Ondy Sweeting kicks back at The Lawn beach lounge Canggu. Photos: Lucky 8.
This gorgeous addition to Canggu’s flourishing dining scene is a standout when it comes to location and the food attracts a mixed bag of hipsters, expats and honeymooners.
It is a place where its namesake lawn rolls down to greet the sparkling night-sky sand of Batu Bolong beach. Think languid picnics with frosty cocktails and super chilled beer. Casual fine dining with views that memories are made of.
The menu is a bit of a mixed bag that aims to please everyone – no easy thing to pull off. But The Lawn has a monumental menu packed with international dining delights heavy with fish, steaks and vegan choices, which are ideal to eat as shared plates or to keep greedily to yourself.
Launching with the grazing menu, the kitchen offers up edamame with chilli and sea salt, crispy lemon squid and a tuna ceviche that is a full-flavoured bowl of high quality fish soaked in lime and red chilli then mixed with coconut cream, tiny julienned grape tomato with cucumber and rich avocado. The grazing showstopper is The Lawn’s signature truffled four-cheese mac & cheese balls that are served with a tangy red pepper aioli. These deep fried balls are ordered en masse and seemingly inhaled, ideally with a squirt from the juicy lemon wedge, which helps both balance the richness of the cheeses while enhancing the aroma of the truffle oil.
The Lawn beams into leaves and greens with three different salads – a mixed leaf with radish, radicchio, avocado and tiny tomatoes; a caprese with opulent mozzarella, tomatoes and basil plus a quinoa and beetroot number that is sweetened with orange segments, crispy young kale and goat curd. The sole vegetable dish is a hearty gado gado of popular Indonesian veggies topped with a spicy peanut sauce.
The Lawn has dishes to suit the dedicated meat lover with lemon grass chicken and turmeric skewers and a fabulous babi guling – or Bali-style roast pork – which made an appearance in the form of perfectly cooked pork belly where the fat was slowly melted into the luscious sweet layers of white meat and crowned with crunchy salted crackling. The generous chunks of rich pork belly was stabilised with radish and apple slaw. The chorizo crumbs made little sense with the dish but this was absolved by the cauliflower puree.
The star of the sea section is the split king prawns that delicately take on the flavour of lemongrass with very subtle chilli, lime and pungent kemangi leaf that refuse to overpower the succulent meat. This dish is soft and tasty and served warm rather than hot. The accompanying sauces ended up overlooked in favour of the fresh lime, which added a cool kick to this heavenly package.
On the lighter side is a menu page dedicated to simpler foods that mark The Lawn’s position as an all day hangout where breakfast starts at 11 am and dinner finishes at 10pm.
It is carved into zones for pizzetta and sliders with a choice of side dishes that includes the unexpected such as Moroccan burnt carrots dressed with pumpkin seeds, sprinkled with dukkah and splattered with labne. Here can be found a tight dessert menu that explores local sweet treats and traditional European dishes with a tropical twist.
This is a super family friendly destination and kiddies get a special look in, too, with their own version of mac & cheese and other bespoke nom noms plus a seaside swing and lawns on which to run free.
With buckets of beachside chic and charming dining, the cocktail menu is packed full of signature concoctions that seems to have been precisely designed for the tropical sunset. The Coconut Mojito comes served in an actual coconut that is devoid of its nature-given water. The Chilli Sour is the colour of the sunset and decorated with a red grape and watermelon. Much thought and skill has gone into developing and executing ten signature cocktails – with most leaning towards the light and fruity – apart from the Caramel and White Chocolate Espresso Martini.
Being in deepest Canggu, expect to see super green juices, roots juice and morning boosters listed below the surprisingly large wine and champagne menu.
Another bow will soon be added to this establishment’s crown in April when a swimming pool will be launched as part of this fabulously unique non-beach club dining alternative.