Bali has become one of Asia’s most alluring dining destinations, with a vibrant selection of local “warung” — chic cafes and global cuisine. The latest culinary destination is on the Ayung River, following the launch of a farm-to-table French Bistro concept at the scenic Riverside Cafe, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan. The unique twist is the use of Balinese ingredients, many of which are hand-picked in the resort’s own garden within hours of being served.
Located on the banks of the Ayung River under the shade of palm and banyan trees, Riverside’s al fresco-style dining areas wrap around the river stones and tiered swimming pool. In this uniquely Balinese setting, Chef Jocelyn Argaud uses traditional French techniques with cast-iron pots and wood-fire ovens to present his favorite dishes passed down by his mother and grandmother.
“The launch of Riverside’s new dinner concept is the highlight of my career to-date as a chef,” says Chef Argaud who spent his childhood in Lyon, France, and has more recently served as chef at the Qatari Royal Palace. “My mother was the reason I was inspired to become a chef in the first place, and now I am sharing the love and passion for her food, with our guests. It is very close to my heart.”
Argaud honors the earthy flavors and tenderness of Maman Claudette’s home cooking with signature dishes like Chicken Basquaise baked in a cast-iron pot with bell peppers, quail eggs and smoked duck jus; wood-fired Tomato Tart “Maman Claudette’s” with Caciotta cheese, Dijon mustard, fresh oregano and arugula; and Mushroom Ravioli with goat’s cheese shavings and sauce “riche.”
“The new concept at Riverside is unique,” says Uday Rao, General Manager of Four Seasons Resorts Bali. “We wanted to do something completely different to what already existed in Bali, yet complementary to the earthy, river-front setting of the restaurant in the Ubud highlands.”
The Riverside Cafe dinner launch is the latest enhancement at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, whose 60 fully-renovated suites and villas are set in a lush valley between two rivers. It follows the recent launch of a newest wellbeing space, the Dharma Shanti Yoga Bale, built entirely of bamboo and offering a daily program of meditation, life talks and yoga – including Bali’s first introduction to AntiGravity Yoga. The property also has a new Resort Manager, Sean Mosher, who has joined the team from Four Seasons Resort Langkawi in Malaysia.