La Plancha is about 15minutes from Coast Boutique Apartments, a thriving cafe on Mesari Beach at Seminyak’s southern end, teases your senses with splashes of colours throughout its two-level structure and with a menu of tasty grills and Spanish cuisine. With large and colourful parasols on its beachfront, it appeals most at sunset when you can sink into beanbags around mini tables laid out on the sand. Living up to its name, La Plancha (literally ‘the grill’) serves a variety of Spanish and barbecued delights. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the cafe is a welcoming stopover on morning beach strolls, a day out in the waves or for fun evening gatherings. A regular agenda presents assorted gigs and live DJs.
Spaniard Luigi Ferrara wished to bring along some of his homeland’s coastal dining feel to this relaxing beachside, and the result was La Plancha, welcoming its first flow of regulars in 2010. Hints of Spanish influences show through its colourful wooden hut, from where it offers one of Bali’s unique sunset dining experiences. As the sky darkens, lighting floods the beachside while jockeys plug in their turntables, spinning lively beats ranging from soul to reggae and chill-out. With every turn of the day, the sand in front of the cafe is swiftly cleared from last night’s setups; parasols folded and beanbags tucked away – on standby for another evening’s round. At sunup, the settings is great for those who wish to have their morning treat with the white Seminyak seaside and rolling surf in view.
Breakfasts comprise hearty picks from a simple menu, such as the ‘Swiss Mountain’ of grilled pork with two sunny side eggs and cheese slices upon a base of hash brown-like Spanish potato omelette. Our platter was a neat presentation; the small meat dices mixed with bacon strips were a savoury treat to match our eggs and taters. On a lunchtime occasion, we had several seafood selections that included grilled prawns and calamari served with marinara sauce, and a seafood salad prepared with fresh greens tossed in a juicy wine dressing that was a refreshing choice for the balmy coast. A seafood display offers a selection of snappers, prawns and squids on ice – all sourced from the morning markets daily. They’re all cooked traditionally on the grill, or prepared in the tiny kitchen. All-round nibbles come in the form of inexpensive tapas that you can order around the clock.
The beverage list is adequate, listing local pilsner favourites such as Bintang and other international beers, as well as milkshakes and juices to cooling lassies. For cocktails, try out the typical Spanish wine punch of Sangria, and you can always go for the signature Mojitos for a cool and refreshing seaside sip. Head upstairs to the top deck where you will love the open view of the beach and horizon. Similarly, tables and benches painted in different colours are set under waving palm shades, with Moroccan-style lanterns that provide a pretty foreground to the seascape. Overall, the setting is relaxed and rustic, with nice vibes day and night, and service delivered by a team of friendly, laidback and modest staff. Wide-open views, refreshing breezes, simple but satisfying menus and drink selections complement the La Plancha experience, ideal for a table-for-two or families and friends.