Restaurant Review: Pearl at the Pearl Bali Hotel
Tucked away on a Seminyak side street sits Pearl Restaurant, a fine dining brasserie which serves up delicious French cuisine. Seminyak, being a tourist hot spot, is in parts, a very commercial place; lots of restaurants are tackily decked with bright neon adverts boasting bargain pizzas and buckets of beer, the roads are manic with moped riders and the constant hum of impatient taxi drivers beeping. With this in mind, my boyfriend Rhys and I were delighted when we found Pearl, a pocket of calm.
In true continental style, the main dining area of Pearl Restaurant is a romantic alfresco garden area. There are only a dozen or so tables, which sit beneath branches smothered in twinkling fairy lights. It’s tranquil and unlike most of the other restaurants we dined at during our time in Bali.
The restaurant’s co-owner and head chef is Jeremy Blanchet, a French man who took over the kitchen in 2009. His love and knowledge of French cuisine is reflected in the food which is simply stunning.
For starters we ordered the tuna carpaccio and homemade aubergine and goats’ cheese ravioli, which were worlds apart. The tuna was light and fruity courtesy of the juicy mango jelly it was topped with, whereas the ravioli was rich. Swamped in a velvety thyme sauce the generous serving of pasta was cooked perfectly.
Given Bali’s extensive selection of local seafood, we went for fish at almost every opportunity and dinner at Pearl was no exception. We’d not seen opaka nor barramundi on any other menu, so naturally it was these two dishes that we ordered for our main course. I should point out, Pearl boasts a great range of meat and vegetarian dishes too!
The opaka, which is very similar to cod, was pan seared and coated in a delicious cashew crumb. It was served alongside a daintily arranged selection of vegetables including leek fondue, roasted pumpkin and fresh asparagus. The fish flaked beautifully and worked well with the chive butter sauce.
Much like the opaka, the barramundi, which had a cod like texture was also pan fried. The thick fillet was served with a gorgeously-salty olive, caper and sundried tomato tapenade, which was really rather yum.
We were pretty full by the end of our starters and mains, but Jeremy twisted our arm, persuading us to get dessert. And I’m so glad he did because boy they were good. Jeremy wouldn’t even let us look at the dessert menu because he knew the puddings he did best; profiteroles and lemon tarte. Did I mention he’s from France?!
The lemon tart was zinging with citrus tang and the creamy Italian meringue it was topped with added texture. As if one fruity flavour wasn’t enough, the tart came with a dollop of passionfruit sorbet – the cherry on top!
Just like the tarte the homemade profiteroles were also a joy. The choux pastry was light-as-air and the crème pâtissière was deliciously sweet, if you closed your eyes you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Paris.
We were only at Pearl for a few hours, but whilst there we overheard the conversations of two separate tables, both of whom had returned and were gushing with praise. And I can’t say I’m surprised, it’s a true gem of a restaurant. Another couple were there to celebrate a 50th birthday – this is a place for special occasions.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for an evening of 5 star food in luscious surroundings, Pearl Bali is the place for you. It’s more expensive than other eateries in the area, but I can assure you it’s worth every penny (rupiah)!
Address: Pearl Bali Hotel, JL Arjuna Double Six, Bali
Phone: (+62)81 934 334 060