Dining

Chef’s recipes, gourmet restaurants, exotic flavours, even street food

5 Best French Eateries in Bali

in Destinations/Dining by

When it comes to French food, Bali has got it down pat. From formal dining to cafés and boulangeries, the Island of the Gods has it all. We’ve hand-picked our 5 favourite French eateries for you to choose from when you crave for something Parisian.

MÉTIS Restaurant, Lounge & Gallery

https://www.metisbali.com/

With one of Bali’s earliest dining destinations, Kafe Warisan, under his belt, Chef Nicolas ’Doudou’ Tourneville has gone on to cast his culinary spell on this most sought-after dining experience. Sip a cocktail, seated in plush sofas facing rice fields, and you won’t know you’re right in the middle of Bali’s most populous areas. Do make sure you try the foie gras, for which the venue is so rightly famed.

Monsieur Spoon

http://www.monsieurspoon.com/

Bali might seem a strange place to be crafting French pastries, but Rafi Papazian and Gregory Guerguerian say that it was the creativity and passion they found here that charmed them to stay and give voice to their culinary dreams. In 2012, they both decided to leave Paris and set up on the Island of The Gods. And the Balinese are ever-grateful, considering that they make some of the best baked goods in town.

Paris Baguette Bakery

https://www.facebook.com/parisbaguettebakerybali/

All kinds of French bread, croissants, pastries, flans and little cakes are baked all day in Paris Baguette Bakery by an authentic French baker. The small café has grown to be an institution on the island for all things French. Come early in the morning for the freshest and most delectable baguettes, best paired with a shot of espresso. Très Parisienne.

Poule de Luxe

https://www.pouledeluxe.fr/

This luxury French bakery offers macarons and pastries that many on the island swear by. Bread and croissants of all kinds for breakfast will keep you energised through the morning. Or drop in any time of the day and choose from fondants, cakes and cupcakes to satisfy your sweet tooth. Parisian couple Violaine and Mathieu guarantee a thrilling ride for your tastebuds.

La Boulangerie de Bali

http://laboulangeriedebali.com/

It claims to be the oldest bakery in Seminyak and specialises in French pastries. In our opinion, this is the place to head to for trying out the best croissants on the island,

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Chef du jour: Arcadia at Cape Laem Sor Estate

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Absolutely astounding, with unending ocean views and white Meditteranean hues, Arcadia at Cape Laem Sor Estate is the perfect escape from the daily grind. Its contemporary, open-sided living room is great for social evenings, dotted with quirky pieces such as a life-sized, white wooden cow. Enjoy the breeze and amazing 180-degree ocean views from the outdoor dining table, giving new meaning to the term island living. Watch in fascination as the sky and the sea seemingly merge at the horizon.

Reached via an elevator, the villa’s focal point is an enticing 21-metre saltwater infinity pool surrounded by a lawned terrace. Lie back on the loungers and soak in some sun or get a relaxing massage. It’s also a great venue for weddings and other celebrations.

The white theme continues into the bedrooms, each of which maximises on splendid ocean views, even from the master bedroom’s bathtub.

Arcadia is a destination in itself, with five comfortable and stylish bedrooms, a fully equipped gym, delicious food served by the in-villa chef and plenty of spaces to retreat to for a quiet moment.

The modern kitchen (replete with a breakfast bar) is helmed by Chef Pueng, who is trained in various cuisines and serves decadent meals to guests staying at the villa. We sit down for a little tête-à-tête.

Elite Havens: Hello, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Che Pueng: Hi, I’m Chef Pueng and I am part of Elite Havens’ chef pool. Thus, I work at different villas, depending on the schedule. I rotate between Villa Arcadia, Baan Puri, Baan Suriya and others.

EH: Tell us about your journey. How did you become a chef?

CP: I went to culinary school, majoring in Hotel Management. I started my career as an assistant chef at five-star hotels like the Marriott. After a while, I went back to my hometown and worked as a chef there. When Elite Havens started their Samui operations, I was the first chef they hired.

EH: Why did you choose this as your career?

CP: My family loves to cook, so I grew up helping my mother in the kitchen. Later, when I went to culinary school, I discovered I had found my calling and thus I decided to work as a chef.

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Chef du jour: Baan Puri

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An idyllic retreat in Koh Samui, Baan Puri has all the trappings of a perfect vacation home.

Its manicured garden houses an inviting pool that stretches out towards the white-sand beach. On one side, find a sunken sala, perfect for unwinding and sipping on cocktails. On the other, in-pool chaise lounges for a bit of water fun. Call dibs on one of the two poolside bedrooms, each with an ensuite that allows you to soak in a luxurious bathtub semi-alfresco, if you so wish. 

With a total of six lavish bedrooms and terraces with pool and sea views, Baan Puri is designed with comfort and pleasure in mind. Great for large groups, an open-sided living lounge inevitably becomes a favoured spot for most, with cushioned white sofas and a drop down screen instantly converting it into a home cinema. Coupled with amazing cuisine served by the skilled in-villa chef, Baan Puri is the epitome of holiday luxury.

