Four Seasons Jimbaran Bali – Sundara Restaurant Review

My one month in Bali has been one great culinary experience. I tried all sorts of food mainly Indonesian and other Asian cuisines, from street market stalls to upmarket restaurants in 5 star hotels. My last day in Bali brought me to the Four Seasons Sundara restaurant at Jimbaran.

Sundara Beachfront Restaurant

At Sundara, the spectacular new beachfront restaurant is named after the Sanskrit word for “beautiful” and pays tribute to the glowing sun that warms this Indian Ocean hotspot. Sundara offers the perfect mix of five-star flair and relaxed beach-club vibe. The expansive indoor-outdoor design combines a restaurant, air-conditioned bar, open-air terrace and beach-front daybeds for lounging by the 57-meter Infinity Edge Pool. Your eyeline is always on views of the beach and the wide curve of Jimbaran Bay.

For a casual lunch, choose from Sundara’s beach-club style menu, ideal for soaking up the salt-air and panoramic views. The Express Lunch menu offers unbeatable value with generous portions, 11 USD for two courses or 14 USD for three courses. For dinner, Sundara transforms into one of Bali’s most sophisticated dining experiences, with a Modern Asian-inspired menu that can be served as individual portions or in tapas style servings for sharing with a companion or group. This way you can taste more different dishes from the expansive menu. After dark, the beachside mood becomes candlelit and sexy with a variety of cocktail and wine selections.

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Enjoying a cocktail whilst watching the sun go down.

The Chef – Pasquo King

I’m new to writing food reviews but one thing is important to me, I want talk to the brains behind the food. You learn so much more and it gives you an appreciation of the technique and skills these master chefs have. We arrived late in the afternoon and it was a perfect time to catch up with one of the chefs and listen to what he had to say.

The chefs employed at the Sundara have a wealth of Asian experience. As the head chef Liam Nealon was not around I had the pleasure of being hosted by Pasquo King originally from Australia. He had over 17 years experience in kitchens on 5 continents and worked with 5 star establishments. After hearing his resume I was keen to tuck in. Pasquo gave me an insight into the philosophy of the food cooked at Sundara, which was taking the different Asian cuisines together and present them in a good fresh not too complicated way. This concept works well with the clientele whom are mainly from the Asian region. He told me what I was about to experience was like a box of chocolates, you’re not sure what you’re going to get next.

We let Pasquo decide which food we would eat as cold and warm tapas, we decided on a total of 10 dishes. For Pasquo the customer in the restaurant is the reward for a chef, their reactions and smiles is why he continues to explore and push the boundaries of food. His personal favourite dish is mussels tucked down with a glass of Riesling.

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Meeting Pasquo King – One of the chefs at Sundara

What The Men Are Wearing

After my meeting with the chef, I took some time exploring what the men are wearing. In true MenStyleFashion philosophy, I want to see men dress well. Now in tropical environments that can be a bit difficult, linen is key here as it keeps you cool, and so is cotton. I liked how the guys chose to wear their own take of fun in the sun. The Sundara staff were wearing blue which is a nice soothing colour to look at all day long.

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Staff uniform

Cocktails

Whilst the chef was in control of the food, it was time to sort out the drinks, as we were at a beach club, it had to be a cocktails. Sundara’s cocktail program was created by Barcelona cocktail master Javier de las Muelas, known for his avant-garde cocktails combining intricate preparations, unique textures and complex flavors. To start with I choose the Balinese Beach Bum after that I let the staff select my next cocktails to drink.

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Balinese Beach Bum – Rum, Tonika Bean Droplet, Creme de Cacao

Cold Tapas Style Dishes

The following tapas style selections were amazing. The variety of different flavours put my taste buds in overdrive. Talking to the chefs they love to mix different cooking cultures within the menu. This is important because they understand they need to cater for different guests. Some of us are adventurous and some of us like to stay within our comfort zones.

Lombok Oyster

Let the oysters do the talking as the watermelon and Pinot Noir granite are very subtle in flavour.

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Cold Noodle Soup

Head chef Liam Nealon had this dish at his wedding to his Korean wife and brought it to the Sundara with his own personal touches. This soup has ice in it and tasted very different, the mustard gives the soup a complete different taste again.

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Cold noodle soup

Snapper Wing Salad

I have never eaten the wings of a fish, this part of the fish and the cheeks are the sweetest you can have.

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Snapper Wing Salad roasted coconut, green mango, sweet and sour dressing

Betal Leaves

Use the leaves as a wrap and enjoy…

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Betal leaves – prawn, coconut, baby ginger, miang sauce

Sundara Signature Organic Salad

I loved how the salad was prepared right in front of us. You can’t get any fresher.

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Hot Tapas Dishes

Drunken Chicken

This dish is a best seller as it is favourite with Chinese visitors.

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Drunken Chicken – rice wine, soy master stock, spring onion, garlic

Tempura Style Dish

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Szechuan Tofu
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Szechuan Tofu – fried tofu, shao xsing, ginger, thai basil

To finish off, we had the steamed blue mussels which were the best I have ever had. They were tender and the lemongrass, chili, ginger and citrus gave it a nice Asian flavour.

Desserts

I scouted early on before the start of dinner to see visually what was on offer. The presentation of the desserts and the rich colours were beautiful. Now l had the pleasure of meeting the pastry chef and I trusted him to make the right choice for me.

Green Tea Dessert

Visually this dessert was stunning including flower petals. The texture and flavour of this dessert was very unusual and a must try.

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Golden Bailey’s Truffles

When the truffels came out it was so beautifully done l thought it was gold paper wrapped. When picking it up, the gold looked stunning on my fingers and the taste was devine.

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Tiramisu Profitorole

It looked picture perfect and l was intrigued to see if the pastry would be soggy. This dessert was perfect in every way. Just between you and me, l ate the lot, l was to share it originally. That’s what fine food does to me, l become greedy in a very selfish delightful way. If you come to Sundara and can’t share food, then come alone the guilty pleasures in life are there for the taking.

Tiramisu-profiterole

Children Are Welcome

Nothing worse than being in an establishment that makes you feel uncomfortable when dining with children. Sundara has thought about family and they have a fantastic childcare section in where the children are well looked after while you rest on their sunbeds or enjoy the pool. The children can come in and out of the centre as long as you are around, this is great for both parents and children. Now in Asia, the word spice is a feared word for most children, at Sundara the children’s menu is a clever bite size selection for them to choose by.

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These mini burgers did go down well with my kids

The outdoor area of the restaurant is perfect for kids to get up and explore whilst you sip on a cocktail. The live music does wonders for them to engage with the singer, thank God for live music.

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Watermelon Juice – my kids loved it.

The Sundara has multiple sections where you can choose to dine in a romantic way or even more formal. I think this has been well thought out, your dining experience is up to you. The same is how you want to eat you food with the menu allowing you choose three different size plates.

Overall, this was a fantastic experience, I enjoyed the food on offer thoroughly and I experienced new flavours I have not tasted before. The outdoor setting with the band playing made up for a fantastic night. The staff were great and they all took the time to share their reasons for working at Sundara.  It felt like everyone was happy to work here and that showed throughout the whole evening. Shame I can’t take the chef’s with me.

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