I first visited Bali in the early 1980’s. Back then, Bemo corner was still the centre of Kuta but Seminyak and Legian were nothing but rice paddies. There was no such thing as a shop with windows and air-conditioning. All the bars and restaurants were open air too (with the exception for those situated in a a few of the big hotels).
This was my very first trip overseas and as a young 18 year old woman travelling to what was, at that time, a very exotic destination, I am surprised when I look back how little culture shock I experienced. I am also amazed that my parents let me go !
Anyway, one of the delights of that very first trip was discovering the food. However don’t let me deceive you on my adventurous spirit… we tended to play it safe by eating at the same restaurant every day – we basically just took our time, discovering everything they had on the menu !!! You see, around day two or three we discovered Poppies Restaurant in Poppies lane and it was love at first bite
Everyday, for lunch, we ate a cheesy garlic toasted bread. Sometimes we wash it down with a fresh mango juice or sometimes it was pineapple. Sometimes we had Nasi Goreng, sometimes spring rolls. Sometimes we had beef satay, but we always always had the cheesey garlic bread.
I’ve been back to Bali a few times and for nostalgia I always go back to Poppies. In fact I usually find I end up there more than once.
It still has the same wonderful garden atmosphere.
It still has the same Pina Coladas served in a carved coconut.
It still has delicious spring rolls served with peanut sauce.
It still has amazing fresh juices.
And they still have the wonderful cheesy garlic bread, which is off the menu for me now that I’m gluten intolerant.
Since it opened in 1973, Poppies has quite rightly been a Balinese institution and I love the fact that as much as Bali changes, some things stay the same.