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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - The Miele Guide to Asia's finest restaurants is written by food experts who know and love the region (www.mieleguide.com).
This is a list of the top 5 restaurants in Indonesia, where the cuisine is varied but fine dining still confined to the capital Jakarta and the island of Bali. It is not endorsed by Reuters.
1. Mozaic, Bali
Some restaurants boast an exquisite balance between cuisine, service and setting that, together, make them truly exceptional. Such is the magic of Mozaic. Chef-owner Chris Salans deftly marries French skill with traditional Balinese ingredients and flavors, with inventive and delicious results. His cuisine is global in the sense that the well-traveled diner will recognize and appreciate his accomplished mastery of the contemporary language of fine dining, though having lived and worked in Bali for the past 12 years, Salans understands well the importance of balance, and this is meticulously reflected in the well-rounded flavors of each dish. With impeccable service, fronted by knowledgeable and attentive staff, it is no surprise that reservations are essential.
Jalan Raya Sanggingan
Ubud, Gianyar, Bali
2. Ku De Ta, Bali
At Ku De Ta, the famed Balinese all-in-one club-bar-restaurant, New Zealand-born chef Phillip Davenport turns out delicious fusion fare alongside classic combinations. But while the food is deftly cooked and gorgeously presented, it isn't the sole draw here. Ku De Ta is a scene, and one of the best in the world. You would be hard pressed to find a cooler, more happening restaurant with a more good-looking clientele, great sounds, and a sexier interior theme. Ku De Ta is the perfect example of the restaurant as an experience. All this makes it, hands down, one of the coolest places in Asia in which to eat, drink, and be merry.
9 Jalan Laksmana
Seminyak, Kuta, Bali
3. Naughty Nuri's Warung and Grill, Bali
Isnuri Suryatmi and her American husband Brian Aldinger opened a street stall in 1995 with a two-burner stove and six bottles of beer. With the addition of a powerful martini and charcoal-grilled pork ribs, their humble shack became an overnight sensation with the expat community, drawing international celebrities and chefs and an ever-growing number of curious tourists. Nuri and Brian continue to serve up their personal touch with smoky exuberance - as well as generous burgers, sausages and Indonesian fare.
Jalan Raya Sanggingan
4. Sarong Bali Restaurant, Bali
A highly anticipated new addition to Bali's restaurant scene is the opulent Sarong bar and restaurant. The restaurant is the vision of chef Will Meyrick, who cut his teeth at the modern Thai kitchens of Jimmy Liks and Long Grain in Australia, and more recently helmed the successful Blossom restaurant at the Sentosa, Bali. Meyrick continues to be inspired by the street hawkers of his travels and cooks alongside his team of talented chefs from China, India and Indonesia. The setting however is far from humble: Danish designer Liv Clausen channels Indonesian traditions and colonial elegance with plush couches on which to sample signature dishes such as salmon tatare served on a betel leaf, grilled scallops with sweet crispy duck, and crispy pork hock with tamarind tamarillo.
Jalan Petitenget No. 19X
5. Bumbu Bali, Bali
For a long time, the irony of Bali - an island rich with culture and tradition - was the complete lack of authentic Balinese eateries. This changed in 1997, when chef Heinz von Holzen left the Grand Hyatt Bali to create his own restaurant serving true home-style Balinese cuisine. With Bumbu Bali, he painstakingly recreated a traditional Balinese open kitchen flanked by charming wantilan pavilions arranged about a courtyard filled with gamelan music and Balinese dance. Diners can indulge in a sampler of signature dishes or tuck into specialties including roast duck in banana leaf, roast suckling pig, satay, fresh salads and local desserts. Von Holzen also runs full day cooking workshops for those keen to learn about the art of Balinese cooking.
Tanjong Benoa, Nusa Dua
Editing by Miral Fahmy