A fine dining game changer, this latest destination at Desa Visesa Ubud dishes up five-star pesco-vegetarian cuisine from Indonesian celeb chef Mandif Warokka
Think of classic fine dining cuisine, and no doubt visions of velvety foie gras and meaty hunks of Wagyu tenderloin spring to mind – maybe even braised pigeon breast or snail porridge if you’re really adventurous…
But it seems that the times are indeed a changing, because Padi Fine Dining at Desa Visesa Ubud is the most recent work of celeb Indonesian chef Mandif Warokka (the kitchen genius who gave us Teatro Gastroteque in Seminyak and BLANCO Par Mandif in Ubud) and instead of animal ingredients taking centre stage here, the menu comes sans meat, serving up a pesco-vegetarian feast with a focus on fresh produce from both garden and sea.
Carnivores, don’t look away just yet, because what Padi Fine Dining lacks in rumps and ribeyes, it makes up for in some of the most stunningly delicious avante-garde cuisine around. Think top-shelf Hotatei scallops from Japans’s Tsukiji fish market, transformed into an exquisite carpaccio appetiser. Or house-smoked aubergine that’s flavoured by hoisin and rice skin, cushioned by a bed of slow-cooked onion soubise.
You see, while many might scoff at the idea of even attempting fine dining cuisine without using animal proteins as the leading flavours on the plate, chef Mandif Warokka stands poised to dazzle such skeptics, and he’s not afraid of a challenge. True to his form, Chef Mandif has created a collection of degustation menus here that are as delicious as they are expertly executed, not to mention impeccably presented.
The result is a truly breathtaking dining experience that could seduce the most carnivorous of food connoisseurs, served up in an exclusive and elegant ambiance. Surrounded by natural beauty, Padi Fine Dining is like a cosy-yet-stylish grotto tucked beneath a bridge, nestled on the lush green grounds of Desa Visesa Ubud. Hugged by a natural gorge, the restaurant can accommodate just 30 lucky guests – a number that allows for a dedicated focus on pursuing quality over quantity…
To get a taste of everything at Padi Fine Dining, the fabulous food is dished up degustation-style; available in 3, 5 or 7 courses. There are purely vegetarian menus, as well as the chef’s pesco-vegetarian menus that balance fish and seafood dishes with vegetarian delights – both tours de force in their respective genres.
Our faves? Try the wholly vegetarian Sugar Crusted Organic Beet – a playful and stunning crown of “beet tartare” alongside a puddle of beet oil, garnished with fresh sprigs of dill and cultured cream. The menus come with an optional beverage pairing, and this masterpiece is best enjoyed with the Bulleit Bourbon aperitif, made with Ricard, a splash of port wine, Campari and clarified orange.
Another standout is the Cauliflower Risotto made with caramelised cauliflower, pickled onion, and a house-made mushroom powder, perfectly paired with a glass of Tommasi Le Rosse Pinot Grigio from Italy. Or the Crusted “Day Caught Snapper” with a clam and mussel nage, delicately placed in a sea of asparagus cream and paired with a glass of South African Chenin Blanc.
And then there’s the desserts. Chef Mandif is somewhat of a dessert deity, and he hasn’t held back here. The Cuve De Bali “Soufflé” is a work of culinary art, almost too pretty to eat with dainty floral garnishes, a whip of passion fruit ice cream and every kind of molecular gastronomy trick out there: espumas, emulsions, purées, and more.
The restaurant is open for dinner only, and with seating for just 30 guests, you’ll want to book your seats. Just don’t forget to bring your appetite!
See you in Ubud, Honeys
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