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The Best Fine Dining in Ubud: Apéritif at Viceroy Bali

The Best Fine Dining in Ubud: Apéritif at Viceroy Bali

Travel and food go hand in hand for me; some of my most memorable travel experiences are also foodie experiences. On my recent trip to Bali, I stayed at the incredible Viceroy Resort in Ubud, which you can read more about here. Hands down, one of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had was in their gorgeous restaurant Apéritif.

Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, Ubud
Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, Ubud

This Roaring Twenties themed bar and restaurant is set in a lush jungle valley, just a stone’s throw away from central Ubud. This 60-seat fine dining destination is housed in a spacious, standalone building next to the resort. The opulent design is art nouveau with beautiful marble, dark wood, and bronze elements. As a perfect addition, Indonesia’s rich colonial history is represented with art that depict the last Dutch-Indonesian Viceroys of Bali and Yogyakarta.

Aperitif Restaurant & Bar - Front Entryway
Aperitif Restaurant & Bar – Front Entryway
Aperitif Restaurant & Bar - Reception Area
Aperitif Restaurant & Bar – Reception Area
Dining Area - Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, Ubud
Dining Area – Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, Ubud

Living up to its name, our culinary adventure at Apéritif began with pre-dinner drinks and canapés inside its elegant bar where we enjoyed craft cocktails designed by Ran Van Ongevalle.

Bar Area - Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, Ubud
Bar Area – Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, Ubud
Signature Cocktails at Aperitif Bar
Signature Cocktails at Aperitif Bar
Aperitif Bar Seating Area - Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, Ubud
Aperitif Bar Seating Area – Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, Ubud

Guest at the bar are treated to gourmet canapés served on custom-designed canapés trees. Our canapés tree came with a selection of  hors d’oeuvres: my favorite with the beet root goats cheese macaroons. Every bite is meticulously crafted and beautifully presented.

Canape Tree with beetroot goats cheese macaroons
Canape Tree with beetroot goats cheese macaroons

Afterwards, they brought out a plate filled with seashells and topped with two fish bones. Our canapés were elegantly presented on top of the fish bones. This consisted of fish crudo canapés: crispy fish skin, a Lombok oyster (pictured below) with yogurt, additions of spirulina seaweed and smoked-oyster emulsion.

This was an exciting glimpse into what fantastic edible art was in store for us the rest of the evening. If the apéritifs were anything to go by, we were certainly in good hands.

Fish Crudo Canapes - Aperitif Restaurant Ubud
Fish Crudo Canapes – Aperitif Restaurant Ubud

After our drinks and starters in the bar, we were then escorted to the dining room. This beautiful space features  a glass-encased wine cellar with handpicked bottles from the Old and New Worlds, along with intimate tables draped in crisp white linens, and large windows that offer views over the ravine.

Wine-Cellar- Photo Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, Ubud
Wine-Cellar- Photo Aperitif Restaurant & Bar, Ubud
Enjoying dinner at Aperitif Restaurant, Ubud
Enjoying dinner at Aperitif Restaurant, Ubud

We chose the eight-course degustation menu which offers an unrivaled culinary journey that brings together the flavors of modern gastronomy, lesser-known Indonesian ingredients, globally sourced produce, and the property’s own greenhouse harvest. That’s right, Apéritif has their very own greenhouse on site and grows some of their own spices and foods! We also learned that talented Belgian Executive Chef Nic Vanderbeeken enjoys using culinary influences form the old Spice Islands and combining it with modern European flavors and cooking techniques.

We started our culinary journey at Apéritif with an order of Martino. This is their beef tartar, paired with a cured egg and cucumber seeds.

Martino (Beef Tartare/ Cured Egg/Cucumber Seeds) - Aperitif Restaurant
Martino (Beef Tartare) – Aperitif Restaurant

This was followed by a glamorized version of the Karedok, a traditional Japanese salad of raw vegetables smothered in a peanut sauce. This one comes beautifully plated, with thin slices of pickled cabbage, cucumber, lettuce and other greens that are carefully wrapped to look like a colorful bud.

Karedok Dish at Aperitif
Karedok Dish at Aperitif
Canadian Lobster with Caviar /Parsnip at Aperitif
Canadian Lobster with Caviar /Parsnip at Aperitif

Out of the several incredible courses we enjoyed, the highlights for me were the Canadian Lobster with Cavier and the Duck Magret. I cannot resist duck if I see it on the menu, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. The duck was served with a consommé (clear soup), and a lick of leek oil offering a roasted, vegetal undertow.

