Aperitif, an eclectic fine dining experience that explores the world through flavours of the Indonesian archipelago.
Set amid a lush jungle valley setting, a stone’s throw from the central Ubud, Apéritif is Bali’s most unique fine dining destination. The menu explores global cuisine by way of the Indonesian archipelago, introducing a melange of flavours that reflect the borderless nature of today’s world. Belgian Executive Chef Nic Vanderbeeken takes culinary influences from the old Spice Islands and combines it with distinctly modern European flavours and cooking techniques. The sophisticated, eight-course degustation menu presents an unrivalled culinary journey that brings together the flavours of modern gastronomy, lesser-known Indonesian ingredients, exquisite produce sourced globally, and the property’s own greenhouse harvest.
The renowned European tradition of enjoying apéritifs—pre-dinner drinks and snacks to stimulate the appetite—has been seamlessly integrated into the restaurant. Each evening begins with a complimentary pre-dinner apéritif and canapés at the Bar, a spot that evokes a buzzing Roaring Twenties atmosphere. The elegant restaurant design is also a nod to Indonesia’s Dutch colonial past.
Using culinary training garnered from various kitchens around the world, the kitchen team expertly infuses hints of Indonesia’s rich gastronomic culture with contemporary global cuisine. “The menu highlights the wealth of experience we have from immersing ourselves in culinary cultures all over the world. We wanted to showcase what an eclectic and well-constructed global menu looks like,” said Chef Nic. “We are constantly experimenting with a myriad of native herbs, fruits and produce available here, and incorporating it into our highly technical degustation menu. We have taken careful consideration to provide a dining experience that is truly enchanting and unlike any others found in Bali.”
Eclectic global cuisine that traverses the Indonesian archipelago
Chef Nic artfully showcases a menu with a surprising twist on some Indonesian classics, such as Karedok, a humble raw vegetable salad originally from West Java that has been transformed into a sophisticated and balanced starter. This clever rendition combines lightly pickled garden vegetables, including cucumber, cabbage, zucchini and kale – all grown in the property’s greenhouse – with kemangi (lemon basil) infused peanut sauce, tofu crème and baby bean sprouts.
Another Indonesian-inspired dish, yet is still unmistakably modern European in essence, is the Papua Crab, which has seasonal beurre blanc-poached crab paired with bengkoang (jicama). The artful dome-like dish is dotted with celeriac cream purée and a citrus gel. The highlight of the dish lies in the gulai, an Indonesian curry-like sauce rich with spices like turmeric, coriander and galangal, poured tableside. A reinvention of two classic Western dishes – Beef Wellington and Beef en Crôute – is the Venison Wellington, which marries the succulent game meat with Indonesia’s unmistakable rendang dish in a buttery pastry crust with a decadent centre that reveals a portion of foie gras. The homemade pastry is then rolled with king oyster mushrooms and served paired with black garlic truffle mash.
Dessert is no less a gastronomic experience. Spearheaded by Pastry Chef Alexander McKinstry, he has created a beautifully presented Cheese dessert that plays on the idea of a cheese platter. A wheel of trompe l’oeil “goat’s cheese” has been made with milk skin to resemble the outer casing, revealing a creamy burrata-like interior. The dessert is served with brown butter financier, hazelnut-cheese fat emulsion, sourdough ash, chilli-pickle pineapples, jambu air (rose apple) and sourdough ice cream. The meal concludes with petit fours that cleverly marry the international kitchen team’s varied backgrounds. Each culinary culture—whether it is Belgian, American, Indonesian or South American—is represented through playful sweet treats that pay homage to each country’s favourite childhood snacks.
At Apéritif, guests can also opt for a wine pairing to complement each dish. Developed by the in-house sommelier, each dish is paired with wines from around the world that will best suit the flavours and textures at hand. The creative pairings include a French Brut Rose – a sparkling rosé wine – with the Venison Wellington; and a crisp yet floral Yalumba Viognier with the curry-tinged Papua Crab. With over 180 different labels of wine in the cellar, there is no shortage of brilliant wine pairings or enjoying special singular bottles of wine over a delicious degustation. Non-alcoholic pairings come in the form of creative homemade kombuchas and infused teas.
Like its name, the restaurant also has an extensive list of aperitif-style drinks, as well as cocktails conceptualised by award-winning bartender Ran Van Ongevalle. The cocktail progamme, which was inspired by the Roaring Twenties, has been specially created with Bali’s tropical climate in mind while showcasing the best artisanal spirits and in-house infusions.
A luxurious dining experience with Old World touches
Housed in a spacious standalone building overlooking the jungle landscape, the 60-seat restaurant is opulently decorated in marbles, dark woods and bronze elements to capture the convivially grand atmosphere of the 1920s. Making note of Indonesia’s rich and sordid colonial history, the space is also dotted with authentic period photographs that depict the last Dutch-Indonesian Viceroys of Bali and Yogyakarta.
Combining the highest quality ingredients from Viceroy Bali’s greenhouse, the island of Bali and the world; Apéritif presents the best of contemporary global cuisine touching on the archipelago’s diverse culinary heritage and ingredients. Settle in for an all-encompassing dining journey, where Chef Nic and his team have created an eclectic blend of global cuisine that takes pride in its sense of place.