Well, we’ve been waiting for it for a while now and we’ve all had a bit of a sticky-beak when we’ve been driving past but at long last the new restaurant on the beach road in Pantai Kalapa has finally opened.
It’s called ‘Nautilus’ and I can honestly say it was well worth the wait.
Situated about 50 metres east of the Hotel Esplanada, it has great sea views, easy parking and a constant breeze passing through. The music is laid-back blues and jazz, the staff are attentive and discreet and the décor is to die for. It’s a place Dili has needed for a long time now.
Owned and managed by R and B (like the music) ‘Nautilus’ offers a menu that should suit most tastes. On the (opening) night Mrs. FOS and I went there about 40 people were enjoying the food and very reasonably priced drinks. As the evening wore on the numbers increased up to around 70 or so and the place still didn’t seem over-crowded or too noisy.
After a couple of ice cold beers ($2.50 each) we ordered our meal. The starter was a dozen Oyster Kilpatrick to share and I wish we had ordered two dozen. We followed that with sirloin steak for myself and duck for Mrs FOS, both superb, accompanied by a great bottle of Pinot Noir. It’s one of those places where the napkins are cotton, there is no plastic and the furniture is good solid wood and very comfortable. All the while the staff were on hand but unobtrusive. Ashtrays were emptied immediately (yeah, I know, we shouldn’t smoke anyway), table’s were cleared and the booze didn’t come in cans or bottles. I loved it. Oh, and the dunny’s are spotless and have their own special attendants just like in the real world. Mrs FOS told me that it was the type of place where she could walk in as a lone female and not feel out of place, intimidated or threatened. High praise indeed.
At the moment ‘Nautilus’ will be open from 3pm for drinks and then the kitchen opens at 6pm for dinner. I understand from R and B that it will be open for lunch in the New Year. I wish it was sooner. The only problem I have at the moment is that my favourite place in the restaurant seems to be the favourite place for everybody else. (See picture) It’s a great place to chill out, have a great dinner and/or after dinner drinks.
For those of you with a design bent (and I know a few of you out there have a certain bent) you must check out the floor designs. Hand crafted, Timorese inspired and very very original.
What more can I say? I love the place and Dili needs it. Let’s hope it raises the standards for everyone.
The discreet entrance ( I love a discreet entrance)
My favourite place