With a traditional French menu and chic design, Jendela House introduces vintage Parisian glamour to Ubud, and further elevates the mood with an imaginative array of customised cocktails. A breezy colonial-style building on a side street of Ubud sets the scene for Jendela House, entered via a charming terrace wrapped in iron balustrade. Jendela, in Bahasa Indonesian means ‘windows’, and the glass windows that surround the upper floor reveal a tropical panorama of ornate temples, goldentipped frangipani, palm trees and a tantalising glimpse of rainforest in the distance. While the view is pure Bali, the clever interior design and meticulous attention to detail create the ambience of a characterful French bistro. Waitresses are attired in stylish grey dresses, tall vases brim with daisies, the bar proffers top shelf spirits and a gorgeous chandelier dangles from the ceiling. Distressed timber furniture includes tables with gracefully curved legs, while the colour scheme adopts a palette of greys, powder blue and pale green to lovely effect. Tasteful and refined, Jendela House is also a welcoming and relaxed space and we are soon happily ensconced at the bar on the upper floor.
Opened in the latter half of 2013, the restaurant adopts the concept of ‘bistronomie’ – blending bistro and gastronomy by serving traditional dishes with a sophisticated twist. Highlights include Sautéed Frog Legs, Duck with Orange Sauce, and Warm Apple Tatin, and of course there are fine wines – the obvious French beverage of choice – but today we are here to sip cocktails. Manager, Parisian-born Nicolas Lento learned the art of crafting cocktails at the renowned Murano Hotel in Paris and has created some highly imaginative concoctions, such as a Beetroot Margarita, explaining his inspiration as, “Things I like, and things I have learned in the past.”
Carlita’s Way is dark crimson in colour, with a herbal bouquet and a savoury flavour which makes it ideal as an aperitif. Fresh strawberries blend with tequila, basil and just a touch of balsamic vinegar, while a pepper rim creates a touch of fire. The Maisiaac is made with rum, my favourite cocktail tipple, enhanced with the earthy flavour of fresh coriander and the zest of fresh limes to create a lingering flavour with hints of sensual musk and a slight citrus twang. The Hakka looks just lovely, a creamy tropical mix with a sprinkle of shredded coconut and dainty yellow flower on top. It’s one of those drinks where you are expecting a certain taste, but discover something else entirely. Flavours of vodka, passion fruit and lychee with just a dash of citrus create a multi layered affair that has my taste buds tingling. I also have a quick taste of some of the homemade liquors made from pure grain alcohol, one infused with vanilla, another with orange, and the last with exotic flavour of lemongrass.
A new grazing menu lists tasty snacks, including Cacao Seasoned Fish Tempura and Croque Monsieur, but I am drawn to the Croustillant – crispy cheese, wrapped in filo pastry and lightly pan fried, with subtle hints of fresh mint and honey. Jendela House is a wonderful space that strikes just the right balance between French finesse and tropical languor, and makes a fabulous addition to eclectic Ubud dining scene. Alison
Jendela House | Jl. Sri Wedari, Ubud | P +62 361 714 1318| 80 Seats | Open 11am - 11pm