From Ubud to Nusa Dua and Seminyak, this trio of dining rooms offers a tantalizing taste of Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and beyond.
One of the islandâ€™s newest resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali in Nusa Dua channels the culinary traditions of the Indonesian archipelago at its freshly unveiled signature restaurant. Set over three levels, Bejana features a â€śCulinary Caveâ€ť cooking school and chefâ€™s table as well as indoor and outdoor dining areas designed with striking wood paneling and palm gardens. For a taste of West Java, begin with the Bajigur cocktail, traditionally served warm (and sans alcohol) from street vendors; here, mixologists give the recipe a kick by adding rum and Malibu to coconut milk muddled with ginger, pandan, and lemongrass. On the menu, the soto pesmolâ€”a spiced coconut and seafood soupâ€”offers flavors from Jakarta, while the bebek betutu takes roast duck, a Balinese favorite, and serves it on banana leaves (62-361/849-8988).
Scottish chef Will Meyrickâ€™s third Bali restaurant, Hujan Locale in Ubud, adopts a â€śfound and foragedâ€ť philosophy when it comes to produce. Much of the menu is inspired by what is currently growing in Meyrickâ€™s on-site garden and farm, which is then transformed into dishes inspired by traditional kitchens across Asia. Current highlights include a Dutch-Indonesian croquette of salted cod, brought to life with chili mayonnaise and sambal; and scallops cured with Sri Lankan spices and topped with coconut and salmon roe. Even the cocktails nod to in-season ingredients: eye-popping beetroot margaritas are the perfect way to start a meal in the airy dining room (62-361/849-3092).
Another newcomer, Seminyakâ€™s Double-Six hotel has seen Australian restaurateur Robert Marchettiâ€”behind Sydneyâ€™s Icebergs and North Bondi Italianâ€”design five restaurants and bars, including the just-opened Plantation Grill. The glamorous, Prohibition-inspired space unites marble, crystal, and dark leather under soaring ceilings, while on the plate, diners can look forward to house specialties such as dry-aged beef and line-caught seafood cooked over grills or in the wood-fired oven. The whole rock lobster Thermidor here gives the very â€™70s dish a sophisticated twist with VSOP Cognac and black truffles in the sauce; the baby-back pork ribs are given an equal injection of class thanks to a sake marinade and dry-spiced Texan rub (62-361/734-300).
This article originally appeared in theÂ June/JulyÂ print issue of DestinAsian magazine (â€śNew Bites in Baliâ€ť)