Duck Magret on Aperitif Degustation Menu
Duck Magret on Aperitif Degustation Menu

The signature Venison Wellington was carved at the table for us by Chef Nic himself. It is stuffed with foie gras and dolloped with a rendang sauce. Somehow, it is both hearty and poised, both rich yet zingy and balanced.

Venison Wellington Dish - Aperitif Degustation Menu
Venison Wellington Dish – Aperitif Degustation Menu
Papua Crab (Top Left), Hoja Santa (Bottom Left), Chef Nic Vanderbeeken carving the Venison Wellington
Papua Crab (Top Left), Hoja Santa (Bottom Left), Chef Nic Vanderbeeken carving the Venison Wellington

We ended on a high note with a table filled of desserts for our choosing. One of our favorite was the PB & J, a gorgeous concoction of silky peanut butter in a meringue shell sprayed with Monggo chocolate and topped with a tart and tangy mulberry sorbet. The dessert comes with a brown paper bag labelled with your name; just like the packed lunches you might have had when you went to school. Dying to know what’s inside? You’ll have to visit yourself to find out!

PB & J Dessert at Aperitif
PB & J Dessert at Aperitif
Plenty of Dessert Choices at Aperitif Restaurant
Plenty of Dessert Choices at Aperitif Restaurant

It is important to note that they offer an eight-course vegetarian degustation menu as well!

The open kitchen allows guests to watch executive chef Nic Vanderbeeken and pastry chef Alexander McKinstry and their team work their magic amid state-of-the-art equipment unlike any you’ll find on the island, or across Indonesia for that matter.

Chef Nic Vanderbeeken and Pastry Chef Alexander McKinstry in the Aperitif Kitchen
Chef Nic Vanderbeeken and Pastry Chef Alexander McKinstry in the Aperitif Kitchen

After enjoying these beautifully unique creations, it is clear that Chef Nic Vanderbeeken has a passion for cross-cultural collaboration and aims to create one-of-a-kind dishes. Apéritif also takes pride in its sense of place, drawing on the cultural and culinary history of Indonesia in terms of not only its food, but decor as well. Throughout the night, the hospitality of all of the restaurant staff was just as spectacular as our food.

Whether you’re a guest at Viceroy Bali or not, a meal at Apéritif should be on everyone’s list when traveling to Ubud! To be honest, my husband and I cannot remember eating a more elegant and delicious meal anywhere.  I’d suggest making a trip to Ubud just to eat at Apéritif, it is that incredible.

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

20 Comments

  1. Such a lovely place, Fantastic interiors and the food also looks really delicious

    • Carmen Edelson

      Five stars all around!

  2. Lovely post… I enjoy reading your posts.

    • Carmen Edelson

      Thank you so much!

  3. Woah what an amazing dining experience, Carmen!

    Absolutely love the 20s inspired decor, and the food looks fantastic. Got to say the dessert pictures are my favorite, but then I do have a massive sweet tooth! 🙂 The PB and J looks divine!
    Laura recently posted…Funny Makeup Quotes | Perfect Quotes For Instagram CaptionsMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      I have a sweet tooth too!

  4. Wow, I don’t remember seeing many places like this one in Ubud when I visited years ago… It was more typically Balinese warungs with black and white check table cloths… This is very upmarket and I wonder if you felt like you were in Indonesia? That said, those cocktails would work anywhere!
    Delphine recently posted…The Best Walking Tour of Perth Street ArtMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      It was certainly a very special place!

  5. Wow this place looks very high class! Probably a little bit over our backpacker budget but we will be in Bali in March and will be meeting up with family for a week, so maybe they could treat us to a nice meal before they leave!
    Nicola Hilditch-Short recently posted…The Ultimate Guide to the Best Adventure Activities to do Whilst Travelling!My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      Very good price for the quality!

  6. Awesome destination! Food looking amazing
    Sublime Taj recently posted…Do You Know Awesome Facts About Taj Mahal?My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson

      It’s definitely a memorable foodie spot!

  7. Amazing view from restaurant. Five-star service.

    • Carmen Edelson

      I agree, thanks for reading!

  8. Exquisite! Thanks for sharing. Yum!

    • Carmen Edelson

      Yum indeed! Thanks for reading, Jenna 🙂

  9. What a Beautiful Restaurant I wish I can visit it
    Really Awesome and Luxury.
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    • Carmen Edelson

      I hope you can one day!

  10. I love travelling! Your blog is awesome very helpful, these pictures are beautiful, they help to them who plan their tour. Thanks for your awesome sharing, keep posting like this.

    • Carmen Edelson

      Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂

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