Whenever I’m lucky enough to get a few days break, Bali is a strong contender on the destination shortlist and sure enough every time I visit, there are changes aplenty with new restaurants, bars and hotels opening up all the time. Now, while some might argue that western commerce is making a mess of Indonesia, there are some standout businesses, putting the locals first, keeping things clean and eco-friendly, and ensuring the boxes of quality and variety are ticked first on their criteria checklist. Metis is one of these.
The 350-seat restaurant, bar and lounge offers an entirely sensory dining experience with its menu of French Mediterranean cuisine passionately compiled by chef Nicolas Tourneville who graduated from the renowned cooking school of the Paris Chamer of Commerce and boasts once having cooked for Queen Elizabeth II.
There are plenty of meat and vegetarian options on extensive menus, but Tourneville is most famous for his seafood, some of his signature dishes including a King Crab and Seaweed Ravioli with a White Truffle Sauce, Japanese Scallops with Gratined Sea Urchin, and Prawns Provencal with Asparagus and Shimeji Mushrooms (pictured above). Each dish as delicate and decadent as the next.
But for true decadence, customers often come to Metis to try one of their famous Foie Gras specialties. In fact the establishment has an entire menu dedicated to the rich French delicacy.
With a group of three friends, I sampled the legendary pan-seared Foie Gras Ravioli in a Black Truffle Sauce, Grilled Scallops pan-seared in Foie Gras and served with Puy Lentils and Shimeji in a Sherry Sauce (above), and even a Foie Gras Sushi Roll served with Mango, Roasted Hazelnut and Mustard Leaves.
The cost of a main here is very friendly considering the quality of the produce and context of the cooking, with a terrine tagged at 100,000 Rp (AUD$10), or a bass fillet at 185,000 Rp ($19) – just to give you an idea of the astonishing pricing. Indeed you can dine like a king at Metis, and the friendly waitstaff endeavour to treat you like one, quick with a nod of the head and directing you to your table, and never over-attentive throughout the meal.
As for the look and feel of the venue itself: the words spectacular and special spring to mind quickly. Metis is located in the midst of rice paddy fields, built in colonial French architectural style, but with touches of traditional Indonesian design here and there including superbly crafted tableware that reiterate the recurring nature-inspired vibe of the venue.
This is one place that ought to be on everyone’s To-Do list in Bali: a classic that is always keeping up with contemporary culinary innovations. I mean, a sushi foie gras? Now that is original. Antonino Tati
For more information or for reservations, visit www.metisbali.com.