Hanging Gardens – An Experience to Remember

Dining | Written By, NOW! BALI | September 8th, 2014

Some twenty minutes out of Ubud, the Hanging Gardens Ubud sits atop a pristine river valley where nature is at its best. Serene and spectacular, it is truly a retreat. Recently there have been many changes and one of the best changes is the uber talented Consulting Executive Chef, Brazilian Adriano Ricco. His career has been a series of encounters with highly esteemed, world class chefs and it shows in his creations. He plays with food presentations, coming up with new and innovative ways to display his fabulous creations. A piece of slate, turquoise glass bowls, quirky ceramic creations – all designed to enhance the eating experience and maximize pleasure. He likes to source locally, making as much use as possible of fresh, preferably organic produce that he uses to great effect.

Text & Photo by Ayu Sekar

Some twenty minutes out of Ubud, the Hanging Gardens Ubud sits atop a pristine river valley where nature is at its best. Serene and spectacular, it is truly a retreat. Recently there have been many changes and one of the best changes is the uber talented Consulting Executive Chef, Brazilian  Adriano Ricco.

His career has been a series of encounters with highly esteemed, world class chefs and it shows in his creations.

He plays with food presentations, coming up with new and innovative ways to display his fabulous creations. A piece of slate, turquoise glass bowls, quirky ceramic creations – all designed to enhance the eating experience and maximize pleasure. He likes to source locally, making as much use as possible of fresh, preferably organic produce that he uses to great effect.

We were lucky enough to have chef Adriano concoct a special tasting menu of some of his favourites, which quickly became our favourites too.

We started with a little amuse bouche – and it was amusing. A designer take on the Balinese staple gado gado – elegant, refined and very photogenic. Almost microscopic serves of the vegetable ingredients that comprise Gado gado were assembled with harmonious precision – a perfect start to a meal.

The first dish was the Himachi Ceviche – marinated fresh seafood with a green apple, chilli, lime, red onion, basil and cilantro combination served delightfully in a luminous turquoise  glass bowl – perfection!

His award winning gnocci – seriously, it was the best both of us had ever tasted (the secret is in the ratio of potato to flour) is to die for. Soft, light and seething with the flavours of parmesan and finely sliced black summer truffles and a tantalizingly subtle cream sauce that leaves you wanting more, more, more! It is worth a trip for this alone. His Italian Grandmother must be very proud of him. After all, it was her recipe!

The pork ribs are equally amazing. Smoked in rambutan wood chips before being bathed in a special home made smokey BBQ sauce and grilled, they are redolent with flavor as their soft tenderness, just falls off the bone. Served with an interesting corn bread, it made an excellent combination.

His take on the boiled Baccalao was also interesting. The dried salted cod is soaked in milk for four days to lessen the saltiness and bring it to a soft texture. It was grilled to perfection, with a shallot confit and a truffle demi glace. Served on a bed of potato mouselline, instead of the usual mashed offering, it was simply divine.!

If you are planning to dine at Hanging Gardens, do  try to arrive before sunset so as to enjoy the spectacular views of the pristine river valley.  The best pool in the world (voted by Condé Nast Traveller) sits just below the lounge bar, adding to the  spectacular view.

Hanging Gardens Ubud

Desa Buahan, Payangan

T: +62 361 982700

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