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“Great food” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Roman Cafe

Roman Cafe
Jl. Pantai Kedonganan | Jimbaran Bay, Jimbaran, Bali 80361, Indonesia
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Ranked #33 of 119 Restaurants in Jimbaran
Price range: $5 - $10
Cuisines: Seafood
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Bicester, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

We were staying at the Keraton in Jimbaran and this restaurant was just a few steps away along the beach. Really enjoyed the food and atmosphere. A great little place for dinner on the beach.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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33 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    16
    11
    4
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
washington dc
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Best sambal on Jimbaran Bay Beach.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

There are three groups of restaurants located along Jimbaran Beach. The North section is closest to the fish market and airport while the South section is adjacent to the Four Seasons Resort. Restaurants on both sections are primarily financed by Jakarta investors and frequented mostly by westerners brought by taxi drivers and tourist guides on commission. Both North and South have higher prices compared to the middle section. Additionally the South (Four Seasons) grouping has gained notoriety for cheating.

The middle grouping is where the concept of grilled seafood on the beach was started by the owner of Roman Cafe and three others about 20 years ago. Restaurants here are still owned primarily by locals, and their clientele is made up primarily of Indonesian tourists and a busload or two of Asians on package tours.

For the most part, all the restaurants along Jimbaran Beach appear to be the same. Pick the fish, shrimp, crabs, etc., get them weighed, tell them how you want them cooked and then settle down at your table to wait for sunset and the over-cooked--often dried out--seafood to arrive.

What distinguishes Roman cafe is the delicious sambal (sauces) and the care taken to cook the seafood just right. It is my go to place when friends, colleagues or family come to Bali. I have been dining here every 3 weeks or so since I moved to Bali 4 years ago. It's not the busiest place because the owner doesn't contract with tour companies to bring a bus load of tourists for a fee. Preparing dinner for 50 tourists at one time creates enormous pressure on the kitchen to get a lot of food to table as quickly as possible.

The kitchen at Roman Cafe is under no such pressure, This results in the chef taking care to prepare the seafood just the way you like it. Asians tend to overcook seafood, but ask the chef to grill the shrimp whole and cook everything just right--"matang tidak kering" is one way--and you will be rewarded with seafood just slightly charred on the outside but moist inside.

I was first brought to Roman Cafe by a Balinese friend who will eat nowhere else. My wife has been going to this same restaurant for 17 years. Pak Wayan, the owner is often around to greet guests that have been coming to Roman Cafe for many years. I wouldn't dream of eating anywhere else on Jimbaran Bay.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Tricky to find, it's further away from the touristy spots.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

So our driver brought us to the Blue Marlin, just walk through it 'til you get to the beach and head to the southern half of Jimbaran beach. It is next to a busy restaurant but I think it's because bus drivers drop their groups there. We had Snapper and Squid and 3 beers. It set us back $22. But totally worth it. You eat select the fish (and yes, we saw the guy march out to the kitchen with snapper and squid in hand and start prepping away), grab a table on the beach and enjoy. It was nice to see Balinese families and children frolicking in the beach as supposed to the the tourist hordes half a mile away. The food was great. Grilled seafood, rice and condiments. Well done guys. You deserve more business.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Felt cheated by the portions”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

Food was great, but two dollars for every little shrimp?? We ordered 700gm of prawns and a sautee, but were not happy with the portions. They had no business, maybe that is why. Another place right beside was packed. Maybe they're more honest.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“'Platterless' Menu. Good food though!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

As mentioned, they have no platter on their menu.

That could however, work for you if you want a light meal.
We ordered a fish (approx. 1.5 kg), to be grilled with chilli.
We had squid @ about 500 grams to be fried and crisp.
And possibly the only place to have chicken on their menu along the beach stretch, we had a grilled chicken.
(There's only so many days of seafood one can take yes!)

We downed it down with a big bottle of Bintang beer.
In total, our bill arrived @ 270,00 rupiah. Which is very decent.

Their arrangement is slightly back dated, with plastic chairs and a rickety table. But, their food and quiet nature of meal, makes this a good place to dine.

To be considered as an option definitely.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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