A Budding Ifiori
Published 01 December 2007
Text by David Trauts
Kuta has a long history in dining. Thirty years ago Made’s Warung was the place to find western-style food in a very traditional Kuta. Later, other good restaurants joined the fray, like Poppies, Uns, TJ’s, Kori, Macarroni, and Papa’s Cafe came to the fast-moving tourist town, some with international chefs, some not, but all bringing a whole new and higher standard in dining. Australian, David Smith, who came to Bali to be chef and ultimately, GM at Papa’s Cafe on Jalan Pantai, Kuta, six years ago, is the Executive Chef and GM at a new restaurant in Kuta, Ifiori. Ifiori comes from the same group as Papa’s and Kul Kul Hotel, but is a different challenge altogether.
Directly in front of Discovery Mall and parked right next to Waterbom, Ifiori’s location is in many ways hard to beat. Besides appearing like a metallic flower sprouting from Kuta’s future, the restaurant design suits the urban-ness of the area to a T. It’s a multi-level, modern eatery, constructed mainly from steel and glass with an angular peaked roof looking straight down Jalan Kartika Plaza. Sitting out on the terrace watching the bustle of people and traffic file past, you could believe you were sitting on a terrace in any city of the world. It’s now a very cosmopolitan location in that part of the world. David brings six years successful experience in the Kuta dining scene to Ifiori, but hasn’t brought a copy of Papa’s. The menu is Italian but it comes in a less family and more modern style. It meanders through a range of Italian and Mediterranean dishes, all excellently prepared and presented by David and his staff, but there’s a pleasant surprise when it comes to asking for the bill. All the dishes on the menu are priced very reasonably. As David told me, one of the initial problems they encountered when opening was that most people passing by the elaborately designed building took it for an expensive restaurant and kept on walking. Kuta tourists still are, apparently, Kuta tourists, but little did they know what was happening inside―prices even cheaper than what’s on offer today. However, not all people visiting Kuta are budget conscious, cheap, package tourists. There are many discerning travelers that can rummage around all day looking for bargains, or hanging out on Kuta beach, but when it comes to dining won’t settle for anything second rate. Like a handful of other restaurants in Kuta, Ifiori is a restaurant for them. Also, another little known fact is that there’s a huge parking area (entered through the Waterbom entrance) that makes a trip to the restaurant a no-fuss experience for locals and regular visitors with their own transport.
Ifiori restaurant offers excellent dining prepared by a very competent team in stylish surrounds and at an affordable price. It’s also the newest addition to Kuta’s sometimes complicated, but mostly, quite simple, dining scene.
Jl. Kartika Plaza, Kuta
Tel: +62 361 750175