Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Height Of Fine Dining In South Bali

Perched high on Bali’s 70-meter southernmost cliff, Banyan Tree Ungasan resort’s signature restaurant Ju-Ma-Na is one of the latest fine-dining additions on the island. With dramatic views of the Indian Ocean, the stylish restaurant, which serves delectable fresh seafood with a contemporary Asian twist, presented the perfect destination for my food-tasting mission.

After a 20-minute drive from my hotel in Nusa Dua, passing green and serene Ungasan village, I arrived at the resort, famous among honeymooners around the globe for its remoteness and serenity.

Ju-Ma-Na, which means silver pearl in Arabic, opened its doors at the beginning of the year. As its name suggests, the exterior and interior are dominated by pearly hues.

One of my favorite features of the restaurant is the wooden rack that holds a broad selection of fine wine, such as 1995 Chateau Petrus and 1998 Chateau D’Yquem. The bottle tops poking out of the rack add an artistic touch, lending that corner of the restaurant a chic and elegant atmosphere.

The restaurant’s alluring terrace faces the ocean and the comfy rattan chairs present the perfect location for pre- or post-dinner drinks.

Ju-Ma-Na offers an la carte menu as well as a tasting menu; both options feature seafood.

“Seafood restaurants are everywhere in Bali, but if you’re looking for an alternative in preparation and taste, then come to Ju-Ma-Na,” head chef Mandif Membramo said.

With the simplicity of Japanese cuisine, Ju-Ma-Na’s seafood is so beautifully arranged that I found it hard to bring myself to “destroy” these mini-pieces of art.

Banyan Tree Ungasan
Jl. Melasti, Banjar Kelod, Ungasan, Bali
Tel. 0361 300700
banyantree.com

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