Bali – a fine dining hot spot for the most discerning ‘foodie’
Oh how the times have changed…
Nowadays, Bali is globally renowned for it’s friendly locals, beautiful tropical climate, picturesque countryside, stunning resorts and high end eateries. In fact, each holiday I have taken there has centred around wining, dining and relaxing, with partying only coming in as an enjoyable side effect of being on holiday.
On my last sojourn to Bali, dad and I stayed in Nusa Dua – the resort region of Bali. Located on the eastern side of the island, just before the little peninsula that is home to ‘water sport heaven’, Nusa Dua is brimming with five star resorts (and the first six star resort on the island!), beach clubs and gorgeous restaurants. Hailed as a more ‘couply’ or ‘family’ area, Nusa Dua is nowhere near as loud and busy as it’s fine dining sister town and shopping hot-spot Seminyak, however it definitely rivals Seminyak for the number one ‘foodie’ area title in Bali.
On our first night in Bali, dad and I were invited to dine at The Sakala, the newly branded Mantra Sakala‘s in house restaurant. Just a short taxi ride up the peninsula from the heart of Nusa Dua, The Sakala is situated on prime beachfront land in Tanjung Benoa. Like many of the hotel restaurants in Bali, The Sakala has sweeping views of both the ocean and one of their pools (complete with poolside bar of course). The interior of the restaurant was just as much of a treat as the vista, with a glass fronted walk in wine cellar covering the entirety of one of the walls. Naturally, this was one of the first things that caught the eyes of both dad and I – not just because of our love for wine, but also as it’s presence is not an easy one to miss!
Dad and I dined in style on queen scallops prepared five ways, thyme and parmesan crusted slow cooked lamb rack, homemade tri-colour tortellini and head chef Frédéric Boulay‘s specialty, foie gras. My chosen dishes were prepared to perfection – the Australian lamb was succulent, tender and beautifully pink inside, and the foie gras melted in the mouth. Dad couldn’t fault his choices either – seafood and pasta, an easy crowd pleaser! To top off our perfect meal, we opted for ultimate indulgence with a rich chocolate tasting plate and the fruity, tropical ‘oasis’ dessert. The most disappointing part of our meal was being to full to finish our desserts! It was a shame to leave behind so much decadent chocolate and rich, tropical icecream, but we clearly didn’t pace ourselves on the courses prior!
If you are about the Nusa Dua area and are looking for a well priced, high quality meal to leave you sated, I can highly recommend The Sakala. Without being over priced, or coming with all of the hype that some of the other restaurants around the place do, The Sakala meets and exceeds all expectations. It’s large and open dining space feels spacious and doesn’t make you feel like you are eaves dropping on the next tables conversation! They even have an opulent private dining area for those more special occasions.