Decadent Dining on the Island

Dining | Written By, Edward Speirs |

Finesse and mastery in the kitchen, a wine cellar like a treasure chest, hawk-like service and an exquisite dining room atmosphere to bring it all together. It takes a lot to impress the discerning diners who come to Bali, but these fine dining destinations hit the mark.

Kayuputi

Inside the captivating The St.Regis Bali Resort, this restaurant presents an atmosphere of understated elegance upon entry. Kayuputi looks out onto the pristine Nusa Dua beach, the huge bay windows allowing natural light to fall on the all-white, wood décor, giving it a warm and homely atmosphere.

The menu at Kayuputi showcases Pan-Asian haute cuisine, inspired by the Balinese wisdom Nyegara Gunung, meaning ‘from the mountain to the beach’. Thus, Balinese Executive Chef Agung Gede pays homage to this by choosing the finest ingredients of the land and sea. Epitomising this is their signature dish, Nyegara-Gunung, a 24-hour sous vide of archipelago spices marinated wagyu beef spare ribs, lobster tail tempura, seasonal vegetables and own beef essence. Other favourites include the Miso Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek (MB9+) and the Papua Blue Thread-fin Fillet. All of the dishes are prepared in the show kitchen, allowing diners to witness the precise preparation from the talented chefs. On top of this, the impressive two-storey wine cellar stocks some of the island’s most priceless bottles, earning Kayuputi prestigious Wine Spectator awards for the last 9 consecutive years. Choose to dine with beach views at a private cabana for lunch, or settle in for an intimate dinner come evening. A la carte and degustation menus are both available.

The St.Regis Bali Resort

Lot S6 ITDC, Nusa Dua
+62 361 8478111
stregisbali.com

Aperitif

It’s nearly a century later, but the charms of the 1920s live on in Apéritif Restaurant & Bar. Found in front of the famed Viceroy Bali resort in Ubud, enter into a glamorous Gatsby-esque wonderland. Shining black-and-white tiles, vintage furniture and the colonial-style windows complete the look.

Whilst the atmosphere pays homage to one of the greatest eras of the past, the food served at Apéritif showcases modern finesse and vision. Belgian Executive Chef Nic Vanderbeeken presents prix fixe eight- and ten-course degustation menus which demonstrate the perfect amalgamation of East and West. One example is the Venison Wellington, where foie gras and truffle make the unlikely pairing with the Indonesian rendang curry sauce, packaged delicately inside pastry. New to the menu is the Dutch Veal, bringing back the European tradition of sweetbread and marrying it with teriyaki and miso. When it comes to desserts, Chef Alexander McKinstry takes centre stage. He has created desserts that are both a feast for the eyes and for the palate. His Cheese – Cake, for example, appears to be a regular wheel of cheese. Both chefs showcase the epitome of kitchen creativity in both ingredients and presentation. Lining one side of the restaurant is an impressive wine cellar, stocked with over 180 of the world’s most exclusive wines. The restaurant also utilises wine dispensers, making premium wines available by the glass.

Aperitif Restaurant & Bar

Jalan Lanyahan, Banjar Nagi, Ubud
+62 361 908 2777
aperitif.com

Ju-Ma-Na

Meaning silver pearl in Arabic, Ju-Ma-Na truly lives up to its name. High above the crashing waves of Bali’s southern peninsula, the restaurant presents the full majesty of the Indian Ocean to its diners through their panoramic windows. Inside, shining white interiors make this opulent restaurant shine like an Arabian jewel on its clifftop perch.

Despite the interior’s Arabian style and influence, the cuisine on offer here is an inventive combination of French dining with a Japanese twist. Executive Chef Oscar Wijaya shows his attention to detail as he meticulously prepares dishes in the open kitchen. One dish in particular highlights not only this marriage of French and Japanese flavours, but also Chef Oscar’s selection for fine ingredients. The Ama Ebi Tartar consists of a cold bisque, compressed yuzu watermelon, completed with a layer of delicate avruga caviar. Other examples include Pan Seared Foie Gras with Mizo Yuzu Crumble, Crab and Unagi Ravioli and the 200 Day Grain Fed Angus Beef and Foie Gras with Nori Comte Potato and Miso Eggplant Caviar. Whilst Ju-Ma-Na is home to a fabulous wine cellar, they are proud of their inventive cocktails and aperitifs, which also work to complement many of their dishes. Enjoy the south Bali sunset on the balcony before dinner for a really memorable evening.

Banyan Tree Ungasan

Jalan Melasti, Ungasan
+62 361 30070000
banyantree.com

Kubu

Deep within the secluded valley which Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, calls home, Kubu sits peacefully by the flowing Ayung River. Named after the huts Balinese farmers use to store their rice after harvest, the restaurant pays tribute to the native farming tradition with its open-air bamboo structure and nine private dining cocoons. The cosy outdoor dining setting welcomes in the fresh Ubud breeze, but with its crisp white linen dressed tables, remains a decadent dining venue – with an added romance of the sound of the flowing river water.

Kubu offers Mediterranean-European inspired cuisine, where, under the guidance of Executive Sous Chef Bayu Retno Timur, presents itself as an experience of fragrant spices, colourful vegetables, tender meats and fish. Diners can enjoy dishes a-la-carte, or choose the sophisticated degustation menu. Offering specialties from land and sea, Kubu’s signature dishes include the Hokkaido scallops, pickled grapes, seaweed and lemon skin; and the Lamb rack, Moroccan spice, pickled vegetables, yogurt and spice lamb jus. There is a particular focus on freshness at this riverside restaurant, including behind the bar where hand-crafted cocktails are made with natural ingredients, such as the Mangosteen Crushie made with fresh mangosteen and kaffir lime leaves. Of course, an extensive selection of fine wines, international whiskeys and other spirits are available too.

Mandapa, A Ritz Carlton Reserve

Jalan Raya Kedewatan, Ubud
+62 361 4792777
ritzcarlton.com

About Author :

Edward Speirs

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