The new Mandapa Ritz Carlton Reserve in Ubud is a fantasy village that tumbles down the sides of the pristine Ayung River Valley – a place of mist and spirit. Every detail of this beautiful place has been orchestrated, every detail taken care of. Arriving at the grand lobby is like arriving in a parallel universe and in fact my companion could not stop alluding to the dreaminess of the place.
You just know, in your bones, that anywhere with such a fine appreciation of esthetics, will have a wonderful menu to match. As we were driven down the steep slopes in a brand new buggy to the Mediterranean inspired Kubu Restaurant, thoughts turned naturally to romance and food, and as there was no romance to be had, we could focus on the food. The restaurant sits by the side of the river, which is cleverly lit with hidden lamps on the opposite bank. Guests sit in individual bamboo canopies looking over the river, which affords privacy and a romantic kind of haze.
Kubu Restaurant’s menu is richly filled with tempting dishes and the Italian born Executive Chef knows his stuff. Previously Maurizio Bombini was at the prestigious Bvlgari Bali, before creating new and exciting dishes for this new and exciting resort.
While the menu is filled with exotic offerings, we tackled the degustation, assailed with wave after wave of amazing tastes. Even without my notes, the memory of the extraordinary amuse bouche will linger long in my memory. Half eggshells filled with a truffle egg custard and topped with Parmesan foam shall stay fixed lovingly in the memory banks. A close second was the amazing, Tomato coulis or gazpacho with poached prawn foam – also very amusing. These little culinary treats are changed daily and I am guessing that they will always come as amusing little surprises – always fun!
The bread was so good, it could almost be a meal in itself. Baked on the premises we are given a choice of a delicious onion ciabatta – my favourite, as well as a soft tomato foccacia and crispy breadsticks.
The Pumpkin Espuma was rich and creamy – somewhere between a soup and a custard, redolent with flavor. Finished with a goat’s cheese and lemon confit, extra virgin olive oil, it is a taste to remember.
Memorable dish followed memorable dish. A teeny slice of Wagyu beef rib, with braised tongue, celeriac and truffle jus was also tempting, as was the one perfect Cod Ravioli with eggplant and smoked onion cream. I ordered a side dish of vegetable and was rewarded with a bijou sized serving of perfect Charcoal grilled Bedugul asparagus, garlic and thyme. Tiny in its perfection it gave extra meaning to that classic phrase –“small is beautiful”.
A dessert of Chocolate fondant with Baileys ice cream and Sambucca gel, followed the Pre dessert which was in turn followed by a beautifully presented selection of Petit Fours and a cookie. Anyone short of sugar just needs to go there for dinner. The Ivoire White Chocolate Mousse, with cranberry jelly and chocolate crumble tempted as well.
Everything is cooked to perfection by a team, that the chef has assembled personally, so that you know you can order with confidence.
And having said that, given a choice, I would have opted for some slices of the Spanish Iberic Ham “Extra Puro Bellota” and perhaps the Slow cooked lamb rack, roast artichoke, green pea purees, and olive jus or just maybe, the Dutch milk fed veal, “Macarie” potato, eggplants and liquorice jus. It is all too good, and for the quality of the food, while it is not cheap is well worth the price. Fresh Sydney oysters and some pretty exotic cheeses are also at hand.
Needless to say, the wine list and cocktails are exemplary and I am pretty sure, that the barman could concoct any cocktail you could dream up!
Kubu Restaurant at Mandapa Ritz Carlton Reserve
A : Jalan Kedewatan, Banjar Kedewatan Gianyar, Ubud, Bali 80571
T : 0361 4792777
W : http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/indonesia/mandapa