Tepan Noodle

Tepan Noodle

Japanese Goes Beachfront

Making the most of its tropical beachfront location, Tepan Noodle at Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel serves up Japanese delights in a casual al fresco setting.


As a generality, most Japanese restaurants feel like a Japanese restaurant. They usually come decorated in Japanese trinkets and Japanese designs, often warm and cosy to capture that “in the heart of Tokyo” kind of vibe. They might dress their servers in kimonos, use Japanese scripts on their menus and even play the soft sounds of Japanese Koto as background mood music.

But not all Japanese restaurants want to sing the same tune, and at Tepan Noodle, the signature Japanese restaurant at Bali’s Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, these aesthetics are swapped for a dazzling coastline, a warm ocean breeze and a totally al fresco pavilion. And, as I found out one sunny afternoon, the restaurant serves up some beautiful twists on Japanese favourites, fusing Pan-Asian flavours with international cooking styles.

To the Beach…

Perched right in front of the hotel’s white-sand beach and nestled amidst an expanse of pristine green lawns, it is easy to see why Tepan Noodle chose to go al fresco. Being the signature restaurant of one of Kuta’s most established hotels (meaning it nabbed one of the best spots on the sandy strip), it would be a waste to miss this stunning oceanfront view by sitting indoors. What’s more, it serves up a number of smoky, barbecued hot plates and sizzling tempura variations, so the breezy, open dining pavilion naturally cools everything down.

“A lot of people are first drawn to Tepan Noodle for its beachfront setting” says Executive Chef Werner Junker, “but they soon get a whiff of the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen, and a taste of our extensive selection of Japanese delights” he said.

This is exactly the way I found the gorgeous oceanfront restaurant, enticed by the bright, open-air pavilion and the adjoining timber deck. But the moment I arrived, my attention was stolen by freshly sliced sashimi and colourful sushi gliding past me in the hands of the servers, followed by plates of giant king prawns and teriyaki chicken. And even with the warm island sun beating down on the tree-shaded deck, it turns out, Japanese food works wonderfully well in this environment.


“Japanese cuisine is becoming ever-popular in Bali” Chef Werner added. “It actually works perfectly with the climate because it is light and fresh – like sushi and sashimi – and you can choose to dip in and out of different dishes by trying smaller plates according to your own tastes. For Tepan Noodle in particular, even our hot plates work well in the warm environment thanks to the cool ocean breeze. It carries the aromatic smells throughout the restaurant, meaning within in minutes, the entire deck has decided to order one!”

I, too was hypnotised by the sweet smell of these teppanyaki-style hot plates, so I ordered the seafood plate, served smokey and still sizzling. It comes with a steaming bowl of traditional miso and a mound of sticky rice, whilst the iron plate itself is piled high with huge rings of tender squid, whole jumbo prawns and succulent hunks of salmon and butterfish. The mishmash of sumptuous ocean delicacies have been seared with Sogayaki (a soya and ginger sauce) making them extra glazed and slightly sweet.

I then order a dish of crusted grilled salmon, lavished in a herb dressing that conceals a delicate, crunchy crust beneath. The dressing is slightly creamy with a nice piquancy to it, drawing out the freshness of the fish and the earthy, herby notes. And with the beachfront just footsteps away, each light bite tastes that little bit better…

Other highlights on the menu include the California sushi roll, innovatively served with a wasabi sherbet. The sushi selection continues to wow with the Salmon Toro, rolled on dried seaweed with succulent strips of salmon belly. Onto the sashimi and giant platters give diners the chance to try a variety of fresh fish, like marlin, tuna, snapper and octopus, while main course dishes of Tempura Udon and Crumbed Tofu are perfect for when you know exactly what you want.

Chef Werner concludes: “Whether you fancy a quick bite by the beach or a prolonged feast of fresh Asian delicacies, the aim of Tepan Noodle is simple. We want to serve up delicious Japanese cuisine in a casual, beachfront location – one that you can enjoy at any time of the day. I think Tepan Noodle does exactly that”.