Glow has quite a history. Initially it was called Biji when opened at the then Begawan Giri Estate. It was always renowned for its culinary excellence. The changeover to being the flagship of the Como Shambhala brand has only reinforced that reputation. Many great chefs have worked the kitchen here, in fact almost a chefs who's who; Rodney Holt [Bali icon], David King [ex Darley Street Thai, now Director of Kitchens at W Hotels Asia], Tim Bouget [ex the Roux's 3 star Michelin Waterside Inn, London] then Chris Miller [ex the Neil Perry academy, now Exec Chef at Como's Metropolitan in Bangkok]. The latest overseeing chef has been another Neil Perry graduate, Amanda Gale.
With a kitchen history such as this you expect, and get, some of the finest quality cuisine available in Bali, or just about anywhere else in the world. The tranquil relaxed atmosphere of this magic location is just an added bonus. Throw in professional well-trained wait staff [but still with that Bali smile] and you have a dining experience that will long live in your memory.
The cuisine prides itself on being healthy. Don't panic that does not mean boring, rather everything is rich in taste, and high on quality. Even the occasional 'raw food' item shocks you with its intensive taste.
For lunch you can start with a Spelt Flour Tortilla topped with black bean, quinoa, sweet corn with guacamole and cashew nut cream or a Salad of roast beetroot, baby beans, endive and pear with a goat?s feta and herb dressing. For main a Roasted Lamb Loin, cumin crusted, Chicken marinated in thyme and lemon and fish done every which way including a perfect Salmon, grilled with fennel and sumac spices.
There is a dessert on the luncheon menu that is refreshingly different, Chilled Cucumber, aloe vera and avocado soup with soursop sorbet [pictured]. The sorbet sits on sliced raw avocado, the 'soup' arrives in small glass carafe, add it to the dish and enjoy.
Whoever said that healthy food had no taste had never been to Glow. That even applies to the raw food dishes such as a Macadamia Nut 'Pizza', the thin crunchy biscuit base is topped with slices of pineapple, pumpkin, cherry tomatoes and a host of greens.
For dinner the bar goes up a little, the very finest dining.
You can order a choice of Carpaccio; Salmon with avocado, seaweed, radish & ginger and tamari with orange dressing, or Wagyu Beef with grilled mushrooms, asparagus, beetroot and fresh horseradish. Vegetarian options abound on this menu, the Salad of roast pumpkin [warm], asparagus, sweet pepper and honey onions with pistachio sauce is a prime example, it tastes as good as it sounds.
The prawns, even as an entrée, are king size. They are grilled with a bean and almond salad, served with a puree of chickpea and orange blossom dressing. Perfect!
For your evening main you can stay vegetarian, be tempted with the seafood or become a meat lover! Although the Braised Vegetables and Tempeh with its Moroccan spiced curry with quinoa, preserved lemon and almonds or the Baked Mushrooms, stuffed with spiced chickpea in an Indian style tomato and tamarind broth, are exciting enough to tempt and satisfy even the most anti vegetarian.
The star of the seafood options is undoubtedly the slow cooked Salmon, scented with basil, served with a puree of artichoke, white beans and a salad of lemon and seaweed, Salmon is on many Bali menus, but never like this, quite sensational! The just seared Kingfish is served with braised lentils and a most refreshing salad of cucumber, pomegranate and mint.
Beef [grilled Wagyu sirloin, Mediterranean style], Chicken [well-spiced breast in cardamom, fresh coconut and tomato curry] or Lamb Loin [roasted and spiced with pumpkin, saffron, orange puree, sautéed grains, nuts and spiced dates]. As you would expect all the meat is of the highest quality, so tender and perfectly processed in this top-end kitchen by dedicated chefs upholding a great tradition.
The desserts are as finely crafted as all else before. The Banana may be a simple choice but here it is dipped in raw cacao with sesame, served with carob ice cream and candied cashew nuts. A Pudding of tropical fruits and chia seeds is topped with a papaya & ginger sorbet. Or, if you ask nicely, they may serve you that refreshing Chilled Cucumber and Soursop dessert from the luncheon menu?
It is no surprise that so many of the world's famous have dined and slept at this luxurious resort. A visit to Glow is a day, or night, to remember!