Fresh of The Grill at Robert Marchetti The Plantation Grill
With its great location, authentic high quality Italian food, inspiring wine cellar and fantastic ambience, the impressive Seminyak Italian Food has quickly become one of the must-eat places in Bali. It’s one of my favorite hang-outs, so understandably I’m thrilled at the prospect of dining at Marchetti’s exciting New York-inspired seafood and meat grill.
The bistro concept restaurant can be found on the fourth floor of Double Six Luxury Hotel and however you enter, either after cocktails at Double Six Rooftop above, or below from the lobby, be prepared to be impressed not only by the grandeur and lavish design statements that Marchetti has brought together, but by the whole concept and its seamless delivery.
From the moment you first walk in you are whisked away from the contemporary luxury of Double Six and back in time. The Plantation Grill is not just a sumptuous leather, glass, marble and wood paneled bistro; it is, as Maître d’hôtel Craig Yallop wryly notes, “A playground for adults!”
With the waiters and bartenders in bow ties and spats, the concierge in black cocktail dresses and its menu of specialty dry-aged meats and seafood, clearly it’s not just Marchetti’s expansive design that’s heavily influenced by the opulence of the Gatsby-era New York bars. The attention to detail is fantastic, even down to the prohibition-style cocktail menu.
Towards the rear is the main bar area, known as the Billiard Room, offering a choice of relaxed seating centered on the long high table. Light and airy, it’s a wonderful place for pre-dinner cocktails or to dine from a bar menu that features delights such as steamed lobster roll, minute steak, hand-cut fries and wood grilled pasture-fed burgers.
There’s a Martini bar upstairs – the Sling Bar, serving a fantastic selection Martinis, dark spirits and Champagne. The bar also conceals a couple of comfortable themed private rooms, one open and one mischievously tucked away. With some wonderful stylized art, dark walls and lounge seating, they maintain the relaxed sumptuous New York theme. These spacious areas are ideal for after dinner drinks or to host a special event. The bar overlooks the vaulted double-height ceiling dining space, which, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, curved leather booths, marble tables, potted palms and subdued lighting looks impeccable.
The Plantation Grill is unashamedly ostentatious, it’s always party time at this lavish Double Six restaurant – and why not!
The background music too has an adult theme – before 9PM there’s continual classic rock – think Neil Diamond, Queen, Fleetwood Mac , but after 9PM the vibe changes with a stream of upbeat classic funk and soul. The Plantation Grill is unashamedly ostentatious, it’s always party time at this lavish Double Six restaurant – and why not!
But as blown away by the concept as I was, it is first and foremost a restaurant and I came here to eat. The menu is focused on wood grill and oven, with specialty dry-aged meats and line-caught seafood, however, there’s a range of other items, such as Ceviche Meets Tartare. Guided by the experienced hand of Maître d Craig Yallop, who has worked with Robert Marchetti for over a decade, this is where my culinary journey begins.
The ceviche proved to be a great opener. Not only was the blend of raw grouper, barramundi and salmon drenched in citrus juices and topped off with fennel and sterling caviar absolutely perfect, it was constructed with some show at the table by my ever-attentive waitress. So popular was this flamboyant display, I noted several others tables placed an order immediately afterwards – like me, they would have been suitably impressed.
Moving on to the hot starters, I dipped my fork into the pan-fried crab cakes and was rewarded with a delicious combination of sweet crab meat mixed into potato. Rolled in slightly salted crispy breadcrumbs and attractively served on a divine avocado cream and fresh avocado slice and washed down with a fabulously fruity Chardonnay from an impressive wine list, it was divine.
For many of the carnivores among us, it really is hard to beat a great steak. So knowing aged meats are a specialty, I opted for the tempting thick cut, pasture-fed Black Angus tenderloin and was rewarded with a chunk of succulent wood-grilled meat served on a basil salsa verde with a splash of balsamic that was fit for a king!
Tempted by a slightly more unusual dish, I also tried the whole spit-roasted quail, stuffed with smoked ham, sourdough, sage and parmesan with a quail foie gras sauce; a delicate yet hearty dish perfect for the ladies and those wanting to be sure they have room for dessert.
There is a range of desserts and cheeses, but if you want to finish dining in spectacular fashion, then order the Bombe Alaska. It’s a large desert and one truly made for sharing. An explosion of rich raspberry ice-cream alongside a lighter coconut ice-cream, the frozen centre is wrapped in a beautiful dense layer of soft meringue, presented in eye-catching style by pouring loads of Cointreau over it and setting it alight at your table. Be sure to blow out the flames before they singe the meringue, grab your spoons and dig in to this superbly indulgent treat.
Round off with coffee, port or cognac, or maybe head up to the Sling Bar and check out the impressive range of Martinis and dark spirits or why not pop open a bottle of Dom Perignon…. go on – indulge!
If great food, superb service and funky music, all brought together in an extravagant and adult-focused dining space are your thing, then this is certainly the place for you! And it is sure to be an experience you will probably want to repeat
time and time again.