Be prepared for ruminations about your food when you dine at Quila, Alila Villas Uluwatu’s new fine-dining restaurant.
First, you are led to think the 10 courses would be presented in a certain fashion. Categorised under the five senses with mysterious names such as St George and the Dragon, they all turn up on the table completely to the contrary.
Balinese sangria and Bloody Mary aren’t alcoholic drinks and the carpaccio looks but doesn’t taste like beef. The Carrot Carrot Curry is a plate of deliciously sweet carrots from the mountainous Bedugul region in central-north Bali crowned with a dollop of cold piquant curry ice cream.
Mediterranean fine-dining and award-winning creative cuisine aside, Quila’s Spanish chef Marc Lores Panades is well-known for being a stickler for local, organic and sustainable ingredients to create experimental yet authentic dishes. He says, “I want to create a surprising experience that appeals to all senses, a tale that is woven into all facets of our curated plates."
And so, traditional sate lilit, spiced minced meat wrapped around a stick of lemongrass before grilling, is deconstructed into a mix of fresh raw mahimahi bought from the Jimbaran fish market and brimming with the fragrance of fried shallots, coconut yogurt and basil ice cream. A stick of lemongrass straddles the plate, waiting to be chewed on for the final flourish in taste. A carrot and tumeric juice is savoured amid fragrant swirls as hot water is poured into a bowlful of lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaf and tangerine mixed with dry ice, evoking the herbal smells of the Kintamani highlands.
I tried to guess what my pseudo beef carpaccio really was. I had an inkling but it sounded so incredible that it took some courage to verify with the servers that I was right.
What was it? You’d need to taste it to find out; because that’s the spirit of the Quila experience.