Sara Douglas checks out what’s hot at the new Double Six.
RISING like the phoenix from the faded embers of our youth, Double Six, the resort, has risen again as a sexy and shiny edifice to modern Bali tourism.
Stretching languidly along the shore of Bali’s favourite playground, much like the proverbial cat with nine lives, Double Six resort has taken a step back from the madness that it now peruses from a higher plane. Content to play big brother, perhaps, to the younger siblings that now thrive on the stretch of beach it once occupied exclusively.
Taking on the high-profile Australian restaurateur, Robert Marchetti, to oversee the food and beverage operation was perhaps a risky move but its impact can’t be underestimated. The man behind iconic restaurants like Icebergs and North Bondi Italian has brought his own brand of culinary luminosity to our shores and it has proved a winner.
The numerous restaurants and bars echo the original Double Six with their vibrant energy and they are integral to the design and the experience.
The Rooftop is where it all begins and ends. Sunsets up here are amazing with views that sweep the island but the venue is tailor-made for partying late as well. Overlooking the activity on the beach at sunset is voyeurism to the max. From fully clad locals, wannabee football heroes, the obligatory tourists playing bat and ball in their bikinis and the numerous sunset bars, it offers a bird’s eye view that sweeps all the way to Tanah Lot on one side and Uluwatu on the other.
Cocktails here are king and at present prices are still low. A low slung private booth invokes a minimum spend of Rp.2million (at the time of writing), an easy stretch for 8-10 people. Music reverberates through the large space, complete with high ceilings and a décor that turns to pineapples for its inspiration. Funky and fun and . . . yellow!
A glass of sparkling called my name, a fruity cocktail with thick, delicious foam caught my friend’s eye. The food here is overseen by young chef-in-charge, Jamie, who is the executive chef across the food and beverage team. Centre stage on a podium is a saté grill that flickers flames and is the source of a lot of the saté-inspired menu, including the fabulous slipper lobster skewers, served with scallops and caviar we enjoyed.
Bite-sized sliders with wagyu or crispy pork belly, popcorn chicken, calamari, tuna and tandoori chicken are among the selections, retro yet appealing, simple and yet the perfect side to the sunset and the cocktails.
Seminyak Italian, downstairs, extends out over the pool and overlooks the beach beyond. The first venue to open, it is a slick open Italian diner with chefs busily making fresh pasta, a cheese room and a charcuterie room. The menu is easy to digest with some appealing appetisers and salads to compliment the charcuterie and cheese selections.
Pasta here is a highlight but not all there is. A slow-cooked ragu of lamb shoulder tops a perfectly al dente penne, tagliatelle with hand picked crab meat, tomato, garlic and cognac is a stand out as is the home-made tortellini filled with mortadella, veal, prosciutto with sage, parmesan and truffle.
Mama-inspired for sure, and honest, delicious food that is as light or as rich as you like.
The meat here is from Marchetti’s own farm and it is really good. A Black Angus T-bone, perfectly charred with a vibrant salsa and fat chips is total indulgence. While the “Una minuti Bistecca” topped with anchovy and garlic butter, watercress and lemon or the rib eye topped with a peppery rocket is a paleo’s dream.
Fish, veal and a whole roasted baby chicken are also great choices. Seminyak Italian food is easy, food is familiar and wholesome and the restaurant is great for groups or even solo. The wine list is exclusively Italian and not too expensive, everyone will find something they can afford.
Two venues are already on our dance cards. The final touches are being made to Rooftop and some big parties are being planned to celebrate the holidays. This is going to be a hot pick for New Year’s Eve, when they plan to party all night and then all day, a la Icebergs Bondi.
Plantation Grill was almost open when we visited last and it is perhaps going to be the icing on the cake, and more than likely where this reviewer will lay her hat! A Gatsby-style grill restaurant; A two-storey, glass edifice that enjoys sweeping views to match the Hollywood-style staircase that will traverse the elegant dining room and the smokin’ billiard room, bar and martini lounge upstairs. Oh yes. Think aged steaks and line-caught fish; think an open kitchen with flaring stoves and waiters flamboyantly flashing large menus.
Think grown up. Like Double Six! Like us! Get excited.