Aperitif is amazing! The Viceroy has a long history for presenting the highest quality cuisine. Its CasCades restaurant has been one of Bali’s best for more than a decade, but CasCades is now relegated to just their all-day restaurant, however it still presents an outstanding dining experience.
Now they have opened yet another restaurant and this one is world-class! Almost a step back in time in this magnificent room to the fine dining of yesteryear. Long time executive chef Nic Vanderbeeken moves up from CasCades to the new high-tech kitchen at Aperitif, a move that enables him to display his considerable kitchen talents.
The entire experience from arrival to departure at Aperitif is all class! The impressive entrance leads you to the cocktail bar where you are served canapés whilst you are enjoying your pre-dinner drink. The canapés begin to prepare you for what is ahead, an evening of discovery. The 1st one is just labeled Beetroot Meringue, they arrive as two micro burgers sitting atop a custom made wooden block [pictured].
Thr 2nd is adapted from that famous Dutch snack, Bitterballen, crumbed croquette balls that normally use a veal mince inside, here Chef Nic uses frog meat. 3rd is an Oyster sitting on a piece of crisp fish skin. All three are exceptional, and you could easily do the round one more time but there is much more awaiting you inside at the table where this amazing 8 course degustation continues.
The Amuse Bouche is a small slice of Tomato Tart, with a pleasant tang from the sun-dried tomato used. A bowl of Karedok [Indonesian salad] follows, pickled vegetables with peanut sauce, kemangi [basil] and tofu, a welcome palate cleanser.
An incredible Beef Tartare is next, raw hand cut beef tossed with quail eggs and condiments, its texture so rich it could almost be called luscious. In Belgium this dish is referred to as Steak Fillet American for some reason?
Your taste buds are next teased with a fresh Ceviche, made in Peruvian ‘leche de tigre’ style [milk of the tiger] of lime juice, salt and flavourings. Tradition in Peru says that you are supposed to drink the remaining juice when the all the fish has been eaten.
You now have one of two very difficult decisions to make, whether to select the Canadian Lobster or Papua Crab, as your next course. Of course if there are two of you then that problem is solved, one each!
The Lobster meat is served with salsify [an amazingly tasty root plant of the dandelion and endive family, recently discovered in the fine dining restaurants of the world] and parmesan. Alternate dish and no less spectacular is the Papua Crab, served in a gulai [Indonesian curry stew], with kohlrabi [wild cabbage] and a citrus drizzle.
Now it is time for the 2nd difficult decision; Duck Magret [breast of a duck raised for foie gras production] or Iberico Pork [flesh from black pigs raised in the forest on a diet of acorns]? Both are gastronomic specials, but again problem solved if two to share. The duck is with fennel, a consommé and a spicy orange sauce. The ultimate in Pork is served with piccalilli [vegetables in a mustard pickle], pumpkin and chicharron [crisp crackling]
Now comes the ‘piece de resistance’! A dish simply called Venison Wellington. A piece of prime New Zealand Venison loin is wrapped in pastry and baked in the oven, cross-sliced and served with foie gras, truffle and shimeji mushroom in a rendang sauce. A perfect way of preparimg and serving this king of all meats.
Goat cheese is served with non traditional accompaniments in this evening of adventure.
Now for a surprise emanating from Chef’s childhood memories of stealing the spoon or spatula when his mother was baking cakes in the kitchen [my memory is of the icing bowl]. Two encrusted spoons arrive for you to lick, one white [apple pie] and the other dark brown [chocolate biscuits], an amusing deviation.
Dessert is of Monggo chocolate, calamansi and caramel.
Wine pairing is also available with three options, with basic, premium, or rare wines from their impressive cellar. As many are also available to be ordered by the glass here is an opportunity to try that special wine that you have always wanted.
That completes an evening that you will long remember. It is an experience that is fitting for any special occasion or any evening when you just want to spoil yourself.
World class! During the evening have a look at the impressive high tech open kitchen, one no doubt that will be the envy of every chef in Bali.
Dining at Aperitif is an experience to remember.
Restaurant : Aperitif.
Address : The Viceroy, Nagi, Ubud.
Telephone : 971.777 [reservation essential].
Open : Dinner only [closed Mondays].
Non-Smoking Area : Yes.
Smoking Area : On the outside balconies, non food area.
Parking : Secure, in resort grounds.
Price : Rp. 2,700,000 for two [+ drinks]
Credit Cards : All major cards.
Food : French with Indonesian touch.
Wine : Excellent list.
Service : Impeccable.
Atmosphere : Magic!
Overall : The ultimate fine dining experience.
Copyright © 2018 Gerry Williams
Reviews that appear in Bali Advertiser are based on actual visits to the establishments listed, without the knowledge of the restaurants, and are not paid for by the individual restaurants.
Opinions expressed here are those of Gerry Williams and not necessarily those of Bali Advertiser. Gerry Williams attempts to write from a ‘typical’ diner’s perspective and, whilst quality of food is the most important criteria overall, value for money is the real measuring stick.