Quarter Century Feats & The Best Meal I’ve Ever Had

The whole purpose of my trip to Indonesia was to celebrate my turning a quarter century old. On the night of my birthday, I treated myself to an 8 course tasting menu at a brand new gourmet restaurant in Bali. After a 30 min drive, I arrived at a beautiful hotel settled at the edge of a rice paddy with a heli pad on the premises.

This restaurant is the genius idea of two chefs (former NY chefs). They designed every aspect of the actual building and menu and curated the exact experience they had in mind.

First I was ushered to the bar where I got to choose a complimentary cocktail. I decided on a Balinese gin and tonic, made with a lemongrass syrup. The bar was 1920s themed, so the bartenders all had suspenders and bow ties and the old wood walls were lined with cigar humidors. I was given several amuse-bouches with my cocktail before my designated waiter came over with the menu.

Every course of the meal was perfectly planned according to my eating pace and palette. I even got to meet the head chefs as soon as I was led into the dining room to taste a salmon cream charcoal puff. The chefs ended up coming to my table to chat several times throughout the meal.

I cannot believe that I had the chance to try the incredible meal on my birthday. I ended up having more than 8 courses because there were little surprise morsels along the way. I was even given a little brown bag with a gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwich to take home with me. What was even more special is that they gave me a chocolate shaped like a cacao seed but with a candle, and everyone came out to sing me Happy Birthday. Although it was hard at first to recognize that this was one of the first birthdays I wasn’t spending with my family, I definitely had quite a new and wonderful birthday experience in Bali.

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