A Shrine to Japanese Specialities at Grand Hyatt Bali


After strolling through the lush green grounds of the Grand Hyatt Bali resort and crossing over a small stone footbridge, entering Nampu feels less like walking into a restaurant so much as another country. Greeted with low bows and almost shy smiles, our hostess leads us through a serene courtyard towards the dining room. The sound of water from the courtyard’s fountain gives it the feel of a tranquil zen temple. If it weren’t for the faint sounds of the bustling teppanyaki and private dining rooms coming to life, we’d have forgotten that we were in a restaurant altogether. What did remind us, however, that we are in one of Bali’s most highly praised Japanese dining establishments, was the smoky, mouthwatering smell of meat grilling over charcoal that hits us the second we stepped into the main dining room.

The kitchens are set out in the open – the source of that tempting smell in the air – and individual chefs man their respective stations with the kind of flair that only comes from having a great deal of pride in one’s work.

The menu is highly varied and and covers more than enough of types of cuisine to satisfy any Japanese cravings. Of course, you’ll find an extensive selection of sushi and sashimi, as well as everything from kushiyaki (grilled skewers) to agemono (deep-fried dishes). There is also an excellent sake and shochu list.

We opt for the kani salad to start off with – a clash of textures and bright flavours with deep-fried soft shell crab, moreish seaweed and a ponzu vinaigrette dressing to bring it all together. The sashimi moriawase is an assortment of the freshest raw fish and a default must-have if you’re having trouble deciding on what to order. Of particular note is the butterfish, silky smooth in texture and with a natural sweetness that makes it such a delight to eat.

For something more substantial, don’t go past the grilled and deep-fried skewers, which they do particularly well here. The highlights for us were the jidori (chicken legs grilled beautifully to bring out the succulence of the meat), the kuruma ebi (delightfully fresh and meaty deep-fried king prawns) and kinoko cheese (juicy deep fried mushrooms filled with melted cheese).

The high standards at Nampu are very impressive and just about everything that comes out the kitchens here is uniformly excellent. If you want a sure-fire sublime Japanese food experience, Nampu is as safe a bet as they get in Bali.


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