Bali has become one of Asia’s most vibrant dining destinations, with a bountiful selection of local warung, chic cafes and first-class cuisine from every corner of the globe.
Located on the banks of the fast-flowing Ayung under the shade of palms and banyan trees, Riverside’s al fresco-style dining areas wrap around the multi-tiered swimming pool and enormous river stones that have held their spot for centuries. In this uniquely Balinese setting, Chef Jocelyn Argaud uses traditional French techniques with cast-iron pots and wood-fire ovens to present his favourite dishes passed down by his mother, and by her mother before. From his childhood in Lyon to his appointment to the Qatari Royal Palace and now to Bali’s cultural and artistic centre, Jocelyn’s family cuisine has withstood the test of time and — like the sacred Ayung — is pure and true to its original source.
Jocelyn honours the earthy flavours and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of Maman Claudette’s home cooking withsignature dishes such as chicken Basquaise baked in a cast-iron pot with bell peppers, quail eggs and smoked duck jus; wood-fired tomato tart Maman Claudette’s with Caciotta cheese, Dijon mustard, fresh oregano and arugula; and mushroom ravioli with goat’s cheese shavings and sauce riche. The light-as-a-feather wood-fired pear tart is a must for dessert. Diners have the option of ordering a la carte or trying a set menu, starting from IDR 255,000 for two courses.
“The launch of Riverside’s new dinner concept is the highlight of my career to-date as a chef,” says Jocelyn. “My mother was the reason I was inspired to become a chef in the first place, and now I am sharing the love and passion for her food with our guests. It is very close to my heart.”
The restaurant was previously open only for lunch and is a popular stop for travellers exploring the Ubud countryside. The move to open for dinner with Chef Jocelyn’s French Bistro menu was in response to guest requests for more variety and affordability.
“The new concept at Riverside is unique in both the location and the traditional French cooking style, while using local Balinese ingredients,” says Uday Rao, General Manager of Four Seasons Resorts Bali. “We wanted to do something completely different to what already existed in Bali, yet complementary to the earthy, river-front setting of the restaurant in the Ubud highlands.”
The use of local ingredients — many sourced from the Resort’s own vegetable and herb gardens — ensure the freshest produce is presented, often within hours of being hand-picked. The emphasis is on a farm-to-table approach, with relaxed river-front dining and the world-class touch of Four Seasons service.
The Riverside Cafe dinner launch is the latest enhancement at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, whose 60 fully-renovated suites and villas are nestled in a lush valley between two rivers. It follows the recent launch of a newest wellbeing space, the Dharma Shanti Yoga Bale, built entirely of bamboo and offering a daily program of meditation, life talks and yoga – including Bali’s first introduction to AntiGravity Yoga. The property also has a new Resort Manager, Sean Mosher, who has joined the team from Four Seasons Resort Langkawi in Malaysia, where he held the same position.