Santana, Bali’s newest culinary hotspot, located in the heart of Berawa, combines stunning colonial-esque decor with the vibrant flavours of Latin America.
When we think of romance, exoticism, hot sultry nights, intoxicating cocktails and curvaceous creatures, we tend to think of Latin America. From its balmy climate and eclectic cuisine to its passion for dancing and squeezing every drop out of life, the Latin America vibe is as addictive as it is seductive – after all, no one ever says “let’s go dancing, there’s a great Kalinka bar down the road.”
You’ll find all that energy in Bali’s newest flagship restaurant, Santana Brasserie Latina. The first foray onto the island by Dubai’s Sunset Hospitality Group, which runs everything from fine-dining restaurants and hotels to beach clubs in the Middle East and Europe, Santana captures the essence of modern Latin American fare amidst luxurious, colonial-inspired interiors straight out of Evita – think rattan chairs, rich caramel-hued leather banquettes and mosaic tiled floors.
Every dish from Mexican chef Gerardo Lopez’s comprehensive menu promises to be a vivid homage of Latin culinary heritage, from perfectly grilled sous vide octopus with aji panca, lemongrass and creamy sweet potato; and tangy Bao de Langosta, Chinese-style boas stuffed with langoustine, mango salsa and aji rocoto aioli; to the Ceviche de Pargo, fresh snapper in a lap pool of zesty passion fruit, chill and garlic with crispy quinoa – it’s like a gastronomic lambada for your mouth.
At the core of things, Santana is a steakhouse, so come ready to tackle your weight in red meat, from the earthy Tacos de Carne, Wagyu beef and tomatillo salsa stuffed into homemade corn tortillas like so many busty Carnivale samba dancers; to the Costillas de Cerdo, ribs cooked for the equivalent of three Hong Kong-Bali Cathay flights and paired with pineapple gochujang and crispy apple salad.
There’s also a great selection of fire-kissed steaks – the signature Chuletón de Wagyu cote de boeuf weighs in at 1kg, making it perfect for sharing, and is served with house-made chimichurri and a spicy tomato sauce, while there’s classic cuts of both Black Angus and Wagyu beef, prepared as you like it. And if you’re not feeling the carnivore energy, the Quinotto de Mariscos pairs fresh locally-caught seafood with quinoa and truffle oil.
Even if you’re just passing by, be sure to drop in for a drink at the bar, with its ceiling fans, vaulted ceilings, and enviable Latin American spirits collection – the Picante de la Casa combines Montelobos Espadín mezcal, ancho reyes, sriracha cordial, agave nectar, and lime for a heady kick in the taste buds; while the Caipirinha de Tangerina blends Sagatiba Velha cachaça with lime and sucker-punching tangerines from Bali’s Kintamani volcanic plateau.
After all, as they say in Latin America, “A beber y a tragar, que el mundo se va a acabar”, or simply, eat, drink, and live in the moment, because no one lives forever.
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