Fine dining Bali – Metis, Seminyak
Given what Bali is all about, we didn’t expect to find much in the way of fine dining. Our experience of beach clubs (see the post about La Laguna here) indicated that the food was decent but didn’t provide the relaxing ambience we’d hoped for. We also didn’t enjoy the fact that smoking was permitted almost everywhere – not conducive to getting the most out of the food for those who are unused to it.
Gluttonous husband was undeterred. In his searches, he found Metis. Not only did it look like a very glamorous environment and the menu read well it was, hallelujah, non-smoking on the dining floor. We immediately secured a table and took a leisurely 30 minute walk from our hotel in the balmy early evening.
There is a particular style to restaurants here, especially those styled as upmarket – they’re dark and moody. It’s a lovely ambience but lousy for Greedy Girl’s food photography. Shown to a table covered in white linen, overlooking beautifully lit gardens, we immediately felt comfortable – and the restaurant had a unique way of welcoming guests as part of the table decoration.
The chef here is Nicolas ‘Doudou’ Tourneville. Apparently he has had a long career cooking at various French embassies; one such posting was to Jakarta and a side trip to Bali convinced him that was where he wanted to stay. And the team behind Metis has also created a space that makes it easy for diners to relax and while away an evening.
There’s an extensive menu, featuring a great many French classics as you’d expect. Greedy Girl spied a well-priced bottle of Moet et Chandon on the menu and we tried to work through our myriad of other choices. As the waiter poured our chilled glasses (a very nice touch) we asked for them not to be filled too much – even at night, the temperatures here are still high and we didn’t want our champagne to warm in the glasses. Not a problem and we only had to say it once, unlike other al fresco restaurants in Asia where we had to be constantly on our guard.
To go with our first sips, we were treated to some small arancini served with a light tomato sauce. A nice start.
And so, to the food proper. Apologies again for the quality of the images. Greedy Girl decided to have two appetisers, while gluttonous husband took a starter and a main. First up for Greedy Girl was a trio of seafood tartare. This was tuna served with wasabi and basil mayonnaise, salmon roe and crispy seaweed, crab and avocado with shallots, chives, celery aioli, micro leaves and a seaweed lavash and Tasmanian salmon with black tobiko (Japanese flying fish roe), dill dressing and a quail egg.
These were arranged in small, tidy piles across a wide white dish and each were delectable; it was only that Greedy Girl wanted to try gluttonous husband’s dish that she agreed to share.
He took one of the signature dishes – described modestly on the menu as ‘our legendary pan-seared hot foie gras’.
This was a substantial slice of foie gras served with a raspberry and port reduction, morello cherries and roasted apple crisps on top. It was really good, although the sweetness of the sauce got a bit heavy on the palate after a while. Greedy Girl was happy to not be eating a full serving. Still, a French chef knows how to cook foie gras. It was excellent.
Greedy Girl stuck with lighter dishes, but couldn’t resist some foie gras of her own. This was an intriguing combination – pan seared scallops with foie gras, with a passion fruit and mango sauce.
It was a first; Greedy Girl has never had scallops with foie gras before and she has to say this was very, very enjoyable. She was surprised that the flavour of the scallops wasn’t entirely obliterated by the other ingredients. Fruit and foie gras are a classic pairing but the addition of the seafood was inspired. An excellent dish.
Gluttonous husband decided to have something of more substance, taking pork belly. This was cooked for 14 hours sous vide and then had the skin crisped up. It was a beautiful piece of meat and the accompaniments worked well – cabbage braised in red wine, watercress, a quenelle of beetroot and apple chutney and a Dijon mustard sauce. He was well pleased with the dish.
Our intention was to finish the champagne and then see if anything appealed on the dessert menu, but by the time we’d emptied the bottle, the restaurant was exceptionally busy (especially the legions of wait staff regularly stopping by tables to sing happy birthday – it’s that kind of special occasion restaurant) and we had trouble attracting attention. Ne’er mind, we were happy to hit the road for a leisurely walk back to our hotel.
This is a beautiful setting with excellent food. Even if you’re not staying in Seminyak, seek it out for a special night. For the two of us, with champagne (which isn’t cheap in Bali), water, food and tip, we were in and out for less than A$300 – expensive by Balinese standards but a bargain by any other.
Jalan Petitenget 6, Kerobokan, Seminyak