The kitchen is open to the restaurant almost as if it were the stage, the chefs the actors and we diners the audience! Not that far from the truth as the constant stream of orders from those working under pressure, float out across the restaurant body almost making you feel that you are a part of the grand production! Mind you it is not in your face, rather just a constant in the background.
The décor is very white, living up to its 'kayu putih' tag. Cool, clean and functional the tables are well spaced for privacy, outside in private modern wooden bales your view is across the beach and out to sea.
You get that 5 star hotel feel as soon as you enter the restaurant and its bar area, the staff have been plucked from a different level, they obviously feel at home here and as a result so do you. Their Filipino-Danish Executive Chef, French Pastry Chef and German Sommelier present a formidable International team. Add to that an interesting blend of young local talent. The menu presents the very freshest and highest quality ingredients in intriguing combinations.
For the big spenders, a rare treat! Prunier Paris and Sturia Caviar are served from 30gram tins, with the correct accompaniments of course; warm blinis, boiled egg, diced onion, cornichon [gherkin] and capers. American and Japanese Oysters can also be ordered, either Natural [with ponzu, soy & ginger marinade, topped with a citrus jelly relish] or Fried [with a mild 'granny smith' apple sambal].
Selecting from the menu takes some concentration as many different ingredients are mentioned although some are just scattered across the plate, it is no wonder that many diners opt for the chef's degustation dinner of the day.
Tea-smoked Tasmanian Salmon sits on green apple, topped with salmon roe. Alaskan king crab meat and tomato are rolled maki roll fashion, alongside a mixed salad of cress and toasted sesame seeds, on the side ribbons of honey dew melon, a soy and ginger drizzle across the plate. Finely sliced duck breast that has been prepared confit-style [in Chinese 5 spice] wrapped around a parfait of duck foie gras, scattered are slices of jellied apple and a diced star fruit salad. All three of these cold entrees are executed with a precision common to restaurants of this level, attention to detail bordering on the side of perfection.
The most exotic soup is a Lobster Bisque, this one touched with Armagnac, with lobster pieces floating on top, intensely flavoured, a classic soup. Simpler is the Consomme of OxTail, double boiled with nutmeg, oxtail meat dumplings inside.
Hot Entrees include a crisp Tempura of Shoka Soft Shell Crab alongside a seaweed salad, the dressing an unusual one of well spiced passion fruit. Poached Barramundi in a tomatillo consommé with carambola, flower of young ginger and shimenji mushrooms, drizzled with citrus oil and Seared Sea Scallops, served with fricasse of palm heart, baby fennel, shimenji mushroom and green asparagus, toped with avruga caviar and vanilla truffle oil emulsion, are other options.
An Interesting dish for vegetarians, and others, is Roasted Pumpkin that has been mashed with saffron butter then topped with a poached egg and braised young fennel.
Mains are by cooking source, Classic or from the Beechwood Oven or cooked on Lava Stone. Star of the classics is a whole live Baby Lobster served Thermidor style [the meat is removed from the shell and cooked in a cream sauce with mustard and mushrooms, when returned to the shell it is sprinkled with grated cheese].
From the oven is a Tenderloin of highly marbled Wagyu cooked so rare it is barely seared, the meat literally 'melting in the mouth'. Also just seared is the Yellow Fin Tuna in an amazing combination as it sits on small strips of oxtail meat, on the side crisp chips of lotus root [with the millions of lotus plants in Bali I have no idea why lotus root bulbs are not used more often, when pickled Korean style they are unique!].
The dessert menu is arranged by flavour, the Tangerine one was the first to attract my attention, at Kayuputi a small paper-thin crepe is wrapped around a cointeau flavoured chiboust tangerine tube, also on the plate a small mound of tangerine flavoured sherbert and honey comb. The Coconut Iced Souffle is a refreshing way to end a meal of such rich flavours, strawberries wrapped in chocolate and diced fruit of the coconut are on the side.
Other options include an Hungarian Diplomat flavoured with violette, violette de cassis and blueberry sable Breton, violette ice cream with blueberry jam, or a Coffee Hazelnut Meringue and a Mint Marshmallow with bitter chocolate mint jelly and a minted Mojito sherbert.
One of Bali's most extensive wine lists with many top wines available by the glass and super smooth service that never interferes all help to make this an amazingly relaxed dining experience, for those who enjoy and can appreciate the very best.