The Sayan House in Ubud

Contemporary Asian Fusion Dining in Ubud

The Sayan House is fast becoming one of the must-dos in Ubud, adding to the collection of panoramic restaurants that make up the dining scene of central Bali’s popular highland town. The restaurant has a superb location overlooking the lush green Ayung River valley on the namesake Sayan ridge, and takes you on a journey of contemporary Asian fusion cuisine through set-course and a la carte options, crafted by Japanese Executive Chef Yuki Tagami.

The overall ambiance of The Sayan House is cosy and casual, yet its design, layout and attention to detail give it a sophisticated feel. Upon arrival, restaurant manager Thomas readily welcomes us, ushering us through narrow corridors, past the open kitchen where kitchen staff also greet us as we catch a glimpse of the action inside, then down to our spot on the main dining pavilion bordered by a fine green lawn.

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Cocktails to cool down include a signature Sayan’s Squash, of coriander, cucumber, gin, fresh lime, lemongrass syrup and topped up with homemade ginger ale (IDR 115,000). A small wooden tray of tasty seaweed crackers and guacamole comforts us before our fresh salmon carpaccio (IDR 125,000), one of the chef’s recommendations for starters. Colourfully topped with fresh veggies, herbs and edible flowers, it is a generous serving doused in piquant ginger-flavoured soy sauce vinaigrette that pleasantly lingers in the palate for a while.

Up next, the presentation of Chef Yuki’s porcini royale soup consommé (IDR 125,000) is totally unexpected. Thomas brings a clear bowl of readily prepared chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard dish) together with a coffee brewer’s syphon to the table. He sets the Bunsen burner alight under the bulb containing water, bringing it to a boil and eventually up through the siphon to blend with the ingredients. The resulting golden consommé is then poured onto the chawanmushi, as a sweet and fragrant treat.

Sautéed foie gras presented nigiri sushi-style (IDR 155,000) comes as two generous portions, topped with shredded nori and dashes of savoury soy sauce with pickled ginger on the side. Then onto the mains, first is a special salmon steak (IDR 200,000), marinated overnight in sweet Kyoto-style Saikyo miso soup, grilled to perfection with a crisp outer layer while remaining tender inside. Served with a Thai green papaya salad and a dab of homemade infused potato mash, it is a pleasant mix of light flavours. New Zealand lamb cutlets seasoned in locally-inspired ‘bumbu Bali’ and Caribbean seasonings is a heavier selection (IDR 220,000).

Desserts are heavenly at IDR 65,000 each. Try Oma’s Apple Pie, which is Thomas’ Dutch grandmother’s own home recipe, served with homemade gelato and cinnamon sprinkles. Or, for a truly sinful closure to your meal, there’s the chocolate Toraja coffee cake with homemade coconut gelato, doused in palm sugar sauce (IDR 65,000).

By day, you can take in wonderful views with chats over meals, while evenings take on a more romantic vibe with subtly lit spaces. Guests are welcome to freely explore the premises of the ‘house’, which boasts a design inspired by the late influential Asian architect Geoffrey Bawa. From the edge, you can see rafting action along the Ayung, as well as the impressive hanging lotus pond of the Four Seasons in the distance. Their Sunday Brunch programme with a prix fixe menu is ideal for family outings, with one of its makeshift gardens transformed into a playground for the little ones.

The Sayan House

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