Yes, yes the beach is calling. I’m in Bali after all. But at Double Six Luxury Hotel, Seminyak, I’m finding myself more drawn to the house-cured prosciutto than the pool. Aiming to set a new, sophisticated standard in resort dining in bustling Seminyak, Double Six features a number of cleverly designed fine eateries – with not a single buffet in sight!
Heading the culinary team is renowned Australian restaurateur Robert Marchetti – in the past responsible for the creative direction and operations of well-known Sydney restaurants Icebergs Dining Room and North Bondi Italian, as well as the creative food direction at QT Sydney and QT Canberra.
Seminyak Italian Food, which overhangs the pool area, is a little slice of Italy overlooking the beach. It’s here I head for breakfast daily, and as I became aware of the extensive menu, I can’t wait to rise each day in my luxury suite. There’s no shuffling awkwardly at buffet counters – I sit straight down at a wide timber table with the sultry sound of Frank Sinatra in the background. All meals are made fresh to order – tropical fruit juice with shaved coconut; honey pineapple with vanilla syrup on crushed ice; and black truffle scrambled eggs with grilled asparagus sets me up for the day. By afternoon, I can hear other guests at Seminyak Italian Food settling in for aperitivo hour – the Campari bottles lined up in perfect precision like little red soldiers – perhaps it’s Negroni time?
Over dinner that night, the restaurant comes alive with the theatre of dining. Behind one counter, cooks hang fresh, handmade ribbons of cognac tagliatelle, which will be served with hand-picked crab meat and organic eggs; at another, the woman who took my charcuterie order is now in the temperature-controlled room shaving meats for my salumi plate (mortadella, salami, prosciutto and beef bresaola); while at the bar, wines from the Italian list are poured.
Charcuterie Sliced Fresh
The next evening, for a very different experience, I head to The Plantation Grill. I feel as though I’ve stepped back in time to a 1920s New York speakeasy, but no, I’m now on the hotel’s fourth floor – and still in Bali. I’m greeted by smiling, white-jacketed, debonair staff and sip on champagne sitting in a studded-leather tub chair. The Billiard Room is a visual feast – with its marble accents, generous glass windows, low-hung pendant lamps, curved leather dining banquettes and large mirrored columns.
The curious can wander past the open kitchen to watch the chef prepare the restaurant’s specialties – dry-aged and imported meats from Australia and sustainable line-caught seafood, cooked over custom-made coal and wood grills and ovens.
Up the spiral staircase is an intimate martini/whisky/champagne bar. The staff seem hopeful I’ll order one of their special martinis. It would be rude not to and so The Plantation Cocktail (pandan leaf-infused plantation original dark rum, sour sop sorbet and fresh lemon juice in a palm sugar rimmed martini glass) finds it way to my table.
My last stop – before retiring to a Hermès bubble-bath in my room – is the powder room. It’s styled like a 1920s boudoir with a twinkling light bulb-framed mirror dressing table and stool, perfumes and powders to use – a real Greta Garbo moment.