“The fish is so tender and is amazingly delicious”
Bali’s socialites Jais Darga and Pascale Doumeng are drawn in by the culinary allure of Alila Villas Uluwatu’s signature fine-dining restaurant, Cire. Tyara P. Hansel reports
ire [pronounced: seer] refers to waxing and polishing, a process used by Balinese artisans to produce Balinese batik stamps, which fashion pretty much all of the restaurant’s setting. Known for its contemporary western cuisine, especially French fare, Cire captures the talent of Executive Chef Stefan Zjita from the Netherlands.
Chef Zjita is a naturally born believer in regional and local produce in that he always tries to be innovative and creative to create spectacular dishes that speak of his well-honed classical techniques. With immense knowledge, chef Zjita serves a great variety of dishes at Cire, and some of his must-try creations include Bali Ocean Crab with Dried Tomatoes, and also Foie Gras Terrine with Rendang. Bali-based socialites Jais Darga and Pascale Doumeng joined Indonesia Tatler for a lunch on a Thursday in February to savour the five-course menu that chef Zjita had prepared. First came Foie Gras Terrine, a mouth-watering appetiser dish comprising pear compote, balsamic gel, sour dough crumble, and a fig bao, followed by Poultry Consommé, which is smoked duck bacon served with spring onion and curry gratin. The next dish that came to the table was Butter Poached Crayfish with pumpkin, ginger purée, carrot, pickled ginger, and candied orange as a side dish. “The fish is so tender and is amazingly delicious,” Jais says.
Setting the Bar
Indeed, everything served up to this point was magnificent, and the next menu, Crispy Pork Belly (glazed with honey and mustard, served with caramelised apple, browned butter vinaigrette and steamed banana fritter) upped the ante even further. Topping it all off, chef Zjita treated the ladies to more contemporary takes on the best part of a meal: desserts, the decadent Coconut Tapioca Pearls and Mango, and Thai Tea Sorbet, which definitely made our guests’ taste buds dance. Besides these dishes, Cire also features endless seafood options, as well as exquisite Meze-style tasters, such as carpaccio, smoked salmon, and calamari. They also have a signature five-course tasting menu comprising chilled crabmeat, mahi mahi, succulent chicken breast, crispy pork belly, and pineapple dumplings. Not only were Jais and Pascale impressed by the exquisitely presented meals, but they were also pleased with Cire’s chic atmosphere—thanks to décor elements, such as a myriad of artworks and screens, placed at the private dining area where the two ladies enjoyed savouring their food. Jais, a celebrated art dealer and collector, has been involved in the art industry since the 1980s, when she made headlines as one of the few Indonesians who succeeded in bringing in western artworks to Indonesia, and managed to sell some to Indonesian collectors. Jais opened an art gallery in Sanur in 1997 and has showcased many comparative exhibitions by European and Indonesian modernist painters. Together with a French partner, Jais also owns a gallery in Paris. Meanwhile, Pascale is a painter who has built a portfolio around non-conformist concepts,
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which she believes confines most of today’s artists. Pascale has an international career and is specialised in Mediterranean-style paintings, as well as in playing with natural pigments, waxes, powder, and pastes, all of which give the glazes she produces a specific depth. Both ladies agree that art should be interactive and should stimulate all the senses, especially taste, just like food. Cire Restaurant at Alila Villas Uluwatu Jl. Belimbing Sari, Banjar Tambiyak Desa Pecatu, Bali, Indonesia Tel: +62 361 848 2166 Email: email@example.com Website: www.alilahotels.com
five-course wonder clockwise from top
Foie Gras Terrine; Coconut Tapioca Pearls and Mango and Thai Tea Sorbet on the side; Cire’s signature Pork Belly