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 island’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 “Culinary Cave” cooking school and chef’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 pesmol—a spiced coconut and seafood soup—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 Meyrick’s third Bali restaurant, Hujan Locale in Ubud, adopts a “found and foraged” philosophy when it comes to produce. Much of the menu is inspired by what is currently growing in Meyrick’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, Seminyak’s Double-Six hotel has seen Australian restaurateur Robert Marchetti—behind Sydney’s Icebergs and North Bondi Italian—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 ’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 the June/July print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“New Bites in Bali”)