Ondy Sweeting is tempted by sushi at Hotel Tugu Bali.
NEVER underestimate that wonderful moment when the chop sticks descend to the picture perfect plate, nip a piece of sushi then glide it through the tiny pool of wasabi and soy to enter the mouth with a blast of fishy bliss?
Deep into the fertile grounds of Bali’s now-hipster paradise – Batu Bolong – Hotel Tugu Bali has created a special menu that gives thanks to Japanese culinary traditions and the sea.
Sushi by the Sea is the name. And the joy of eating one mouthful of sushi after another is the main game.
Eating sushi at the Tugu is an intimate and stunning experience and clearly the fish is prepared using ancient techniques that were developed to preserve the seafood as much as to flavour it and present it as art.
The menu is traditionally split into sashimi of sea bream, top loin tuna, salmon, fatty tuna and prawn while Nigiri includes squid, top loin tuna, steamed prawns, sea bream, eel, salmon and fatty tuna. Maki rolls are prepared to order from a list that includes cucumber, avocado, tuna or salmon while special rolls are presented as classics such as California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, prawn tempura rolls and eel with asparagus and avocado. The sushi plates are put together as either regular or supreme. The supreme is a broad and good value sampling of this new dining path for the gorgeous hotel.
In typical form, a beautiful – if not supreme – plate of sushi and sashimi arrives with the accompanying white pickled ginger, wasabi ball and dish of a delicate soy sauce. Note that the ginger is very pure looking without the pinkish hues.
A trio of tuna, salmon and sea bream are cut to perfection and instantly grabs hold of the senses the moment it hits the tongue. With the first bite the firmness of the fish gives way to the soft buttery notes of the fine salmon and the extreme richness of the oily taste just kept building. The tuna was exactly the delicacy that is expected of sashimi that somehow is more like an amazing Japanese charcuterie rather than fabulously prepared raw fish.
The sushi is solid and fresh while the spicy tuna is a tasty inside out roll that is a stand out. The eel sushi was full of smoky flavours that were sweet and delicate all at the same time while the rice was texture perfect.
Hotel Tugu Bali is an amazing location to engage in some stylish dining and enjoy the contrast of having sushi in this fabulously Balinese hotel. There are many rooms to dine in. With a little notice the hotel will set up a private table on the beach for a romantic interlude, by the pool for a more casual experience or settle for one of the exclusive rooms that flank the tasteful reception area. Book early to secure one of the premium tables on the far edge of the lobby where diners are inside the hotel while taking in the view on the ocean. Sunset is a superb time to set aside for sushi eating.
With a chef dedicated to producing these fine dishes and with more than 16 years of Japanese cooking experience, his skills are apparent in every bite.