Typically, I’d tell you about our vacation experiences in a chronological order, but I decided to fast-forward to our last day in Bali for two main reasons: it involves the most opulent brunch fare at one of the most beautiful resorts I have laid my eyes on and I cannot wait to tell you all about it! Let me start from the beginning.
Direct flights from Bali back to Japan don’t leave till 11:00 pm which meant we still had a full day to spare on the island on our check-out day. We decided to put this time to good use and do what we discovered to be our new favorite thing: scout out resorts and their specialty restaurants! We ate out at a few other luxury resorts on previous days (stories about Viceroy in Ubud and Four Seasons Jimbaran will follow soon), but we (unknowingly) saved the best for the last: The Astor Dimond Champagne Sunday Brunch at St. Regis Bali. When I read the reviews, the words used to describe it were “legendary” and “epic”, along with “the best on the island”. Pretty bold statements. By now, you all know my love for brunch, so checking it out first-hand was an absolute no-brainer. Honestly, Justin was even more excited about this than me.
So, what makes this brunch so special? In short, it’s a place where luxurious fine dining meets leisurely brunch. When I say leisurely, I mean a four-hour long pursuit of gastronomic delights. And when I say luxurious fine dining, I mean a multi-course meal of the finest food prepared a la minute in lieu of a typical buffet + limited a la carte menu combo you get at most brunches. Perfected by The Astors at The St. Regis New York over 100 years ago, Kayuputi Restaurant in Bali showcases the finest Asian-inspired, haute cuisine equivalent. It’s said to be unequalled anywhere in Bali in opulence and exclusivity.
We started our epic epicurean adventure at 11:00 a.m. with a cocktail hour at the bar lounge. Unlimited glasses of premium champagne and cocktails were paired with canapés. Justin proclaimed the signature Bloody Mary the best he’s ever had and I couldn’t agree more. I was also happy that I decided to dress up because the atmosphere AND the patrons were quite refined, best characterized as “casual chic.”
In an hour, we proceeded to the adjacent dining hall to witness the gastronomic excellence unfold. From here for the next three hours the champagne flowed and the food just kept on coming. Call it a culinary crusade that sent us into a dizzying spiral of foodie bliss.
I loved the spacious predominantly white interior of the Kayuputi Restaurant. Floor to ceiling windows flooded the room with light and provided views of the gorgeous beachfront that Nusa Dua is known for. It is my personal opinion, but I found the quality of the beach and the water predominantly better on this side of the island. You could see the corals right by the shore, and of course the entire stretch that belonged to St. Regis was in immaculate condition. But I digress.
Sunday Brunch at St. Regis offers a unique concept: there’s an endless parade of staff with delicious premium morsels passing by your table. These include caviar, foie gras, meats, seafoods and a dessert trolley. You can see the action via open kitchen, the culinary team led by Executive Sous Chef Agung Gede works to serve dishes ‘inspired by quality ingredients and an emphasis on authentic preparation’. Everything is prepared to order to ensure the best taste and quality and served at your table to ensure your ultimate comfort.
We started with a series of amuse-bouches and morning classics (total of six) including Sturia caviar vintage served atop vichyssoise ice-cream, potato crumble, citrus sour cream espuma and basil oil – which made my tastebuds sing.
I tried very hard not to nibble too much on the fresh-from-the-oven pastries – croissants in particular were outstanding.
Next, a series of beautiful individually plated entrees (a total of 13) were showcased at each table by the servers in an endless pass-around and you had an option to say yes or opt out. I loved how the plates were modestly sized which was perfect because you could try more courses. Oh, and the best part? If you particularly fancied one of the plates, you could reorder them as many times as you wished. We did it with the duck foie gras brûlée topped with pears (which was one of the three foie gras courses served at the same time) because it was sensational.
Other amazing highlights included the oysters cooked three ways, yellow fin tartar, blue swimmer crab meat and tomato dumpling, and slow-braised wagyu beef spare ribs with truffle oil – just to name the few.
After you tried all of the entrees you could also order one (or all) of the a la carte options. The menu featured five pasta dishes, three fruit de mer options, and four meat dishes including chicken, duck, lamb and beef.
The sheer abundance of the finest food was unparalleled to any brunch I’ve tried (including this one at The Ritz Carlton Tokyo). Most importantly, almost everything we tasted was cooked perfectly and was absolutely delicious, quite befitting of any Michelin-starred restaurant. If you ever come here, I’d highly recommend having very light dinner the night before and certainly no breakfast in the morning. We only got through the half of the menu because we were not hungry enough (due to another delicious dinner the night before). And we were not the only ones, although one couple next to us where obviously determined to make most of their brunch experience and braved all 35 courses (they shared the mains). Smart people!
Last but not least, the fourth hour was dedicated to sampling mouth-watering selections of cheeses, as well as exquisite desserts created by the head pastry chef. Signature cake Bois Blanc, homemade pralines, crème brûlée and macarons (to name the few) were presented on a trolley in an endless pass-around.
Despite being stuffed, the Astor Diamond Chocolate Souffle on the a la carte menu sounded too good to resist – cinnamon-infused cream anglais served alongside a tangerine sorbet.
Before leaving I couldn’t help but take a quality snoop around the gorgeous grounds of this impressive, five-star resort. Of all the luxury resorts we visited this was my personal favorite. It comes to no surprise as St. Regis Bali was recognized as one of the Favorite Resorts in the World by Conde Nast Traveler in 2016.
Designed to imitate an Indonesian village, with elegant thatched roof suites and villas that featured sumptuous contemporary Balinese design, I couldn’t think of a better hideaway to unwind and immerse in understated opulence. They were lined up alongside a gorgeous saltwater lagoon with verdant tropical landscape gardens and some had a direct access to the finest white sand beach and the cerulean Indian Ocean. I also liked how everything was at one level, no terraces and thus no need for golf-carts. It truly was a perfect tropical paradise that I’m sure was created with the world’s most discerning travelers in mind.
I think it is safe to say that this Sunday brunch was the best I’ve had to date and has spoiled all the future brunches for me (or at least, it put the bar quite high). It was a truly exquisite, extravagant and indulgent gastronomic experience, just like a cake with a cherry on top after fabulous previous four days spent on the island. It was the most perfect way to bid goodbye to this little paradise called the Island of Gods.
What has been your most memorable breakfast or brunch to date? I’d love to know!
PIN FOR LATER: