Transporting You to the Glamour of the 1920s: Apéritif, Ubud’s Culinary Jewel
Ubud, renowned for its world-class dining scene, welcomes a sensational addition to its culinary landscape this September with the grand opening of Apéritif restaurant and bar. Nestled within the magnificent Viceroy Bali resort, this upscale establishment elevates the dining experience with opulent colonial-inspired design, breathtaking vistas overlooking the jungle-clad Petanu River gorge, and a contemporary menu that tantalizes the senses from start to finish.
For those unacquainted with Viceroy Bali, it’s a luxurious five-star resort that has recently undergone enhancements to enhance the guest experience. New private-pool villas complement the existing collection of thatched-roof sanctuaries perched on the ravine’s edge, and Apéritif joins the award-winning CasCades restaurant as another remarkable dining venue, offering a distinctive ambiance.
Taking inspiration from the opulence and charm of the 1920s, Apéritif’s ambiance features soaring ceilings, antique cast iron chandeliers, black and white checkered floor tiles, and massive arched colonial windows and doors. The elegant bar is the ideal place to savor fine wines, top-shelf whiskies, cognacs, aperitifs, and craft cocktails meticulously crafted by Ran Van Ongevalle. Bar patrons are also treated to gourmet canapés presented on custom-designed silver canapé trees.
As you step into the expansive dining room, you’ll be greeted by a glass-encased wine cellar housing carefully selected bottles from both the Old and New Worlds. Intimate tables adorned with crisp white linens offer captivating views of the ravine through large windows. The open kitchen provides guests with a front-row view of executive chef Nic Vanderbeeken and his team as they work their culinary magic with state-of-the-art equipment rarely seen on the island or even in Indonesia.
Apéritif’s eight-course tasting menu is a testament to Nic’s skill in seamlessly blending classic European influences with contemporary global inspirations. The culinary journey begins with delights like delicate ceviche, crafted from fresh line-caught fish dusted with seaweed powder and served with homemade coconut milk infused with fragrant kaffir lime oil. Heirloom tomatoes provide another refreshing starter, tantalizing the palate with hints of kombu, Parmesan, and black garlic.
As the gastronomic voyage unfolds, the dishes become increasingly indulgent, such as the venison wellington enveloped in golden pastry and ceremoniously sliced tableside, revealing layers of foie gras and succulent venison. Each portion is accompanied by shimeji mushrooms and a sumptuous mushroom rendang reduction drizzled over the top. Another unforgettable main course is the tender duck Magret served with heirloom beetroot and a spiced orange sauce.
Local ingredients feature prominently in every dish, while other delicacies are sourced from regions celebrated for their exceptional products. Chef Nic underscores, “Whenever possible, we collaborate with local farmers and producers to procure ingredients from Bali and the surrounding area. However, we never compromise on quality. If a particular ingredient doesn’t meet our standards here, we’ll source it from abroad.” A taste of the tender New Zealand venison or Canadian lobster quickly forgives their international sourcing.
The meal concludes with delightful desserts that evoke cherished childhood memories. The PB & J, a delightful creation, features silky peanut butter encased in a meringue shell sprayed with Monggo chocolate and crowned with a tart and tangy mulberry sorbet. The dessert is presented with a brown paper bag labeled with your name, reminiscent of a packed lunch your mother might have prepared for school. Curious about the contents? A visit to Apéritif is in order to unravel the mystery.
Chances are you’ll be inclined to linger after your meal, whether for a nightcap at the bar or a scotch and cigar on the balcony. You’ll want to savor every aspect of this exceptional experience, from the striking architectural design and decor to the exquisite culinary offerings and impeccable service. And for those who wish to extend the magic, luxurious villas are just steps away, offering the perfect continuation of your indulgent journey.