Degustation Ubud: CasCades restaurant is taking classic Indonesian cuisine to another level.
Re-inventions and new interpretations. Taste Indonesia in a new and unique way. Get ready for a fine dining journey through the archipelago. Combined with fantastic views of tropical rain forest.
CasCades have captured the traditional flavours of the region and presented them with Instagramable beauty. The only challenge for us would be to stop taking photos and eat!
Your CasCades degustation experience can come in either 6 or 8 courses – plus some little extras along the way. Full wine pairing is available for every course. Let’s take a look at the 6 course menu that we tried.
Indonesian Degustation: Amuse Bouche
A perfect little bite of fresh fish. With nori for saltiness and quinoa to bring texture and crunch to the soft fish. A very nice warm up for what is to come.
Course 1 Salad: Gado Gado
Organic Vegetable Salad / Cucumber / Carrot / Green Beans / Soft Boiled Quail Egg / Peanut Sauce
Gado Gado is a typical Indonesian salad. It mixes raw and cooked vegetables along with the ever present peanut sauce. It’s normally served with tofu or tempeh (A coarse version of tofu) and a boiled egg.
The presentation of CasCades’ version of this dish is fantastic. Choosing to put the vegetables into the form of a sushi roll. Using the cabbage in place of nori. The boiled egg has been substituted with a small spot of quail egg yolk, in paste form.
This re-imagining is stunningly creative. For the flavour, it’s probably the only dish of the day that I could not award 5 stars. It’s tricky to turn a raw vegetable wrap into a tastebud extravaganza. Even using farm fresh organic vegetables. Combining the small spots of peanut sauce, tempeh and quail egg with the salad elements really was not enough to enliven the senses.
Fortunately, things were about to get a whole lot better.
Course 2: Cumi Kukus
Grilled Bumbu Spiced Baby Squid / Confit Papaya / Sweet Potato / Sesame Seeds/ Kemangi Sauce
From a pretty plate, to one of the most perfectly presented dishes I’ve ever had the chance to photograph. Possibly our favourite dish of the day. The brushstroke of squid ink made this a food work of art. The use of negative space, with this course served at the edge of a massive plate, is simply perfect.
As for taste, tender squid stuffed and delicately spiced. Combine that with two different fruit flavours. The relative sweetness of the papaya, and the careful citrus tang of the kemangi. Just the hint of sesame and the slight saltiness of the squid ink. How all these flavours balance together has been incredibly well thought out. What a unique set of ingredients!
Kemangi is lemon basil. Lemon always compliments squid. So the use of lemon basil here is an exciting substitute.
Course 3 Soup: Sop Bobor
Spinach and Young Coconut Soup / Chicken Bakso / Salam Leaf / Lesser Galangal / Coriander Espuma
Sop Bobor is a spinach based soup originating from central Java.
In this incarnation, every ingredient blends together perfectly. This dish is the definition of balance. Each ingredient stands prominently while playing it’s part harmoniously. Ever so slightly sweet, every mouthful keeps you begging for more. Warming, but not a spicy heat and of course the clear presence of coconut. The Chicken Bakso perches atop the soup, surrounded by the brown and foamy coriander espuma
Bakso is an Indonesian meatball. Similar to the ones you see in street food soups all around Asia (Think fish ball soup). Here chicken is used and the texture is pleasantly closer to chicken breast than to the rubbery texture often found in the street food equivalent.
Course 4: Perut Babi (Pork Belly)
Balinese Spiced Pork Belly / Pork Kroepoek / Sambal Ulek / Chilli Pumpkin Tamarind Sauce
Properly rendered, succulent pork belly with the crispy pork kroepoek on top for crunch. Pork Kroepoek is the Indonesian equivalent to pork rinds (Pork scratchings).
Chill pumpkin tamarind sauce. What a fantastic creation using the 4 bases of SE Asian cooking – The sweet (pumpkin), the sour (tamarind), the spicy (Chilli) and salt.
This is all punctuated with the most classic of Indonesian ingredients: Sambal Ulek. A ground chilli paste very common to the region. On this occasion, the chilli is kept to a minimum so as not to overpower the meat, or the pumpkin sauce.
Pork belly is certainly one of my favourite meats, when cooked correctly. This dish was an exemplary version. For an additional twist, the cranberry fruit flavours of the Argentina Kaiken 2013 cab sav reserve wine pairing gave yet another dimension.
Course 5: Rendang Sapi (Beef Rendang)
Braised Beef Cheek / Sumatran Rendang Sauce / Corn Perkedel / Chilli Sambal / Steamed Yellow Rice
Beef Rendang originates in Sumatra. It’s another typical Indonesian dish which you will find across the nation.
The normal mistake you find in lesser restaurants is tough beef. Chef’s cutting corners to get food out quickly, and not taking the time to really tenderise the meat. We’ve also found other versions to overpower the dish with coconut, not allowing the other spices to shine.
The beef cheek in Cascade’s Rendang melts away on every bite. Just how you want it. And the coconut is present but not too intense.
The Corn Perkedel is an Indonesian corn fritter. It gives yet another texture to the dish as an accompaniment.
Course 6 (Dessert): Nanas Iris
Pineapple Carpaccio / Coconut Sorbet / Coconut Crumble / Indonesian Spices
Coconut and pineapple are two ingredients that feature heavily in Indonesian cuisine due to their ready availability.
This is a real texture dish. Creating a carpaccio of the pineapple gives you a completely different eating experience from the usual chunky pieces served in most restaurants. The real star of the dish though is the coconut crumble. It enhances both texture and flavour of the other elements, providing excellent crunch and sweetness.
A sweet and successful dessert.
The final wine pairing option of the meal is the only local Indonesian beverage of the day. Pino de Bali is a fortified wine made by Hatten wines. Although Bali does not have an astounding reputation for high quality wine, this offering is pleasant with a sweet and acid combination that pair well with the sweet dessert.
Indonesian Degustation CasCades Restaurant: Verdict
A truly Indonesian degustation which thoughtfully and uniquely represents local cuisine – often companioning elements not typically used together. The Sop Borbor combined with the Chicken Bakso, a great play on traditional foods.
It’s easy to forgive the somewhat neutral tasting Gado Gado. It’s an important inclusion for a menu of this kind, if not an exciting one. Otherwise, the execution and presentation throughout were phenomenal. An expert and original Indonesian degustation that you will be hard pressed to find rivalled elsewhere in the country.
Go try this Indonesian degustation menu for yourself:
Jln. Lanyahan, Br Nagi, Ubud, Bali 80571 Indonesia.
Phone: +62 361 972 111
CasCades also offer a European degustation menu and a la carte options.
Read about other dining options and must try balinese dishes in Ubud.
Accommodation near CasCades / Ubud – Viceroy Bali
CasCades restaurant is part of the luxury Viceroy Bali Resort
Need somewhere to stay? Check out Our Top Ubud Picks HERE
Love this post? Why not pin it on your favourite travel Pinterest board?
Really love this post ❤️ don’t forget to bookmark it for later