Vacations & Travel - - Tried & Tested - By Carla Gros­setti

You don’t have to fly to Italy from In­done­sia to sam­ple Mediter­ranean cook­ing at its rus­tic best. Sim­ply catch an ojek to Soleil, the rather hand­some pool­side restau­rant housed within The Mulia in Nusa Dua, on the south­ern coast of Bali. The restau­rant is like a tem­ple to fine din­ing, with mar­ble floors, plush seat­ing, gilded pat­terns, flower-filled vases and the req­ui­site tin­kling jazz. The name Soleil also of­fers a clue as to the kind of lo­ca­tion you can ex­pect: the restau­rant over­looks a sun-soaked pool near the In­dian Ocean. Soleil feels more high-end Ital­ian than In­done­sian – es­pe­cially when the first course of del­i­cate cac­ciota-filled squash blos­soms and deca­dent foie gras crème brulee ar­rives. The main plates are also stel­lar; ag­nolotti is not easy to get right but the fontina-cheese-filled ravi­oli and rich, meaty veal jus is re­ceived like a mas­ter­class in Mediter­ranean flavours. The char­coal-grilled black An­gus beef ten­der­loin was also rich and full of flavour with a zigzag of salsa verde and tweez­ered bits of zingy cress. The only com­plaint from our cor­ner ta­ble was that it over­looked a sec­tion of sun­loungers adorned with beau­ti­fully bronzed Euro­peans, which made it a chal­lenge to en­joy a guilt-free dessert – slow-cooked vanilla cheese­cake topped with trop­i­cal fruit cream. Note: Sun­day brunch is hugely pop­u­lar, so don’t for­get to make a book­ing. If you do man­age to nab a ta­ble, plug Soleil into the GPS, as it’s one of nine restau­rants in the sprawl­ing 30 ha re­sort.


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