[BALI eats] Kayumanis Resto Jimbaran dishes out authentic cusine emblematic of spiritual Bali

Thin whiffs of smoke float up from the skewered duck, conjuring up spiritual references to Balinese rituals performed by high priests. And that was exactly what it was. Mysterious in its musky aroma, you're transported right to the centre of the action. Gone is the disengagement with your dream Bali holiday, and all of sudden, you're caught gazing at the swaying of the coconut trees with your head in the clouds. Kayumanis Resto Jimbaran has this effect on me, sending me veering, crashing straight into the intended pleasures of a spiritual trip to Bali.

The dedication to pleasure is front and center on the plates; a lively showcase of authentic Balinese cuisine, but it also comes through beyond the cooking. Let's first talk ambiance. The decor is opulent, in a true Balinese breezy mannerism, stained wooden panelling and classic marbled tiles is bathed in natural light, it's an interesting juxtaposition that manifests degrees of tradition in tasteful modernity. We love how, despite the no pretence of formality here,  service is remarkable. Wide smiles all around and the occasional chuckle when in bemusement of your bewildered reaction towards certain souped-up dishes.

As much as you want to dive into the main ordeal, we would advice you to order a round of the starters, they add up nicely to make a more rounded substantial meal. The Lumpia Bebek Jamur (RP 55 thousand) - deep fried duck and shiitake mushroom spring roll served with sweet and sour sauce walks the tight rope of conflicting spectrums to come together in beautiful unison.  The menu resists safe impulses to present dishes that are wildly contemporary even by the instincts of a worldly diner. The Ayam Dabu Dabu (RP 50 thousand) presents shredded chicken peppered with raw vegetables and enhanced with a slightly spicy tang from the chili lemongrass sauce. It arouses an appetite for sure. 

Don't be put off by the more regular sounding mains such as the Nasi Tumpeng and Nasi Goreng, most of them are riveting and they bring out the personalities of the Balinese spices, grounded by the presence of perfectly executed meat staples. The Nasi Tumpeng (RP 110 thousand) for example offers layered and unexpected flavors on a banana leaf laden wooden block. There's Beef Rendang, Prawn, Marinated chicken and vegetables guarding two towers of red and white rice cones. Lovers of Indonesian cuisine will find this immensely recognisable. But there is something about consuming these dishes under such immaculate, pristine settings that drills the experience deeply into your conscience for mental reference.

If you can't afford to eat here everyday (the time and money cost taken into consideration) and are looking to splurge, please put this dish at the top of your special occasion hit list. The Bebek Panggang Mekudus (RP 300 thousand) is a grilled duck giving a hint of funk from live smoking. The recipe is perfected with a hodgepodge of traditional flavors deeply integrated into the duck's tender flesh. It's a theatrical treat on its own but augmented with a magic carpet ride of other homegrown treats such as Lemongrass Chicken skewers (Sate Lilit), pecel, soto aya and rice. The meal cumulates in successful stardom with the Klepon Nira Sari, balls of purple sweet potato boiled with a hidden filling of palm sugar and rolled in grated coconut (quite similar to our local ondeh ondeh). It yields to the teeth with a warm squirt of liquid saccharine goodness, exuberant, in a flow of smoky palm sugar and pleasantries to follow. "OH MY LORD", I uttered between closed eyes.

Desserts shows the same pursuit of perfection in terms of plating. The ubiquitous fruit platter finds form and structure in the Buah Kubus (RP 40 thousand), a medley of stringently sliced fruits configured strategically to resemble a Rubik cube and settled in a pool of orange mint sauce which works hard to attest it's price point. It doesn't, and I make a move for the Cendol Ngangenin (RP 50 thousand) - a fusion dessert which combines the beauty of kolak pisang (bananas stewed in palm sugar), kueh lumpur and the regular coconut milk fuelled cendol with a stellar white jack fruit ice cream. My fellow diners and I had very little to say, and lot of spoon-work to do, when it came to this offering.

Kayumanis may be well known for its exclusive private villas, tailoring bespoke and luxury experiences for its guests, and often we tend to neglect the food aspect of it. Thankfully, Kayumanis Jimbaran (like many of its Bali counterparts) have the added incentive of outstanding in-house dining options - Kayumanis Resto Jimbaran, in my opinion, is worthy of the drive in for non in-house residents who are in search of a refined Balinese authentic experience. I for one, will battle the crazy Bali traffic for this one.

Kayumanis Resto Jimbaran
Jalan Yoga Perkanthi, Jimbaran
Bali 80361
Reservations: Chope

Operating Hours:
Daily: 7am - 10pm

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