|Sakala Bali Entrance|
We enjoyed our lunch so much at Sakala Bali that we’ve decided to return for tapas. For an introduction to this gourmet paradise, see my lunch impressions here. For now though, I jump straight into our evening experience.
|Swim Up Bar and Pool|
The sky deck and poolside are the perfect locations for cocktails, but sitting indoors in the evening we’re feeling like a glass of wine. A sparkling Domaine Chandon, Brut Imperial (IDR150) from Victoria Australia whets my appetite, while hubby is soothed by his Cortese, Fontana Fredda Gavi di Gavi D.O.C.G (IDR170) from Piedmont, Italy.
|Nighttime Dining Area|
|Cortese, Fontana Fredda Gavi di Gavi D.O.C.G|
A list of mouthwatering French tapas (IDR35 each plate) makes choosing just a few quite challenging. We concede to the waitress and take her recommendations to make a start. Soon an array of small plates are upon us.
|Sakala Bali Beach Club|
Make sure you plow to the bottom of the Cappuccino Style Butternut Squash Soup. The top is light and crusted with foam, underneath however rewards deep diggers with rich smoky slices of duck. Impressed from the onset, we can’t wait to delve into the next cup.
|Cappuccino Style Butternut Squash Soup|
The Green Pea Veloute with Truffle Foam is perfectly balanced. It’s a mouthful of flavour, but not overdone. Chunks of mushrooms within the thick liquid contribute an earthy wallop. We’re excited to continue.
|Green Pea Veloute with Truffle Foam|
I try the Squid Ink Fried Calamari with Garlic Mayonnaise in three stages and am recompensed with a trio of distinct tastings. First, I pop a black ring into my mouth solo and appreciate the tenderness of the mollusk. Next I add a squeeze of lemon, which assists to lift the flavour of the seafood and, finally I dip the third hoop into the mayo. Each time the supping is taken to a new level.
|Squid Ink Fried Calamari with Garlic Mayonnaise|
Grilled Panini with Italian Salami and Emmental Cheese is a friendly comforting bite. Toasty warm and gooey, the cheese stretches from teeth to bread as we chomp into it.
|Grilled Panini with Italian Salami and Emmental Cheese|
Duck Foie Gras 2 Ways is not for sharing. A delicate whip of foie gras resembles a crème brûlée and, a tiny rectangle of toast is for the spreading. A round of bread bases a more solid version, which is topped with an apricot puree. The difference in textures and flavours produced by one product, with varying preparations, is amazing.
|Duck Foie Gras 2 Ways|
A fat toothpick helps to keep the pile of ingredients on the Blinis with Tuna Mayonnaise, Sweet Pepper and Olive Tapenade. The pancake is thin but provides texture and flavour of its own, while the tuna is elegant in taste and pledges a congenial balance.
|Blinis with Tuna Mayonnaise, Sweet Pepper and Olive Tapenade|
Breaded Goat’s Cheese with Artichoke and Sundried Tomato are threaded in a trio of colours onto a chunky toothpick. There are four of them so I experiment with the first taking each ingredient on their own, and for the second I stuff the entire line-up in my mouth. The plate of four is easily shared as the flavourful triplet packs a whomp of savour, making two sticks just the right amount.
|Breaded Goat’s Cheese with Artichoke and Sundried Tomato|
Black Olive Crumble with Mozzarella, Dry Ham and Candied Tomato is not what we expected. It’s way better! A sweet biscuit bases juicy tomato and salty ham. A rectangle of soft cheese caps the top and, a zig-zig of caramelized balsamic seals the bite with a sweet tang.
|Black Olive Crumble with Mozzarella, Dry Ham and Candied Tomato|
Slow Braised Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onion and Tamarind Paste is another plate that I can only eat one of. Delicious to the very last thread, but so perfectly satisfying, it leaves a contented smile on the face but no necessity for another.
|Slow Braised Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onion and Tamarind Paste|
Smoked Salmon Roll with Light Creamed Goat Cheese is of a milder nature. It’s prepared well, but when compared to the awesomeness of the other dishes, we wouldn’t take up precious tummy space with it again.
|Smoked Salmon Roll with Light Creamed Goat Cheese|
A fine lightly salted wrapper contains a tight roll of Peppered Beef Cheek. These Spring Rolls are completed with Horseradish Cream, which adds moisture and an edge of zing.
|Peppered Beef Cheek Spring Rolls|
We’re here for tapas but have heard rumours of an incredible Chocolate dessert that showcases Valrhona Grand Cru 70% prepared in seven different ways. Chef Boulay has a legendary reputation for sweets so we decide, even though we’re pleasurably full, that we can’t miss this opportunity.
Our eyes can’t be wider as the platter arrives to our table. A line-up of seven petite creations cross the plate, and an intricate weaving of chocolate lace decorates it.
|Chocolate Up Close|
Opera is a confirmation of the attention to detail chef has given to desserts – minute layers of chocolate, cream and mousse create heavenly bites of cloud nine. Cheesecake caramelia reinforces chef’s expertise in delicately balancing layers of supreme deliciousness – this one has hubby moaning in pleasure (even though he declares he’s not a chocolate fan). Orange marzipan is surprising in its number of layers in such a dainty cylinder – outside is a brown and white swirl but inside is a stratum of a crisp biscuit bottom and smooth ganache, while the top is braced with a layer of jelly and another of mousse with tiny decorative balls piled on the summit. Chocolate crème brûlée is darker on the top and lighter underneath, delighting with its cacao richness. Gorgeous, dark and white chocolate mousse is based with a thick brownie style base and white chocolate mousse top. The Macaron couldn’t be more skillfully executed with its delicate shell and slightly chewy soft centre and, the Chocolate rocher has a touch of crunch in the middle. A side cup of cappuccino style ice spume and, whipped cream mixed with Baileys is heavenly! The dessert’s a bomb!
So we’ve delighted in lunch, nibbled on tapas and devoured delicious desserts at Sakala Bali, the only thing left for us to indulge in is the dinner degustation menu. We don’t have time to experience it on this visit, but it’s number one on our list for return.
Reason to visit: an elevated tapas experience; contemporary and elegant yet relaxed setting; Squid Ink Fried Calamari with Garlic Mayonnaise; Green Pea Veloute with Truffle Foam; Cappuccino Style Butternut Squash Soup; decent list of wines by the glass; unforgettable desserts – cacao aficionados must try the Chocolate.
The Chedi Sakala
Jalan Pratama 95
Nusa Dua, Bali 80363
+62 361 774 499
Lunch: 12noon – 5pm
Dinner: 6pm – 10pm
Dress: smart casual
* Prices are subject to 21% service charge and government tax.