A Steak House with a Difference

A Steak House with a Difference

Steak and whole lobster at Dava Bar & Grill

Strategically situated upon a verdant knoll amidst 90 hectares of tropically landscaped resort grounds, AYANA’s new Dava Bar & Grill Restaurant takes Bali’s seafood grill and steak house experience to a whole new level.

By Louise Newsham

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Set within one of Bali’s largest and most extravagant resorts, Dava Bar & Grill Restaurant is the latest gourmet steak house and grill to open on the island, just minutes from the beachfront at AYANA Resort & Spa. Unlike most steak houses however, Dava comes equipped with not only world-class steaks and fresh seafood caught from mere kilometres away, but also a glamorous casual fine-dining atmosphere, a heart-warmingly friendly team of seasoned professionals and even its own dedicated Martini Bar. 

The Martini Bar is the first stop and the perfect place to kick off an evening of utmost indulgence at Dava. Vibrantly lit and lined with countless bottles of premium spirits, the bar gorgeously overlooks AYANA’s elegant River Pool, with Dava’s elevated positioning taking full advantage of the resort’s renowned sunset and ocean views.

Each of the cocktails at the Martini Bar is inspired by gastronomic creations, including a Grilled Chicken Colada that uses chicken stock in the mix of pineapple juice, coconut, vanilla and pineapple-infused rum, and the Lemon Tart Mary that’s loaded with Dava’s signature lemon tart ganache.

After enjoying a top shelf martini or two, we head in to the lavish, red velvet-laden dining room to kick-start the evening’s culinary festivities. The dining room is undeniably chic, complete with stunning wood-carved murals on the towering ceilings and glimmering polished marble flooring, yet the atmosphere is pleasantly relaxed, without any stuffy white table cloths or too-delicate-to-touch glassware.

Instead, a still-steaming basket of freshly baked bread is presented on the table, paired with homemade butters infused with black olives and miso. As we nibble on the most authentic Parisian loaves we’ve found in Bali, Dava’s assistant food & beverage manager, Ramon, expertly guides us through the menu and suggests a fabulous Pouilly-Fuisse Chardonnay to pair with our choice of starters: warm and crumbly crab cakes, a yellow fin tuna tartare freshly caught from the neighbouring Jimbaran Bay, and grilled white asparagus that comes wrapped in sumptuous strips of prosciutto and topped with a coddled egg and black truffle vinaigrette.

With our appetites well and truly whet, it’s time to try the meaty signatures and grilled seafood that the restaurant has already become famous for. Striving to offer a fresh, gourmet approach to the typical steak house dining experience, a beef sommelier tends to the dining room each evening, moving from table-to-table to assist diners with customised beef selections and preparations. The beef is cooked as naturally as possible to celebrate the high quality cuts, so there’s even a salt sommelier who also visits each table with a selection of house-infused salts for self-seasoning.

The star of the show is the kiwami Wagyu rib eye with a 9+ marbling, closely followed by the caveman-like cut of grain-fed T-bone and the mammoth hunk of Silver Label tenderloin. As for the seafood, the grilled scallops, sourced from the US, cut like butter and melt beautifully in the mouth, gorgeously matched with a side of truffled mashed potato. Finish with Dava’s signature chocolate soufflé, complete with not one, not two, but three different types of chocolate variations, and you’ll struggle not to order seconds.

With our palates positively satisfied, we poke our heads into Dava’s walk-in wine cellar just before leaving, where an intriguing selection of New World wines await to be tasted by the glass, thanks to an Enomatic wine dispenser. Conveniently so, there’s even an adjoining VIP wine lounge, air-conditioned so as to fully enhance the grapes, or better yet, to be enjoyed alongside seconds of the signature soufflé.