Bali 2019 - Dinner at Spice by Chris Salans in Ubud

Since opening Mozaic Restaurant in Ubud in 2001, French-American chef Chris Salans has been winning accolades with his innovative high-end cuisine. I have not been to Mozaic as the pricing there is quite steep, but was very happy to learn that Salans has opened another restaurant on Jalan Raya Ubud with pricing that is more down to earth – Spice, I had to try it out. This is a casual-dining restaurant with more emphasis on the food – which is great.

They have an a la carte menu, but I went for the 4-course signature menu which was reasonably priced at 275,000 IDR – around RM80, quite a steal for a gourmet experience.

 The first appetizer was a Beef Carpaccio in Rendang Spiced Oil. The beef was very tender, and the spiced oil was very subtle. It was a delicious combination.

The second appetizer looked a lot more interesting – Balinese Chicken Betutu Cromesquis. These are croquettes stuffed with tender pieces of Balinese smoked chicken. The spices were fragrant without being overwhelming. The accompanying pickled onions and chili provided the acidic heat to bslsnce the richness. Another tasty dish.

There are 2 choices for main course – slipper lobster or beef. I went with the Beef Sirloin with Mixed Salad in Black Kluwek-Garlic Sauce. Black Kluwek or “Buah Keluak” as it is known in Malaysia, is a tree seed with a black paste inside that is used in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, especially Peranakan cuisine. The paste is poisonous – but after proper treatment and fermentation, it becomes edible and has a very unique flavour profile – nutty and pungent. It is great that Chef Chris has paired this unique ingredient with grilled beef – which was very tender. It was a winning combination.

Dessert was a Crème Brulee with Strawberries and Torch Ginger Flower Ice Cream. Another example of Chef Chris’ deftness in pairing local with more mainstream ingredients – the strawberries and torch ginger combination was genius.

For the price, this was a top-notch dining experience. It will easily cost double or more in Kuala Lumpur. A must-visit when in Ubud.


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