The Jakarta Post
Words Amanda O'Connor Photos courtesy of Bali Food Safari
Bali is not only the island of a thousand temples, it is also a culinary paradise with more than enough choice to keep a tribe of gourmands happy for far longer than the span of a normal vacation.
Whether you delight in Indonesian street food, coffee shop fare, pan-Asian delights or fine dining, the island has numerous places to tempt your taste buds and fill your social media feed. With this vast array of delectable dining venues available, deciding which to try, how to get there and fitting all your top choices into your schedule can be a daunting task.
If fine dining is your thing, then Bali Food Safari may have the answer.
Mystery food tours are available in Seminyak, Jimbaran and Ubud and take in 'some of the most remarkable and most respected restaurants in Bali'. Guests enjoy up to 12 delightful courses at three or four restaurants, each with its own style of cuisine for 'one special evening'.
All the tours start around 5 p.m. so you can be at your first location in time to enjoy the sunset; each venue presents up to three small servings of its specialties, with up to an hour at each restaurant so you can kick back and relax.
Picking Ubud for our culinary mystery tour, we were picked up in the Bali Food Safari vehicle and, after a short introduction and explanation from our guide, headed out on our adventure.
Making the most of Ubud's stunning woodland river valleys, we were charmed by the rural beauty of the first restaurant ' which we can't name, to maintain the mystery of each tour! Our guide explained we would have three Asian fusion food starters and a complimentary glass of wine, then left us to enjoy the scenery.
The professional staff quickly brought out the first course, a delightful Asian-style chicken salad, with a glass of local wine and let us wander the garden and admire the view. The unique and gorgeous rendang-inspired pasta here was a sensation!
Our next venue offered beautifully presented, authentic Italian food. The staff were highly professional and escorted us to our table, where a special menu noted exactly what we would be eating and provided a range of drinks, for a reasonable extra cost, that we could try. The goat's cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms were my favorite of our three courses, but each was divine.
Our final destination was 'dessert only' at a tiny, ultra-exclusive venue, where we were welcomed, chatted with the chef and presented with an amazingly inventive, delicious dessert, as well as coffee and a 'jewelry-case' of petit fours, bringing the culinary mystery journey to an end on a very high note.
So if you just can't decide where to have dinner, try the safari; prices start at US$149 per head and groups are welcome.
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