Alila Villas Soori located along the southwest coast of Bali, in the Tabanan Regency, the resort is just 20 minutes from Tanah Lot temple. Set in one of Bali’s most fertile and picturesque regions, the luxury resort lies between beautiful black-sand beaches and verdant rice terraces, with the mystical Mount Batukaru in the distant horizon.
|one gorgeous sunset in Alila Villas Soori|
Alila Villas Soori continues its series of dining journeys presenting international guest star chefs and acclaimed figures from the world’s culinary stage. I was invited to experience one of the events with a guest chef, Laurent Loudeac from Museum Hotel, Wellington, New Zealand. Chef Laurent Loudeac was born in Châteaubriant in western France and he has remarkable experiences of working in some award-winning restaurant around the world. One interesting fact is Chef Dwayne Cheer, Alila Villas Soori’ Executive chef was once Chef Laurent's apprentice. So I was excited to find out what they would present to the guest.
|cocktail and welcome drink|
Before the dinner started, all the guest were served a welcome drink and cocktail. Honestly speaking, nothing forbids me to drink alcohol. I just choose not to. But on several occasions I would not mind to taste some, for the sake of curiosity. And obviously I'm not an expert of alcohol drinks, but if I'm not mistaken the welcome drink was a mixture of vodka, campari, red peppercorn and star anise. While the cocktail was some vermouth, vodka, campari and chilli. I actually liked the taste of the cocktail though. It's smooth with a slight spicy flavor. It looks sexy too, don't you think?
Scallop Ceviche served with Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Cevice is basically made from fresh raw fish or seafood marinated in citrus juice such as lemon or lime. The presentation is quite unique and those black dome-like base is made from the black sand beach. As an Amuse-bouche, the single bite-sized scallop is covered with chopped tomatoes and onion. I could taste the freshness of the scallop because the smell is sweet and briny, not fishy at all. While the texture is delicate and firm. The taste lingered for a while because it was so delicious.
Salmon Sashimi My Way served with Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Blanc La Jadis 2009
For me this one was the star of the night. The salmon has silky smooth texture and as I bite, a slight sweetness emerged. What I called a genius invention was the soy sauce jelly. Yes, you read it right. So instead of serving normal soy sauce, the chef made it into jelly and stacked on top of fish. Voila! No more dripping sauce. The fish, seaweed, soy sauce jelly and a dash of syrup made from ginger and lemon complement each other perfectly. My taste buds were dancing happily while tasting the delicious blend of flavours. It was beyond umami. I don't usually eat raw fish but now I'm convert. Can I have more, please ?
Seared Barramundi served with Henri Bourgeois Pouily Fume en Travertin 2009
For those who are not familiar with cooking term, 'searing' is one of the cooking method, in which the food (in this case is the fish) is cooked in high temperature to seal in the juice. Errrr....or that's what I remember though, since I've graduated from cooking school like centuries ago :p
The fish has crusty surface after being cooked on a high temperature pan but when I put a slice on my mouth, I could taste the sweet juice. The tomato concasse and crayfish foam adds taste of delicacy. It's served with braised baby fennel and roasted crayfish.
|Seared Venison Loin|
Searred Venison Loin served with Bel Echo Pinot Noir 2009 and Clos Henri Pinot Noir 2008
Venison meat tastes almost like beef but it's richer and have a gamy note. Served with pickled roasted baby beetroot and prunes which have been marinated with port wine, the taste remains me of those candied fruit but in softer texture. The chocolate crumble and salted caramelised ganache definitely made the presentation unusually attractive.
|the surprise dessert|
I didn't see this listed on the menu but they call it the surprise dessert. It's basically some blackberries soaked in cranberry juice, pomegranate juice and vermouth with a hint of blackcurrant. A mixture of tangy and sweet, very refreshing to wash down the aftertaste of the meat.
|Walking On Lemons dessert|
What an interesting presentation of dessert! This is why the theme of the dinner was 'Walking On Lemons', my curiosity has been answered. The dessert contains of lemon sponge cake, lemon mousse, lemon crumble and pomelo which all were served in small chunks. A good idea to taste various dessert and no worries about gaining weight.
|with chef Laurent, chef Dwayne, Riany and Lukas|
It was a night to remember indeed, I did have a great time meeting new people and accompanied by super friendly hosts (thanks Nat & Irra). They even provide a car along with the chauffeur to pick up and take me home.
I was invited as a guest. But opinions, happy tummy and the dancing taste buds are all mine.
Thanks so much Alila Villas Soori for inviting me.
Alila Villas Soori
Banjar Dukuh, Desa Kelating, Kerambitan
Tabanan - Bali
Phone +62 361 8946388