There are many things that warrant an award as the world’s best resort, and a sublime dining experience is one of them...
So you’re a self-proclaimed foodie, but have you dined at a resort with “world’s best” status? Neither had we. But ever since Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan was crowned the #1 Resort in the World by Travel + Leisure in 2018, Bali’s food fanatics can now up their epicurean rep at Ayung Terrace – the resort’s sublime signature restaurant with views to dine for.
Specialising in modern Indonesian food that’s at once avante-garde and authentic, Ayung Terrace presents Indonesia’s colourful cuisine at its very best. Add to that a view above the treetops that takes your breath away in every direction, not to mention the legendary Four Seasons service that’s been honed and perfected worldwide – well, you can see why this prime island destination deserves such prestige.
Naturally, being the inquisitive connoisseurs that we are (and making sure we can flaunt our foodie rep at the next dinner party) we travelled north to Ubud’s undulating hillsides to get a taste of Ayung Terrace and its global acclaim. Spoiler alert: we were not disappointed.
As much as we’d like to kick off this review with a mind-melting, mouthwatering account of the restaurant’s masterful cuisine, there’s no avoiding that view. Sitting high above the treetops and totally open to the towering palms out yonder, Ayung Terrace is a sight to be seen indeed, and reason alone to visit this Ubud icon.
Situated on the crest of a gorge, Ayung Terrace’s bright white stone interiors meet Mother Nature at her finest, overlooking the resort’s rice paddies and the sacred Ayung River below. Even the walk to the restaurant is a showstopper, beginning with the resort’s spectacular wooden bridge that rests high above the running river, fringed by the iconic rooftop lotus ponds that appear to float above the clouds. Descend down the spiral teak wood staircase, and that’s where you get your first glimpse of Ayung Terrace, where your rainforest feast can begin…
An ode to the aromas, flavours and rituals of authentic Balinese and Indonesian cuisine, the food at Ayung Terrace offers diners the best of both worlds: a sublime a la carte menu of traditional staples, jazzed up to five-star standards.
Head Chef Suta is the man behind the magic, and he‘s managed to merge contemporary cooking and presentation techniques with age-old recipes and fragrant, authentic flavours. Think premium imported beef cheek, seasoned with traditional herbs and spices yet slow-cooked using sous vide technology to create the creamiest and most succulent Beef Rendang we’ve ever tried (check it out in his cookbook!).
Another signature is Chef Suta’s local Lombok Lobster, grilled with Bali’s signature bumbu spice paste and stir-fried with a spicy sambal matah. Or the ever-famous Bebek Betutu, where a whole duck is slow-roasted for 12 hours in a traditional claypot oven and seasoned with base genep. This honoured dish is typically reserved for sacred ceremonies and served with chicken satay, lawar, steamed rice and duck soup, yet here at Ayung Terrace, you can taste this traditional treat any day of the week.
The top tip
If you can’t decide between a vibrant Nasi Goreng, the smouldering satay or Bali’s legendary Babi Guling, we hear you. So, our top tip is to swing by on a Thursday night when Ayung Terrace hosts its very special Nusantara Night – a gourmet spread of grilled-to-order Balinese satay, pork ribs, poultry and fresh seafood, designed to showcase the diversity of Indonesia’s delicacies and authentic cooking techniques. You’ll get to sample all of Indonesia’s best bites, from Javanese curries and slow-cooked Sumatran-style beef, to Sulawesi’s braised smoked-coconut octopus – all in the stunning surrounds of this five-star jungle terrace. Add that to your foodie kudos.
Hungry for more Indonesian and Balinese specialties? You can catch Chef Suta at Four Seasons Sayan’s riverside cooking school where he shares the secrets of local cuisine in a half-day class, and personally presents a 7-course Chef’s Table dining experience.
See you in the jungle, Honeys!
This story is in partnership with Four Seasons Bali