh and sweet. It was just like a party in your mouth, with so many flavors blended in every bite.
The next course was the Singapore Chili Crab (100k). There were 500 grams of Bali brown crab in a bowl cooked in specially made chili sauce that was spicy and sweet. After the spiciness, I tried the refreshing Octopus Salad (70k), fresh octopus combined with sliced potatoes and smoked paprika, then topped with olive oil.
My friends tried a special menu item for their mains, Seafood Paella (250k for 2 people), a generous portion of saffron flavored rice with a variety of meat and shellfish. The rice, chicken, sausage, fish, clam, squid, and other ingredients were all slow cooked to perfection. For the last course, I tried Mahi Topped with Cognac Crab Gratin (100k). The staff said that this was the most popular dish in Vivai and I quickly understood why. The mahi fish was exquisitely fresh and was combined with sautéed zucchini and queen scallops, which made an excellent combination. The caviar dressing contained cognac which tasted very smooth.
After all of that, it was time for a dessert. My choice was the Sticky Toffee Pudding (50k). It was a warm pudding with pieces of caramelized date puree, a cookie and vanilla ice cream that complemented each other immaculately. This one is not for the light-hearted; very sticky, sweet and filling.
We moved ourselves to the bar area and ordered a cocktail-Cosmopolitan (85k) as the beats from DJ Soma began putting us into a Friday night party mood. Friday nights are also Ladies Night with discounts on food and drinks, and there are deals most other days too. The cocktail had a sweet and sour flavor, making it a great ending for a delicious meal and start to a rather large night out / beatmag.
Vivai Dine and Lounge
Seminyak Square, Jalan Kayu Aya No 1. Oberoi, Seminyak.