LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
Translating to ‘Holy Water’ in the Balinese language, Tirtha is a particularly fitting name for the celestial experience at Tirtha Dining. Not only is the venue dramatically perched at the top of Uluwatu’s rugged cliffs, close to the sacred Uluwatu Temple, Tirtha Dining is also themed around water and captures an infinite view of the shimmering Indian Ocean below.
The ultra-romantic Tirtha brand has long been known for its extravagant wedding services and bridal parties thanks to its fairytale setting, but you don’t have to get hitched in order to enjoy this stunning cliff-top wonderland. The most relaxed dining option at Tirtha Dining is a seat in the intimate, Japanese-style restaurant that is lavished with floor-to-ceiling windows and adorned with silk fabrics. Or for an extra special occasion, couples can opt for the private Romantic Dinner under the one-of-its-kind pavilion that appears to float above the cliffs edge. It is quite possibly the most beautiful dining location I have ever laid my eyes upon, surrounded by pond-like infinity pools and enchanting burning urns. So without further adieu, we prepare for an evening of the finest dining at this exclusive two-seat table.
Just the Two of Us
We are welcomed into the heavenly surroundings by French Food and Beverage Director Benramdane Karim, who promptly serves us a spectacular Kir Petillant cocktail from the Japanese-influenced floating bar. As a twist on the classic Kir, sparkling white wine is infused with floral aromatics such as lavender and rose. The latter was absolutely divine and topped with the most beautifully fragranced pink rose petals that daintily float atop the rose-infused fizz. We sip on the precious bubbles beside Tirtha’s expansive gardens and infinity-edged plunge pool. It is the ultimate spot to watch the melting sunset as it ignites a passionate glow behind the elegantly dressed pavilion where our unique table awaits, scattered with romantic red roses.
The Romantic Dinner offers three different degustation menus allowing you to choose five, six or seven courses. We opt for the five course “Saveure” menu, tempted by the array of fresh seafood, a meaty main and a naughty chocolatey dessert. The menus are curated and cooked up by Japanese national Executive Chef Hiroyuki Meno, showcasing avant-garde creations of cutting edge French cuisine and fresh seasonal ingredients.
The dinner kicks off with the “King Prawn” plate where a delicately poached shrimp is sheltered beneath a bundle of perfectly juxtaposed flavours. The fruitiness of a mango brochette dances with the fragrant sweetness of a vanilla dressing, with a celeriac purée adding a slight earthiness to the exciting flavours. An edible flower completes the presentation, topped off with a sparkling NV Cava Noche Pink Label Rose to toast to the gourmet indulgence ahead.
The two succeeding courses also present innovative treats from the sea, starting with a superbly pan-seared cut of tuna cheek gently resting atop a sweetcorn purée and topped with a minced vegetable matignon. The tuna is tender and almost velvety in its texture, which is a great contrast to the flakiness of the succulent Red Snapper in the following course. The pan-seared fish is paired with a tarragon infused white wine sauce and sits upon a neat bundle of tomatoey fusilli pasta. An asparagus and zucchini flower tempura offers a pleasant crunch and a hint of Chef Meno’s undeniable Japanese touch.
A selection of wines are impeccably paired with each course by Benramdane, but we are truly blown away by his choice of grapes for the main event of roasted duck breast robed in a black pepper, honey and orange bitter sauce. We are presented with a glass of Château de La Tuilerie Syrah and are immediately overwhelmed by a beautiful bouquet of spiciness. The combination of this full-bodied vino with the unique sauce creates a bloom of warm and explosive tastes and complimenting flavours. The four intricately cut slices of duck pay homage to the precision of Chef Meno’s Japanese culinary flair, while the zesty orange sauce captures a taste of traditional French cuisine.
The fifth and final treat is the “Chocolate Pastilla”; a dessert as intricate and indulgent as the evening itself and served with melted Guanaja chocolate, vanilla ice cream and cacao nibs tuile. It concludes the meal on a very high note, thanks to Chef Meno’s professional flair, the teams’ world-class hospitality and the unrivalled fairytale setting of Tirtha. It was a truly magical evening; one that I thought I could only ever dream of.