Kisik is just one of many restaurant choices at Ayana Resort and Spa in Bali.
The reason we dined at Kisik is not only because we were attracted to the novelty of the sand floor and the restaurant’s position down on the water’s edge, but also because it’s a short stroll from the very famous Rock Bar where we had just sipped a cocktail while enjoying the sunset.
Kisik is a seafood restaurant that is accessed by either riding the inclinator down the cliff-face or you can take the stairs. With all the eating and drinking we were doing while in Bali we would have felt horribly guilty if we’d done anything other than take the stairs.
While in Bali it was our experience that when dining at night, the restaurants are dark. While dim lighting has a terrific anti-ageing affect, these restaurants are so dark you need to bring your night-vision googles. We were shown to our table which was right on the cliff edge with no safety rail (lovely being away from the overly-zealous rules and regulations we have to endure in Oz), and the setting was so dark the menu was brought to us with an attached torch so we could read it. The bill arrived in the same way.
Most of the light is provided by the moon and the stars and romantic tiki torches. The setting is stunning and with our table right on the cliff edge we were occasionally sprayed with light sea foam as waves from the high tide crashed onto the rocks below us.
I don’t mind eating in the dark, except when I’m trying to take photos. You’ll notice some of the images were taken in daylight and that’s because we went back the next day to show you what the restaurant looks like when it’s not under the cover of darkness.
A terrific attraction for seafood lovers is that the freshly caught seafood sits in an ice-cold display where you choose what it is you would like to eat. The chefs cook it for you and serve it with a range of Balinese accompaniments. If you would prefer not to eat seafood the restaurant has a range of other excellent options however, the ‘choose your own’ is only available with seafood.
I wasn’t terribly hungry as we’d had a few tapas as the Rock Bar so I ordered gado gado to start with which is a salad of fresh and cooked vegetables in a spicy peanut sauce with an egg. The egg was perfectly cooked and there was a good kick of spice in the sauce. The texture of the dish was lovely with plenty of crunch from the raw vegetables.
For my main, I ordered a half-dozen serve of the chicken and beef skewers. The beef skewers could have been more tender and I would have liked a little more heat in the satay sauce, however, it was a lovely light dish.
When you order a seafood dish it arrives as a series of four dishes and this is what Drew ordered. The first course was the bouillabaisse that had a good variety of seafood in it.
The next dish to arrive was the salad that was well plated and light and refreshing. It is lovely to have a salad on a hot tropical night.
For the seafood course Drew ordered the swordfish. You can choose how you would like it cooked and what sauce you would like on it. Drew chose grilled with a sticky Indonesian sauce. The fish was expertly cooked and he sauce had given the swordfish a wonderful flavour.
Drew’s last dish was a sorbet that I can tell you was excellent however I can’t show you a photo because it was just too dark. But an icy cold refreshing sorbet is an excellent way to finish a four-course meal.
Enjoying an inclinator ride down a cliff-face to Kisik or walking down the many stone stairs set in landscaped grounds to the restaurant gets the evening off to a very high standard. Then arriving at Kisik with its position on the cliff edge, its sand floor, it’s open kitchen with displays of market-fresh seafood, the light from the tiki torches and the occasion spray of sea foam puts this restaurant on the must-visit list.
While the food doesn’t quite reach the dizzying heights of the incredible setting, and while the prices are on the high-end of Bali rates, it is a restaurant definitely worth experiencing.
Verdict: Perfectly located.
Kisik Bar and Grill: Ayana Resort and Spa, Jimbaran, Bali