I wouldn’t be the only one to have drastically cut night-time eating excursions. I think quite a few expat employers have requested staff not to go out at night and of late, it has been a fairly reasonable thing to do. The reach of corporate insurers goes far and wide.
A few months back, I mentioned that “Temptations” was operating just around the corner from the Portuguese Embassy across the road at the eastern end of the Palacio do Governu. It looked like it was off to a flying start but it has fallen away quite a bit now.
“Cafe Brasil” just around the corner is one of the success stories. A month or so ago, it extended its premises on the eastern side and has become perhaps the numero uno coffee shop/lunch place in town. It has a good feel but avoid the sandwiches. I dropped in there several times during the troubled May/June period when almost nothing else was open and I was the only customer (it seemed).
The Terrace Cafe has pretty much finished its construction and seems to be going OK but I haven’t been there for a while.
A new Indonesian restaurant (Riung Kurung ??) has opened about 200m west of the Backpackers about a block before the main Colmera intersection. The food is definitely above average Indonesian and leans towards the health food side of things. I believe that initially it did not serve alcohol and preferred to concentrate on fresh juices. Mercifully, consumer demand convinced them to sell beer so I don’t know how good the juices are. Maybe next time. But one restaurant to watch.
At the eastern end of town along the beach, the Coolspot nightclub has disappeared and reinvented itself with a new restaurant across the road by the beach called the “Erli Sun”. It looks flasher than most of the others on the stretch and is on my dance card for a visit soon. The old Coolspot building has been massively renovated but I am not sure what it will become yet. Even before this year’s troubles started, Coolspot always seemed a bit on the seedy side so we’ll just have to see how that one pans out.
There have been a couple of additional structures built down on the eastern beach strip suggest more eateries to come but no progress on fit-out yet.
Went to Vasco da Gamas (the most up-market restaurant in town) for the first time in quite a long time recently. Everything was the same except for a huge make-over of the menu – better, I think. While extensive, the wine list remains for money market investors only. I also noticed the manager of the Hotel Timor was treading the boards, suggesting they are both linked somehow.
Hotel Dili remains a sentimental favourite for that quiet home-style meal amongst the shrubbery.
As for coffee, I think the quality of some of the coffee in some of the bar/restaurants has gone down. My guess is that most are now using Ensul coffee rather than Delta. Correct me if I am wrong.