I've noticed one thing about the Balinese restaurant scene: just about every restaurant, from the rustic to the upscale, is low-lit and open-aired. Being particularly susceptible to both heat and mosquitoes, us dining out in Bali is usually a harried experience. And because visibility is so low (it's so damn dark!), I can never tell if I'm eating a stray fly. Well, let's just say that I've never had to use the iPhone flashlight as much as I did in Bali.
So, for us to waddle away after dinner, raving about a restaurant still, is something else.
Metis, the award-winning reincarnation of the famed Kafe Warisan, is an absolute must-try in Bali. Occupying a double-storeyed compound that encircles a miniature padi field (read: mosquitoes galore!), the buzzy French restaurant cum lounge cum bar oozes sophistication and glamour. Naturally, the crowd is beautiful and snotty, so dress up.
While service was gracious, it was wobbly at times. Twice we had different waitresses repeatedly query our orders (I'd asked to hold off the "yucky green garnish", because, apparently, chefs in Bali LOVE to put parsley/coriander/cilantro in EVERYTHING). At about IDR1.5m(about S$158) for dinner for two, service should have been smooth and slick, not sputtering out goo like a rusty tap.
That said, the modern French cuisine at Metis was absolutely stellar. Polished and flawless, every dish was outstandingly sublime.
And, as with every other fine-dining restaurant in Bali, advanced reservations are strongly advised (Metis has a very convenient online reservations system). Or be prepared to have dinner at 10pm.
The Pan-Seared Foie Gras (Rp230,000/S$24), set in a pool of port and raspberry reduction dotted with morelo cherries, was sandwiched between layers of roasted apples and topped with apple crisps.
Slices of crusty walnut and brioche were served to mop up every last drop of that delicious fruity sauce.
Swaddled in a scaly skin of shaved potato circlets, the Pan Roasted Red Snapper (Rp175,000/S$18.50) was complemented with a capsicum and tomato coulis, basil pesto and balsamic reduction. A shallot confit and grilled zucchini strips lent sweetness.
The succulent Lobster Ravioli (Rp185,000/S$20), swimming in a sumptuous winter black truffle beurre blanc, was topped with fried enoki hay and seaweed for a umami finish.
The sparkling fresh King Prawns a la Plancha (Rp195,000/S$20.50), imbued with a smoky char, were set atop a bed of grilled Mediterranean vegetables, sundried tomatoes, pinenuts and kalamata olives risoni, with a lively basil pesto sauce providing a mild peppery heat.
The towering Grand Marnier Souffle (Rp78,000/S$8.50) was subtle and delicate, just like its airy fairy consistency.
The souffle was contrasted with the dense and chilled Drunken Almond Sponge Cake. The 'yang' to the souffle's 'yin'.
Metis' signature cocktail, the Passiontini (Rp130,000/S$13.75), a perfect marriage of pureed passionfruit and Beluga vodka, lived up to the hype as a must-try. The Coffee Martini (Rp130,000/S$13.75), which blended kahlua and Beluga vodka, with espresso and sugar, was no slouch either. It was as potent as it was sweet and heady. Absolutely smashing cocktails here. If I had to choose, Metis' cocktails were the best of all we had in Bali.
Complimentary bread rolls: The Mixed Nut Roll was buttery and fluffy and warm and toasty.
The Herbed Roll was incredibly aromatic, and so flavourful on its own it rendered the awesome Bordier butter redundant.
Bali tap water is not very potable, so you'd need to buy still water to hydrate, or go thirsty until you return to your hotels. Here, a small bottle of Equil hawks at (Rp25,000/S$2.60) a pop.
The restaurant interior.