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Mase Amazes

Sarah Douglas samples day and night at Mase Kitchen and Wine bar.

Bali is full of surprises and sometimes you think you know a place only to find there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

Mase Kitchen and Wine Bar is a shady terrace offering specialty coffee on the intersection of Jl Beraban and Jl Petitenget. I’ve been tempted to stop and yet never have.

Owned by Maca Villas and Spa, the group also owns Soham Wellness Centre across the road, one of the island’s best fitness centres. The resort, tucked away behind Mase Kitchen and Bar is a pretty boutique complex, offering a collection of private pool villas set in a quiet, tropical garden.

Mase Kitchen however, is a lot more than first meets the eye. Behind the terrace lurks a serious restaurant and wine shop that offers local and imported wine at very good prices, to drink in or take away. Add to that a serious menu created by their professional Balinese chef and this becomes an interesting alternative for wine lovers who enjoy dining.

Street-side Mase Kitchen and Wine Bar fits a lot of personality into one space. By day the large, shady terrace offers all day dining from delicious breakfasts on to an extensive lunch menu, a menu of specialty coffees and a fabulous wine list.

The coffee is supplied by a Singaporean brand, Ippolito. Local and imported coffee blends cater to those who like their coffee strong, mellow or somewhere in between. By day, Ippolito offers the chance to expand your horizons and knowledge when it comes to the revered bean.

At lunch, enjoy the terrace or move inside where the airy brick and glass café is lined with bottles of wine. With a rotating list of eight wines by the glass, weekly wine tastings and a Friday night happy hour, the list of wine at affordable prices is surprising.

By day, Mase offers an international menu created by their Balinese chef. From large, fresh salads, including classics like a caprese salad, beetroot carpaccio piled with rocket and feta and a quinoa and salmon gravlax plate. The menu also offers a variety of pastas, sandwiches and burgers, a delicious tapas menu and more substantial mains including a beautiful imported steak, grilled salmon or seasoned chicken served with a tumble of smashed potatoes and vegetables.

The Indonesian menu offers classics and includes a delicious chicken panggang, marinated in Balinese spices and cooked over coals, served with lawar kacang and a zesty sambal matah.

One of the features at Mase Kitchen and Wine Bar is the selection of wine is laid out around the room, allowing guests to check the selection, pick up the bottles, read the labels. The prices are all clearly marked and on Thursday evening wine suppliers open bottles for tasting and all bottles are available at 30 percent off.

Guests at the café are welcome to log in to the Wi-Fi, swim in the cool, blue pool on the rear deck and hang out until happy hour when a selected menu of wines is offered by the glass or the bottle.

By night, the lights are dimmed and the room takes on the ambience of a wine bar. The European-style menu harks back to the classics with dishes like Beef Rossini; stunning tenderloin dressed with foie gras and finished with a rich Bordeaux sauce. Duck breast is crisp outside and pink inside, served up with potato and hazelnut mash and sautéed asparagus.

Lamb chops vie with steak frites for attention and a Sichuan pork rib adds spice and heat to an evening with friends. Thankfully the air-conditioned interior makes for a comfortable dining space when the food plays on classic French and the wine flows.

Desserts go both ways, rich as sin, like the flowing chocolate lava cake, or sweet and simple fruit and cheese plates.

Mase is also a retail wine space, with a rotating stock. The prices are affordable and the same whether you drink in or take it home. The space is inviting and relaxed. It’s easy to spend a few hours here. Sofas, lounges and tables are scattered around the large, industrial-style interior while the pool deck is private and pretty.

Across the road, the group also owns Soham fitness centre, a multi-story gym and wellness facility, that offers a spa, pool, healthy café, weights and fitness rooms, hot and cold rooms, and a meditation and yoga centre at the top.

Maca Group is a locally owned group that caters perfectly to the modern traveller, offering a range of experiences all under one roof. It’s definitely worth the time to stop and check out this boutique village that caters perfectly to today’s demanding traveller.