Bali’s Newest Fine-Dining Venue is in a Natural Cave

Expect a moody, primeval backdrop and seven-course menus by lauded British chef Ryan Clift.

All photos courtesy of The Cave by Chef Ryan Clift

For inveterate foodies who have tried out Koral, the underwater aquarium restaurant at The Apurva Kempinski in Bali’s Nusa Dua enclave, there’s now another place to put on the wish list — an underground venue at Uluwatu cliff-top resort The Edge. First discovered in 2013 during the construction of a new villa, a subterranean chamber encrusted with stalactites and stalagmites hidden six and a half meters below the surface has just been transformed into The Cave by Chef Ryan Clift.

The intimate venue is accessed by a spiral staircase from a ground-level pavilion, and accommodates just 22 guests. Locally based interiors specialists Ushers Beyond Design furnished the spot with plush armchairs, banquette seating arranged in a half-moon shape, and reflective polished black floors with bright specks suggesting a starry sky. Designers also added a stone-carved portal not dissimilar to the one at Goa Gajah, an 11th-century Hindu sanctuary outside Ubud.

Courtesy of Ryan Clift, chef-owner of Singapore’s Tippling Club, the seven-course set menus here are divided into classic and vegetarian options, and will be changed every six months. Meat-eaters can look forward to a “foie gras cheesecake” featuring locally grown berries; steak tartare; cured trout belly with avocado served atop a nori cracker; and Japanese premium ingredients like Tajima wagyu beef and Hokkaido scallop. Diners will be treated to a visual feast even when they look up from their plates, since the illuminated limestone formations double as a canvas for video projections between courses. Lunch is served from Thursdays to Sundays, while two dinner seatings are available every night.

Cured trout belly with nori cracker, avocado, and radish features on the classic set menu.

Left to right: Balinese carvings in the cave; chef Ryan Clift’s version of steak tartare.

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