We sat down with Chef Jaree for a quick chat and even managed to convince her to share one of her sumptuous recipes for you to try at home.

Elite Havens: Hello, chef. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Chef Jaree:  I have been cooking for almost 12 years now. I started my career with hotels and later moved to luxury villas like Baan Puri. In fact, I’ve been working with Elite Havens for 7 years now. During this time, I’ve had the pleasure of cooking in several villas. I’m like a roving chef.

EH: You’ve had the chance to see many villas from our portfolio. Which one is your favourite?

CJ: Villa Baan Puri, of course.

EH: Do you have any interesting stories to share about your experiences with our guests?

CJ: Earlier this month, we had guests from Germany who stayed at Baan Puri for 23 days. What was special was the fact that the guests were chefs themselves. They told me to surprise them and serve a menu of my choice. They loved my food so much that they left with a promise to return next year.

EH: What is the secret behind your delicious food?

CJ: It starts with fresh ingredients. I always try to use good quality produce.

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A Chat with Niseko Gourmet’s Manager, Annie Craig

in Destinations/Dining/People by

It was her honeymoon when Annie Craig first visited Niseko. They say cupid only strikes once, but for Annie, it was love at first sight all over again. Thus when her husband, Andrew Craig decided to move to Japan as Country Manager for Elite Havens, Annie jumped at the opportunity to helm Niseko Gourmet.

Her love for food shines through when you talk to her, as does her passion for preserving the region’s culinary heritage. As Manager of Niseko Gourmet, she discusses and finalises sumptuous menus with the chefs and manages the day to day operations. We caught up with Annie for a little tête-à-tête.

Elite Havens: How did you get to Niseko?

Annie Craig: When my husband Andrew and I came to Niseko for our honeymoon, we felt a deep connection and did not want to leave. At that time, Andrew was running the Thailand operations for the company. In 2018, Elite Havens acquired Niseko Boutiques and Niseko Gourmet, and Andrew was offered the position of Country Manager in Japan. Needless to say, we did not think twice.

EH: What is Niseko Gourmet?

AC: Niseko Gourmet is a boutique catering company, offering private dining and food delivery services to guests looking for a luxury in-chalet dining experience. We can cater for groups, parties and events.

EH: How long has Niseko Gourmet been around?

AC: Niseko Gourmet was started in 2010 by Tess Stomski, so it has been around for a decade now.

EH: What does Niseko Gourmet do exactly?

AC: The core of our business is arranging for Private Dining Experiences. We have five Japanese chefs, one western chef and one specialty Thai chef.

Guests who come to Japan seek varied experiences. Food is a large part of that journey and we offer them indulgent dining options within the comfort of their own chalet. Imagine a scenario where a master chef comes with all necessary equipment and ingredients, lovingly preparing food to suit your preferences, in your own kitchen. This is the epitome of gastronomic luxury.

EH: How are the chefs selected?

AC: We are very picky when it comes to our chefs and only work with the very best. Our chefs have been part of the local Hokkaido food scene for decades.

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Top 10 Coffee Shops in Bali

in Destinations/Dining/Recreation by

Finding the perfect brew isn’t easy, even on the Island of the Gods where you’ll find coffee shops at every street corner. The Elite Concierge rounds up the 10 best coffee shops on the island, for morning pick-me-ups all the way to after-dinner joes.

Revolver Espresso 

Located down a quiet lane of Seminyak’s bustling main strip, stepping into Revolver is like getting instantly transported to a New York warehouse. With a smaller café, Baby Revolver, in Petitenget, Revolver is also a wholesale coffee supplier. Some say that Revolver revolutionized coffee drinking in Bali since it opened in 2011. We tend to agree.

Seniman Coffee 

Seniman is a boutique coffee roastery. The company provides beans and solutions to independent cafés, restaurants, hotels and domestic coffee distributors. You can order from their website if you’re abroad. An institution in Bali.

Hungry Bird  

Hungry Bird Coffee Roastery has been around since 2013, working with local coffee farms and supplying cafés in Bali and across Indonesia. The award-winning cafe in Canggu respects the process and handles its clients with love. Straight from the hands of the farmer, to those of the roaster, and then the barista, it works toward sourcing great coffee, served with a smile.

Expat. Roasters Brew Bar  

Expat. Roasters began as a passion project to find great coffee. It is driven by a desire to make the best brew in Bali. Exceptional.

Corner House  

Not just a café but a restaurant and bar, Corner House is also known for its delicious food. The Sushi Bowl and Naked Burrito are just as good as their brews.

Monsieur Spoon  

Monsieur Spoon isn’t just a place to get great coffee but sumptuous pastries as well. Rafi Papazian and Gregory Guerguerian have been sharing their dream in Bali, by way of Paris, since the past 7 years and show no signs of slowing down.

The Loft 

Vegan waffles? Acai? A bowl full of halloumi, roasted coconut sweet potato, avocado, probiotic purple cabbage, poached eggs, beetroot and chickpea hummus? Check. Great coffee is an added bonus at The Loft.

Soul in A Bowl  

Soul in a Bowl is located in Sanur with two floors designed to offer comfort in style.

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