I spent this New Year’s in Bali and it was truly paradise. Not only for the gorgeous beaches and sunsets, the culture, and scootering around with no destination in mind… but of course, for the food adventures! Of all the amazing culinary experiences I enjoyed in Seminyak, from the upscale to the cozy, one hidden gem in particular is worth featuring. It’s not a fancy restaurant, but a chill, humble little cafe with an enthusiastic fan following made up mostly red-velvet-pancake lovers like myself. Allow me to introduce: The Fat Turtle.
I love that you can just ride up and park your scooter right out front with the mass of other scooters. The front patio (complete with a turtle, true to its name), looked like a great spot for a large group to congregate while watching passerby. Across the street is the Potato Head Beach Club, and a little down the ways is the W Hotel and lots of other hoppin’ clubs and restaurants, just to give you an idea of this central location in Seminyak.
After scootering around all morning in the hot sun, all I wanted was an ice cold drink (or two). Followed by some savory bites and sweet desserts, if possible. That’s just how my appetite works when I’m hot n’ hangry. Well, Fat Turtle had all of these on hand, as we were welcomed into the cafe with smiles, AC, and wifi to boot.
I met Natasya, the owner, who told me she became inspired to start Fat Turtle because she loved cafes and wanted to share her creative concepts. And unique and creative, these food flavors were! We started with the Kaffir Lime Leaf Sweet Corn Fritters, which arrived with yolky poached eggs, crispy bacon, tomato relish, topped with Avocado Hollandaise. The fried fritters combined with the salty bacon, sweet tomato jam and sour fragrant lime was a flavor explosion in my mouth. This is one spice-filled, rich dish if you want to start your morning off with a zing!
So I must confess that I came here two days in a row. The first afternoon, I had the Pulled Pork Benedict (“Eggs Benedict #1” on their menu) as an afternoon snack. It was so good, I came back the next day to try the Smashed Avocado on Toast with feta, tomato salsa, and black chia seeds. This dish came carefully prepared on a wooden board, and I absolutely loved the attention to detail on the neatly poached eggs with chia seeds sprinkled on top. It tasted clean yet hearty, a perfect addition to the spicy-filled fritter.
My pulled pork benny from the day before…
It was getting hard to ignore the slice of red velvet heaven sitting majestically next to our entrees. So we gave in and dug into those pancakes before even finishing our egg dishes. As a red velvet lover, I have to say that these are made with just the right combination of ingredients, not too sweet and not too rich. You don’t feel like you’ve OD’d on sugar afterwards. The crunchy “chocolate soil” and pieces of honeycomb lend the proper amount of sweetness, while the cream cheese mousse, vanilla ice cream and caramel provided the creamy richness to elevate this breakfast dish into a dessert.
As if this wasn’t enough to sweeten my day, onto my delectable drinks! The Iced Taro Latte was the absolute bomb because it tasted like my favorite Taiwanese taro milk tea. The ice cube proportion did its job in keeping the drink on the refreshing side. Sipping through an awesome eco-friendly bamboo straw, I finished one glass in less than 5 minutes, immediately wishing for another. So I tried their Red Velvet Latte over ice, which was so, so yummy as well. Their pure fresh tangerine juice was also a great way to get my Vitamin C in and quench my thirst before heading out again into the hot Bali sun.
The reusable bamboo straws were right up my alley since I started an eco-friendly clothing line this year. I was happy to see these recyclable straws available for sale at the front counter, along with some super cute crochet knit coasters.
The decor inside this little cafe has a lot of heart, just like the way they prepared and presented their food. You’ll find yourself reading some witty vintage slogans for inspiration as you sip your latte. Other unique details include the tables being old sewing tables (complete with foot pedal for endless fun), and the cushion covers being made out of old coffee sacks. The best seat in the house is the cushioned bench right in front of this mural, so snatch it while you can to get some great photos and take it all in!
Fat Turtle / Jalan Raya Petitenget 886A