Romantic Dinner @ CasCades Restaurant, Viceroy Bali
Words by Kirsten Durward
Photos by The Yum List
The low golden light gives the riverside bar a gentle ambience, happily enhanced by soft acoustic guitar music. Happy couples relax to the sensual sound of water in the background, only occasionally broken by the gentle croaking of crickets. In daylight CasCades has one of the best views in Ubud. By night it glows charmingly in the warm tropical air.
Cocktails are served by the pool bar in tall elegant glasses with lily shaped flutes. Classic Margarita appears in a beautifully salt encrusted glass, perfectly limey and smooth. It’s a clean clear and balanced drink. We sip it gratefully. Lychee martini sweeter but also a clear smooth drink with fresh lychee contained. It rounds nicely on the palate.
Lemon drop martini looks impressive with dual coloured sugar around the glass edge. A sour note is obvious in the taste. We are told it is best with fresh lemons.
The cocktail snack on this occasion is a tiny sliver of perfect French quiche crumbly pastry salty bacon and smooth egg nicely browned. We also try the selection of interesting breadsticks, twisted and flat, black and white sesame, all crisp and delicious.
Monica’s original plan was for a romantic couple dinner but as a late minute replacement for hubby, I’m still enchanted by the heart shaped flower design that surrounds our table. Delightful waiter Agung explains that when possible romantic dinners are served in the garden by the pool but fear of rain has driven us under cover. It is still a delightful and secluded setting on the terrace overlooking the river and natural spa. Romantic dinner menu is five courses with a choice of main and dessert. Restaurant manager Stephane recommends some replacement dishes from his personal favourites, and our personalized menus are whisked away and reappear minutes later. Incredible.
A morsel of ‘amuse bouche’ arrives in the form of a delicate light pasta encasing a herbed fish with artichoke. The simple elegance of the presentation and the beautiful balance of flavours in the mouthfuls heralds good things for what is to come. Our taste buds are eagerly waking up.
A vibrant rosette of wagyu beef Carpaccio astounds with its extreme thinness of texture. A scattering of sesame emboldens a vicarious hint of distinctive teriyaki flavour that is brushed over the beef. It’s an easy slip over the tongue. Unusually, we start the meal with red wine, tasting a 2009 Stone Cellars Merlot with the wagyu. The Californian Merlot is a medium bodied red with a hint of fruity sweetness in the centre.
|Stone Cellar Merlot|
Another Japanese inspired dish is a trio of baby Sumatran scallops in their pretty fan shaped shells. The miso broth is once again delicately flavoured, with the lightest floating circles of tofu and the finest slivers of scallion.
The next example of chef's simple and elegant preparation is an exotic zucchini flower in light tempura batter resting on a red pepper reduction. Biting into the delicate flower reveals a crisp and crunchy tempura and a finely flavoured ratatouille. It is a light yet satisfying dish which we pair with a Petit 2010 South African Chenin Blanc. A youthful, fresh and fruity wine, with green apple and grapefruit flavours predominating on the palate
|Petit Chenin Blanc 2012|
|Lime Sorbet Palate Cleanser|
Chicken Cipolette proves to be a type of chicken roulade, with dark thigh meat encasing darker giblets, which ensures a moist texture as well as robust flavour. This dish is more typical French ‘campagne’ style cooking than the rest of the menu. As a replacement dish we understand that it does not sit exactly with the delicacy of the rest of the menu. Complemented by a superbly fine, creamy and peppery dauphinoise, and a selection of fresh vegetables, we are happy to taste this with a Terrazas Argentinian Chardonnay 2007. The wine is slightly dryer than usual for a chardonnay with a refreshing acidity that balances its fruit and vanilla notes.
Another romantically entitled dish is Saint Pierre Gourmand. A return to the delicacy of earlier dishes, we enjoy the buttery saltiness of the beautifully cooked John Dory. Light flakes of fish fall off perfectly at the touch of the fork, and the flavour is complemented by fresh tomato and avocado salsa. To fill the belly a little more, a light and fluffy mash supports the meal. It’s a hit for both of us. Fresh fish is the best.
We sip on a 2008 Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisse. Mineral notes to the front, the wine blossoms in the mouth, with bright floral and vanilla tones, leaving a long lasting pleasant taste on the centre of the tongue.
|Pouilly Fuisse Louis Latour|
Readers will know that Monica and I are not shy of desserts and we are happy to see two favourites served up. I start with Crème Brulee. I lift up the incredibly delicate sugar topping and in the light it glints like an intricate gold filigree to find a silky smooth brulee infused with lemongrass, that slips down a treat.
Carefully measuring half, I trade Monica for the Chocolate Parfait that she has been oohing over. Chocolate parfait, dense chocolate cream light mousse encase soft sponge but the accompaniments make it, the delicate strands of citrus, the ice-cream and nuts dark chocolate panache with a berry compote for contrast. Two yums for dessert in a perfect temperature, lovely easy listening music.
I cannot finish without mentioning our delightfully humourous server Agung, who reminds us how necessary it is to fill the stomach, but also recommends us to walk before breakfast and enjoy the fresh air on the river.
Reason to visit: Sunset drinks by the river, intriguing beautifully cooked and presented food
Jln. Lanyahan, Br Nagi,
+62 361 971 777
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