We arrive at Watercress at 12pm, just as the staff are filling the display cabinet. Within minutes people are pouring into the café to choose their lunch from the abundant array of salads and savoury dishes. Everything is homemade, organic and tantalisingly fresh, and although the café has only been open six weeks, word has spread. There are golden topped quiches, eggplant parmigiano, poached beetroot salad, cherry tomato tatin, spinach and ricotta crepes, lentil salad, mixed greens with grilled vegetables, falafel balls, pots of toasted sunflower seeds, and a fragrant fish curry.
Food is home style, yet prepared with French flair, and everything is made fresh each morning, with the daily offerings written up on blackboards. We make our selection then take a seat at a wooden table adorned with woven place mats and salt and pepper concealed in dainty glass jars with black lids. The cafe is bright and homely with distressed wooden furniture, russet cushions, exposed brick walls and white cross beams meeting earth coloured roof tiles. French doors and windows are flung back to allow a breeze to waft across the rice paddies and whirring fans add to the freshness.
Catherine and Celine are the charming French ladies behind the cafe, Catherine explains that this is the food that she likes to eat, “It is light, nourishing and gives you energy,’ she says. As the designer of the well know fashion label, Innuendo, Catherine has a reputation for creating timeless pieces with incredible attention to detail. She explains that, “I put as much love in preparing food as in designing clothes, and the same attention to detail.” This is why the spinach salad is adorned with grilled zucchini, olives, crumbled goat’s cheese, cranberries and sundried tomatoes, the tomato, basil and mozzarella salad is served on skewers, and the quiche is dense with asparagus and concealed in a wonderfully flaky crust. Everything is delicious and even though I seem to have eaten quite a lot, I don’t feel at all heavy, and even manage to polish off a quintessential Lemon Meringue Pie with glorious soft fluffy peaks.
A la carte breakfasts are also offered, the French brioches are divine, and the rich, buttery Pain au Chocolate are surely the most authentic on the island. I also hear on the grapevine that the Bircher Muesli is to die for. At the moment the cafe is only for lunch, but a la carte dinners are planned from January.
21a Batu Belig
Ph +62 361 780 8030