Healthy Gourmet Dining in Bali
Food Reviews

Healthy Gourmet Dining in Bali

Posted

11 April 2016

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Join us as we bring you on a gourmet dining day trip in Bali, whisking you away for lunch at the serene and tranquil Sakti Dining RoomTM of Fivelements Puri Ahimsa and then for a stylishly contemporary dinner at Blanco par Mandif.

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Sakti Dining RoomTM @ Fivelements Puri Ahimsa

Set in lush, tranquil settings, this award-winning eco-luxurious wellness retreat bridges the wisdom of traditional healing cultures with innovative wellness concepts. Fivelements Puri Ahimsa is an exquisite, transformative respite for individuals, couples and groups looking for holistic indulgence.

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We were awed by the incredible bamboo structure of the three-tier Sakti Dining RoomTM. The 5-course degustation menu was an amazing expression of plant artistry with vibrant colours and lovely flavours. Chef Made and his team certainly impressed with raw, vegan dishes taken to the next level.

We lunched by the flowing Ayung river and lush tropics surrounded by the symphony of nature. Balinese women dressed in traditional batik sarongs greeted us with warm and friendly smiles. The calming and relaxing Ginger Torch Lemongrass Lemonade that followed was a refreshing welcome to this sanctuary.

The Beetroot and Purple Basil was a unique blend of spiced beetroot soup, coconut coriander chutney, beetroot pickles and purple basil. The nutty flavour and the earthy beetroot combined well in this light yet hearty starter.

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We loved the beautiful presentation of the Carrot and Passion Fruit dish – speckled with nasturtium (edible flowers and leaves) over the orange hues of the carrot. The curried cashews added a nice, nutty flavour. With thick shaves of coconut flesh drizzled with passion fruit dressing, we wanted more!

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Next up was the Cucumber and Avocado – a green curry with pineapples, baby cucumber and avocado lime crème. This playful-looking dish was inviting without being overtly creamy.

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Traditional Balinese cuisine took the stage with the Balinese Yellow Rice and Lawar (a flavour-packed dish with coconut and green beans) served with tomato sambal (condiment), oyster mushrooms, local spices and grilled eggplant. Aromatic and flavourful? Absolutely!

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Lunch ended on a high note with the Papaya and Kalamansi – a vibrant and delightful dessert. A kalamansi sorbet seated majestically on passion fruit mousse with a line-up of papaya balls and cinnamon crumbles in tow. Nasturtium sprinkled over this dessert definitely gave it a direct-from-nature delivery feel.

Sakti Dining RoomTM was a breath of fresh air offering an epicurean experience to nourish your body, mind and soul. The wonderfully sublime dishes indeed allowed the soul of the organic, locally-sourced ingredients to shine. Come here for a raw, vegan fine-dining experience and leave feeling energised and rejuvenated.

Location: Banjar Baturning, Mambal, Bali (approximately 8 km from Ubud)

Blanco Par Mandif

Barely a year old in Ubud’s fine-dining scene, Blanco par Mandif has catapulted to fame in this artsy, zen town. We were eager to find out what the raves were about.

With his acclaimed maiden fine-dining restaurant known for its sophisticated modern French-Asian cuisine, Teatro Gastroteque in Seminyak under his belt, Chef Mandif one of Indonesia’s notable chefs, opened his second boutique restaurant here. Blanco prides itself on recreating traditional Indonesian cuisine and showcasing its exotic flavours with a contemporary twist.

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Strolling on Campuhan Street, we spotted the glass-enclave elegantly perched on an embankment of Blanco Museum (hence, the name) overlooking the famous street. We were ushered into an intimate dining area with a relaxing ambience. We eased into the armchairs at the chef’s tasting table facing an open kitchen. Diners could watch the kitchen abuzz with a team of young, talented chefs led by Sous Chef Robert. We thoroughly enjoyed the up-close dining experience throughout, watching them in amazement as they meticulously craft each creation with skill, passion and superb execution.

Diners could select from a 7, 9 or 13 course menu. The degustation menu came with cocktail and wine pairings to refreshingly complement the courses. The managers and staff were warm and friendly, gladly introducing each dish to us. With quality ingredients sourced locally, from fresh produce to the catch of the day, only the very best was brought to the plates and palates of their diners. A unique dining experience awaited us as Blanco took us on a gastronomic trail through the Indonesian archipelago reminiscent of Chef Mandif’s roots and journeys.

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A generous array of innovative amuse bouche awaited us - a masterpiece resembling a bird’s nest featuring an eggshell filled with ebi, steamed egg and coconut foam, tempeh crackers with crispy leaves fitted stylishly in a miniature artistic wire frame and dinner rolls with warm, moreish tomato and green chilli sambal.

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Boy, were we in for a feast for our senses! The opening act was the Asinan, an artistic blend of colours bursting with flavours and textures. This Indonesian starter popular in Jakarta was brimming with turnip, cucumber, starfruit, rhubarb, cuttlefish crackers and delectable edible flowers, drizzled with peanut and vinegar dressing. With this naturally juicy and crunchy starter, our expectations were amped for the rest of the night.

Up next was a Sulawesian aperitif, a combination of sawi (mustard leaves) and Chinese cabbage coiled into a roll. It was infused in a bold, refreshing mix of lime, lemon, mint and artisan Singaraja vinegar. The tartiness definitely awakened our tastebuds.

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Rajungan, a corn with coconut and lime broth complemented with crab meat wrapped in spinach was flavourful with every mouthful and oh-so wholesome.

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Cakalang, house-made noodles was served with shaves of smoked tuna - the spicy zing was distinctive! Chef Robert kindly prepared a gluten-free version of the cakalang for us to sample constructed from vermicelli, shallots, garlic, cumin and fried basil – loved this meatless variant!

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The tiger prawns sourced from the seafood haven Jimbaran were succulent, fresh and juicy accompanied with potato mousseline. With the kalio gravy, a type of Indonesian rendang (stewed beef in spicy coconut gravy), this aromatic dish was oozing with flavour.

We were then served the catch of the day - a red snapper fillet, the lightly caramelised skin uncovered the soft, flaky flesh, perfectly complemented with turmeric sauce – divinely fragrant and satisfying!

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Gudeg, a traditional Javanese rice dish popular in Yogyakarta and Central Java is essentially a jackfruit stew slow-cooked for hours. This delicacy was served on a banana leaf platter with tempeh, egg, tofu, chicken, lime and lemongrass with a spicy krecek sauce – definitely a nostalgic blast from the past!

Pomelo bites and soursop gelato were explosive sensations as a palate cleanser housed in a ceramic shell. As dinner unfolded, the infamous Indonesian duck delicacy, bebek laced with opor (chicken in coconut) sauce accentuated the flavour of this dish that came with candlenut and brinjal.

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Desserts were a calling as the night drew to a close. Soft, pumpkin (sambiki) cake with seeds, walnuts, soy mousse and edible petals brought our dining experience at Ubud’s must-visit fine-dining restaurant to a satisfying and scrumptious end.

Note: Vegetarian and gluten-free menu options are available upon advance request.

Location: Jln Campuhan, Blanco Museum, Ubud.

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