The Rebirth of Tanah Gajah Ubud’s Tempayan Restaurant

A beloved resort in the south-central foothills of Bali has reopened its flagship eatery following major reconstruction work.

A bird’s-eye view of The Tempayan at Tanah Gajah Ubud. (All photos courtesy of the resort)

As the Covid-19 pandemic took hold last year, a fire destroyed The Tempayan restaurant at the heart of Tanah Gajah Ubud, which started out as the private estate of one of Indonesia’s most respected architects and art collectors, Hendra Hadiprana. Now, the luxury resort’s main dining venue amid the paddy fields has been completely rebuilt — like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

“Losing the original Tempayan restaurant was a real blow at a time when the world was also feeling struck down,” said Deasy Swandarini, General Manager of Tanah Gajah Ubud, in a statement. “We knew though that we had to carry on and create a place that honored the original restaurant while we also revisited where we’re going as a property.”

Jakarta-based studios Hadiprana Design Consultant, Hadiprana Artwork, and House of Hadiprana have created a brand-new dining space that encapsulates the soul of the original structure. Just as before, the design takes its cues from wantilan, traditional pavilions that function as a gathering place at the heart of a Balinese village. Patrons here dine in a breezy, open-air setting sheltered by a tiered terracotta-tiled roof; the inviting space is adorned with bird-shaped lamps on each pillar and a collection of hanging lanterns, also inspired by the creatures of the air.

The interior of the main dining room at The Tempayan.

Pan seared barramundi, one of the signature dishes on the restaurant’s revamped menu.

Two private dining rooms at The Tempayan each seat up to eight guests.

The new-look Tempayan can host up to 200 guests, with seating available for 70 in the main dining hall and up to eight people each in its two air-conditioned private dining rooms. The alfresco terrace that abuts the paddies offers seating for 20 guests but also has plenty of standing space for parties and larger-scale events.

A temperature-controlled wine cellar provides a home for the Tempayan’s new wine collection, which features over 50 labels from around the world, including several popular local brands. The menu has also been revamped, but organic, primarily local and house-grown produce remain at the core of what is prepared in Singaporean Executive Chef Khairudin “Dean” Nor’s kitchen. Signature dishes from the globetrotting menu include pan-seared barramundi with a pumpkin puree, shallot shiraz marmalade, organic tomatoes and cucumber; another must-try is the Canadian scallop tataki with wakame, pickled ginger, and a Balinese-inspired saffron beurre blanc.

Scallops tataki with saffron beurre blanc.

Executive Chef Khairudin “Dean” Nor will be available to lead private cooking classes.

The Tempayan’s alfresco terrace offers front-seat views of the surrounding paddy fields.

Another view of the same terrace, taken at sunset.

The restaurant is also a fine backdrop for some of the most popular experiences at Tanah Gajah Ubud. Guests can enjoy Bali’s first and only hot-air balloon experience during sunrise and sunset outside The Tempayan, paired with either breakfast or dinner. Meanwhile, the kecak and fire dance performed in the property’s open-air theater is followed by a mouth-watering Royal Balinese dinner at the restaurant. Those looking to improve their culinary skills can sign up for engaging, hands-on cooking classes led by Chef Dean, who will draw on his own fine-dining background and decades of experience in restaurant kitchens between the Lion City and Bali.

The Tempayan is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. Click here to find out more.

This article was brought to you by Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana.

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