food

Concierge Recommends: Dining Out in Bali

in Destinations/Dining by

The Island of the Gods is known as much for its gourmet scene as its party vibe. In Bali, you’re spoilt for choice, with hundreds of restaurants to choose from. But how do you sift the wheat from the chaff? Fret not, our Elite Concierge has meticulously eaten their way across the island and shortlisted the best restaurants in town:

Hujan Locale (Ubud)

Will Meyrick leads this collaboration with local farmers to offer paddock-to-plate dining in a beautiful two level wooden townhouse that sings colonial French tunes. At Hujan Locale, cocktails are blended, muddled and mixed to perfection, so do give the unique ones like beetroot margarita or carrot mojito a try. The food is a revelation of Balinese and Indonesian inspiration with crispy fish, and rice-husk smoked chicken flavoured with local sambal and spices. The restaurant also operates an outstanding cooking school where you can get adept at local Balinese cooking.

JI at Bale Sutra (Canggu)

Imagine dining within a reconstructed 300 year old Javanese Kang Xi Temple. You read that right. In Bali, anything is possible. Amaze yourself with a visit to this astonishing Japanese fusion restaurant which is the perfect antidote to the hipster vibe of Canggu. It’s not all theatrics though, the food is outstanding as well and uses green tea in extraordinary ways. Succulent fish and bottles of rare sake are abundant at JI at Bale Sutra, as well as some of the best cocktails on the island.

Locavore (Ubud)

Acclaimed restaurant Locavore ranks at #42 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list, and is a must-do for foodies visiting the island. This is where high European cuisine joins hands with local, seasonal, chemical-free produce and ethically raised animals – a game changer. Chefs Eelke Plasmeijer and Ray Adriansyah have convulsed the local food scene with joy, prompted obsessions and caught the hungry eye of the global gourmand. Be sure to book well in advance.

La Lucciola (Seminyak)

Lovingly known among expats as La Looch, La Lucciola is the grand dame of Seminyak dining. The classic Italian restaurant never falters and is always on its A-game. The ocean view over Petitenget’s white sandy beach is a delightful bonus.

Métis Restaurant, Lounge & Gallery (Petitenget)

Chef Nicolas ’Doudou’ Tourneville,

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A Delicious Tale of Cooking, Learning and Feasting in Koh Samui

in Culture/Destinations/Dining/Families by

It was a dinner to end all dinners – the perfect introduction to authentic Thai food, served with panache.

It began when our professional dinner host, Joe Sambataro , an American by way of Argentina, taught us how to make cocktails that would keep us happy for the rest of the evening. We started off by grinding limes using a muddler, a contraption resembling a mortar and pestle. “So, we just push and twist and get the juice out. But don’t push too hard because if you do that, you’ll break the skin and that will make your lime juice bitter. So think about something that makes you mad but not too mad, haha,” quipped Joe. We each got to choose our drinks; mine had rum and mango and tasted like a sunny day at the beach.

Cocktail preparation

Joe then asked us how spicy we wanted our dishes to be. “Can I get a show of hands, who likes spicy food? Who likes mildly spicy food? Who doesn’t like spicy food at all?” he asked. “Do you know the best way to communicate your preferences to the staff at a restaurant? I’m going to help you out here. I’m going to teach you some very important phrases that will come in handy. If you don’t like spicy food, you should order your food ‘mai phet’ which means not spicy. Don’t forget to copy my rising intonation! That’s very important!

Cocktail expert

And if you are okay with a little bit of spice, you can say ‘phet nit noy’ which means mildly spicy. If you want your food medium spicy, you can say ‘kon kaang phet’. And if you like your food very, very spicy, you can order your food ‘phet maak maak’ which loosely translates as spicy very very.” He also cautioned us when we were making our own sauce, “With Thai chilies, take it easy. If you don’t like spice, don’t add spice. If you like a little bit of spice, start with two pieces and try it first. If you like mild, go with four. If you like a whole lot, add as much as you want, but just remember today it’s all fun, but tomorrow, ring of fire!” he added cheekily.

The dinner commenced with three starters, based on traditional Thai recipes.

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