I will tell you about our visit to Ubud in a greater detail in my next post, but I wanted to begin with couple of culinary highlights we’ve had there. There is an abundance of wonderful restaurants here and picking two (for lunch and dinner) was not easy, but we decided to stop by Viceroy Bali for lunch: firstly, because the tasting menu at the award-winning Cascades came highly recommended, and secondly, because we wanted to have a tour of the famous resort.
Viceroy Bali is perfectly situated in the lush Valley of the Kings (the name given by locals for the generations of Balinese royalty who have resided in nearby villages.). I must say, the property is absolutely stunning and makes you feel like you are on another planet. Perched on the valley ridge, with individual thatched-roofed villas, contemporary Balinese design and a stunning infinitely pool overlooking the verdant Petanu River gorge, it truly looks like a secret luxury hideaway. With only 25 villas draped on the mountainside, this Australian family-owned luxury resort has one (out of 3) helipads located in Bali and we actually witnessed a couple arrive on a helicopter while we were at the restaurant.
Cascades is perched at the highest point of the resort and gets the best vintage views of the valley. I’ll be honest, I prefer water views, but there was something hypnotizing about the thick of this jungle that I couldn’t get enough of. The restaurant looks like a spacious terrace and there is an adjacent bar to its right – staff at both spaces are incredibly welcoming and the atmosphere prompts you to linger around.
Besides a la carte menu, Cascades offers a 9-course degustation menu which can be trimmed down to seven or five courses. The Executive Chef Nic Vanderbeeken strives to showcase his global culinary experience via the beautifully crafted multi-course extravaganza, that can be best characterized as local fusion. Everything from cocktails, the first canape to the last bite of dessert was delicious. Each dish was exquisitely plated and beautifully cooked. The highlights included the wagyu tartar with pumpkin ginger meringue and quail egg, fresh seafood in hot stone dashi broth, poached crab bisque and Balinese duck cooked perfectly medium rare.
Selection of three amuse-bouches, among which beetroot meringue with cream cheese was an absolute stunner.
Royal wagyu tartar with celery quail egg, baby potato and pumpkin ginger meringue.
Duck liver pate with black truffle, parsnip, cherry and a toast. It was such a perfectly balanced dish.
Hokkaido Hot Stone Dashi made my tastebuds sing, with fresh seafood, seaweed caviar and red fish raw, miso all tying in a beautiful harmony in the smoked dashi broth.
Poached crab with a moreish bisque packed a punch and was complimented with pickled kohlrabi and fennel.
We both opted for the Balinese duck as our main course, which – plated alongside carrot miso, beetroot, rice husk and raspberry sauce – was a gorgeous dish to look at and to taste.
The extravaganza ended with a stunning dessert which came in the form of a crepe, mango, vanilla ice-cream, cconut sorbet, gingersnap and couple of other ingredients.
We had the most wonderful relaxing time at Cascades and if it wasn’t for the driver waiting for us outside, we would have lingered much longer. In fact, who’d want to ever leave a heavenly place like Viceroy Bali?!
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