With executive chef Nic Vanderbeeken at the helm, the new Apéritif at Viceroy Bali whips up interpretive world cuisine with a touch of Indonesian influences, discovers melainne chiew
those who have traversed the treasure that is Ubud, Bali, might concur: Its lush mountain valleys and rolling rice paddy fields make an excellent (and quiet) getaway from the buzzing concrete jungle. But beyond its bustling art scene and many mythical shrines, Ubud is also home to a smorgasbord of restaurants and hipster cafes.
The latest is Apéritif, a fine dining establishment at the family-owned Viceroy Bali luxury resort. Led by Executive Chef Nic Vanderbeeken, the restaurant fires up its very own take on global cuisine, pulling together culinary cultures from all over the world and imbibing them with authentic flavours of Indonesia. Indeed, the chef himself, who joined Viceroy Bali’s Cascades in 2013 as executive chef, is backed by 2 decades of culinary experience, which brought him to the Festival Gourmet International in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (2015) and to Jakarta, where he cooked for the Belgian Economic Mission to Indonesia Gala ( 2016).
His 8-course degustation menu is an exciting blend of East-meets-west, especially with contemporary renditions of Indonesian classics: Its version of Karedok transforms a signature West Javanese raw vegetable salad into a new-age medley of lightly pickled garden vegetables, including an unexpected addition of zucchini and kale. For a finishing touch, the garden greens, sourced from the estate’s greenhouse, come dressed with a contemporary lemon basil-infused peanut sauce, tofu crème and baby bean sprouts.
Guests can also enjoy wine pairings for each course, selected from a special curation of more than 180 different labels of wine, courtesy of the inhouse sommelier. True to its name, the restaurant also serves a refreshing selection of aperitifs and cocktails at its bar, conceptualised by bartender Ran Van Ongevalle, the winner of Bacardi Legacy 2017.
Chef Vanderbeeken and his team constantly experiment with ingredients, be it native herbs, fruits or available produce.
“We have taken careful consideration to provide a dining experience that is truly enchanting and unlike any others found in Bali,” he says.
“The menu highlights the wealth of experience we have from immersing ourselves in culinary cultures around the world.”
FROM LEFT: FLOWER CARRIER; KAREDOK