Thursday, 13 September 2012

Potato Head

The new hot favourite beach club in Bali has the unfortunate name of Potato Head.
Apparently everybody's talking about it.
So much so, that when I expressed my desire to return to Cocoon, I was quickly shushed, with the assurance that Potato Head was THE place.
And that nobody goes to Cocoon anymore.
Even though we'd been there the day before.
So, keen not to miss out on all the excitement, I agreed to go there.
We accessed it via a very long driveway, always a suspense builder.
And upon our arrival at the entrance the amazing structure both delivered and promised so much.

It had fabulous glamour written all over it. A collage of painted wooden shutters contrasting beautifully with monolithic concrete. The image provided by the shutters is said to be inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt. I could sort of see it, but the connection seemed tenuous at best.
The shutter concept continued inside, and I was really loving the reference to casual beach side living, even in such an environment.

However, the rest of the concept once inside the great wall of shutters did not seem to me to hang together very well. I didn't like it at all. It seemed a fusion of things that should never be introduced.
I do need to qualify this by saying that I have always been more of a fan of the small venue. 
And exclusive. 
And while I understand the decisions behind creating a larger venue, I always feel the owners are casting too wide a net. 
Hedging their bets.
Trying to attract a range of demographics through an unsettling cocktail of spaces and decors.
And losing any edge in doing so.

And one of the defining decors in this space is one that I have always just found daggy and suburban
That 1950s / 60s retro Scandinavian thing.
Which seemed totally irrelevant to the locale.

I will concede that there were elements that worked well.

Like the bar area immediately upon entry. There was a sense of California, which strangely worked really well, the Palm Springs elements possibly permitted by the palm trees. 

But then in the main dining area they'd taken the retro furniture thing too far, and I felt like I was in the Brady Bunch's family room.
But beside the pool.
It really didn't work.

And then there was the pool area.
I mean, obviously it was quite nice. 
But your only lounging options were big communal daybeds.
In two big uninspired rows.
That bore little stylistic relationship to any other features.
And appeared to be occupied by that widely caught demographic I was talking about before.

Now I am not hung up on cool.
I don't have to go to the latest and greatest.
I am happy with something that is new to me.
But I also like venues tried and true.
I like places to be fun, and interesting.
And cohesive.
None of which I can really say about Potato Head.
Plus the service was dreadful...

Now generally the service in Bali is not especially efficient. 
And I feel it's not right to complain, when you consider how little the locals are paid.
But it's usually very friendly.
Everything is at least served with a smile on the side.
But not here.

I did, however, have one favourable experience at this legendary club.
A beverage in which I felt unqualified to partake:
The Millionaire's Martini. 

In fact I had two.
So as a result, my memories of the ingredients are kind of hazy.
But I know it involved some passionfruit.
And basically came with a Bellini on the side.
Which upon reflection probably helped with the disjointed decor.
And made my final impression as delicious as my first.

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