I stumbled on this by Googling, a wee TripAdvisor scan etc. It looked rather special, and I loved the reviews, so this became my recommendation for my gang to lunch at this day. We were staying in a villa in the outer jungly bits of Ubud, so it was great to get back to civilisation, do a bit of people watching, shopping and then sit to eat a meal. And hope that the meal was good. My choice this day, of which I am so thankful to the foodie Gods, was Spice Restaurant, by Chris Salans. To summarise, it was so good we came back the 1 hour 30 minute round-trip drive for dinner the very next day.
Now to ‘apologise’, this is a long blog, but one that is deserved I feel as this is a restaurant review yes, but it is also an experience. Read on folks, this is gonna be good.
Spice Restaurant, by Chris Salans is OFF THE PLANET good. I bought Chef Salans’ cook book too – have a look, it’s called Mozaic. I love it and am already planning a Spice reunion dinner for the gang round my gaff in Singapore – coming to a blog near you soon!!! So this gentleman has lived in Indonesia for ages, has an Indonesian wife and kids, and a second restaurant called Mozaic.
A tad more ‘fine dining’ if the pictures are anything to go by, but still living to his mantra of ALL sourced locally, and a modern spin theme of Indonesian classics, and ingredients. I tell you some these ‘spins’ are seriously just the very best – I’ll come to the Beef Carpaccio later on – but suffice to say – HOLY CRAP IT IS SOOOOO GOOD!!!
Here is this rather unassuming gastro heaven – a bit blink and miss it to be honest. But the location is now engraved in Kennett memory banks for ever.
Please make sure you book. We didn’t and were lucky to squeeze 13 in on day on, and 7 on day two. The staff were legendary for us. Hey Chef Salans, just on that, we ate on 31st December and 1st January, your staff on those days were incredible. ALL of them. We got guidance, advice and insight from clearly ‘proud to work for the place’ staff. Just a brilliant atmosphere. My friends and family were all a quiver and raved about it. Those that did not attend were pinging WhatsApps asking for takeaways as we all shared snaps of what we were eating – foodie jealousy is a BIG thing. So yes folks BOOK, and do direct – don’t trusty Chope, it was wrong twice for us;
Spice Restaurant, by Chris Salans
+62 361 4792 420 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org
or go on and risk a walk-in @ Jl. Raya Ubud, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571.
Let me just give a little background to this guy who is half French and American, moved to Europe when 2 years old, who has worked at French Laundry, and ends up in a modern twist local Indonesian restaurant for the past 20 years. He now has the two restaurants, a lounge bar, cooking school, corporate thang too. Yep it is an epic story. I am going to plagiarise a bit now from the web site/book – but if you are a foodie like me and my gang, you will love this content.
Spice Restaurant, by Chris Salans is amazing value in the $$-$$$ bracket which is nothing for the quality of what you will consume when you eat here, believe me. They apply Western cooking techniques to Indonesian ingredients – ALL sourced locally – creating the Chef as somewhat of a local food Ambassador and hero, promoting local local. They push for surprising flavours and healing properties of Indonesia’s aromatic roots, herbs, and spices – this goes for the food and the signature cocktails. Shit, just dribbled all down my shorts – missing Bali right now!!! Damn!!!
For the blog I am going to glue the two ‘seatings’ together. We all did repeats of the must have’s before we leave, and had a few new ones thrown in – so easiest to combine, what is a long-list of ‘Death-Row’ meals. Here we go;
I just realised going through the receipt that we got charged for 2x Braised Lamb Shoulders, but they were taken off the menu by the staff as they were unhappy with the produce. Class it as a tip for the guys Chef Salans, it should go to the staff. It was funny as my Mary and I were saying it was disappointing not to have, but delightful in that the staff would refuse to serve bad food.
I completely messed up with one dish as I did not take a picture. But it must be mentioned in the blog. Flash had this day #1, I had one bite and it became my must have choice for day #2. This is seriously up there with the best ever pork ribs, if not THE best. We went to Naughty Nuri’s earlier, which are supposedly the best ribs in Indonesia. Sorry you ain’t naughty enough to compete with these. This is Death Row Cuisine on a case of steroids. On the menu, Sticky Pork Ribs. This has a Cassia Bark and Ginger glaze. The meat falls off the bones with the lightest touch, it is so so tender.
I have used unctuous a fair bit in the blog, but what other word to use for the glaze. This dish is really a Die Die Must Try. Someone in your party must have this when you dine here, just so you can get one taster and then get hooked, as I did. OMG.
So there you have it folks, Spice Restaurant, by Chris Salans. It is an absolute MUST attend restaurant if you are in Bali. You must make a trip to Ubud if not staying there. The food is just exceptional. The staff are wonderful. And it is so so reasonable on the $$$. But again back to the food. You get Indonesian classics with a modern/fusion twist. In some instances it is painstaking prep, as in the good old Kluwek nut, remember the burying for 40 days. Chef Salans, my friend you have a winner here mate. It was just brilliant, we ALL loved it from 5-50 years old, from English to Texan to Filipino. Your style is wonderful and your staff are clearly proud to be living that with you. Thank you. Folks – just get your bum and taste buds here, it’s wonderful – ENJOY!!!