Bridges Bali

Fine Dining, Wine and Arts in Ubud

Bridges Bali overlooks the Campuhan River in Ubud, and is one of the most noteworthy restaurants in the area, with multiple levels featuring valley views, a dedicated wine bar, and interiors that double as an art gallery featuring regular painting, sculpture and artistic photography exhibits. Located on the western side of the gorge, a five-minute drive from the main Ubud hub and royal palace, Bridges Bali serves casual lunches and romantic candlelit dinners with Asian and Western delicacies.

Getting to Bridges is easy; it is at the end of the namesake Campuhan River Bridge that comes to life with subtle lighting by night. It is also right before the ascending road leading to the Blanco Renaissance Museum. Murni’s, another legendary Ubud institution, is at the other end of the bridge. Flowering creepers have grown around one of the bridge’s supporting cables that spread across the restaurant’s lobby, forming a unique leafy cover.

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The restaurant is in traditional Balinese style, with intricately carved wooden doors and sandstone wall borders. European touches are apparent in the large standing lampposts placed at various points throughout its dining spaces. The surrounding walls are lined with artwork from current exhibitions, such as photography depicting traditional Balinese life and costumed dancers by Ubud resident photographer Jayesh Madhoo, together with traditional wooden masks by Balinese craftsman, I Wayan Muka.

There are two ways in. First is the main entrance that leads you straight towards the casual dining room, where a central spiralling stairway takes you to the upper fine dining level with higher valley views. The second takes you into the Divine Wine Bar and Shop. Divine is either where you start or end your culinary journey, and where wine connoisseurs can enjoy a vast collection of fine French and New World wines every evening, especially during their wine tasting and canapé ‘divine hour’ from 16:00 to 19:00.

Bridges has many seating options, and although romantic settings are found throughout the restaurant, most lovebirds will fall for the few smaller nooks at the corners of the upper dining hall, which offer their own viewpoint over Campuhan. It has a round dining table for two and a smaller table with cosy cushioned seats. These special tables provide a mezzanine-like experience, as you also get a view that comprises most of the terrace with the other open candlelit tables.

Browsing through the hall, we noticed most of them were clearly ‘reserved’. It’s a good thing we secured one of these cosy corners. Our dinner started with refreshing small Bintangs, poured into glasses. The semi-traditional attired waiting staff members were courteous and clearly well-trained, articulately explaining the Eastern and Western menu selections. We loved the surprise that came before our pan-fried barramundi – a small amuse bouche topped with pungent blue cheese mousse and a tiny slice of prosciutto. The breads were also gorgeous little extras that came as a serving of crunchy bread stick, freshly baked cassava bread and a slice of crusty French bagette.

Our barramundi rested on roasted red capsicum filled with stir-fried mixed vegetables. Soaked in a typically Balinese light coconut sauce, the top was a crunchy and contrastingly sweet-sour tamarind-dressed green mango salad. Pairing recommendations included a Riesling sauvignon blanc. Bridges' other signature dishes include a twice-cooked duck breast lightly dressed with five-spiced soy sauce and served with seared bean sprout dumplings. For a bit of Asian twist, there’s the Thai-spiced chicken ballantine with light lemongrass crust filled with Thai-spiced ground chicken and served with cardamom-infused coconut rice and fresh herbs.

Recommended desserts include the chocolate mousse trio comprising three different flavours: mint, orange and espresso, served with pistachio-praline ice cream. Another winner is Bridges’ cinnamon crème brûlée, served with soft, lime-butter stewed apples and finished with crisp vanilla tuiles.

Bridges Bali

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