I found Blanco Par Mandif in Ubud through TripAdvisor and it was definitely my favorite meal in Bali. The restaurant offers Indonesian fine dining and takes classic dishes and gives them a twist. Since I’m not very familiar with Indonesian cuisine, I honestly can’t vouch for how it compares to the authentic dishes, but it was a wonderful meal that I couldn’t wait to share.
Blanco Par Mandif was a little hard to find since there was not any posted signage, but you walk downstairs to a small counter that maybe seats 10 people max. You choose from a 7, 9 or 13-course meal and pick your starters and mains from the menu. Do yourself a favor and just order the 13-course menu. It’s totally worth it. To be completely honest, I wanted the 13-course menu because my sister and I didn’t recognize any names of the dishes and there really wasn’t much description. By picking the entire menu, we weren’t forced to make any difficult choices!
I won’t go in-depth for every single dish, but I really wanted to highlight the warm hospitality and friendliness of the staff. Our server was smiling the entire time and was more than happy to explain every single element on our dish and where the ingredients came from. As an extra courtesy, the restaurant called our hotel to arrange for a pick-up without us even requesting it. Our driver was ready and waiting as soon as our meal was over. The service honestly made our dining experience that much better.
We started our meal with an amuse-bouche of an egg custard with coconut foam and two pieces of fried tempeh and cuttlefish. This was followed by small buns topped with a duck granita. Our first course was probably one of my favorites simply because of the beautiful presentation. It was a stunning fruit and vegetable salad with a fried spinach leaf– literally, a work of art. At the bottom of the plate was a cashew, chili and vinegar sauce and you were encouraged to mix everything together. Besides the sauce being sweet and tangy, I also appreciated the freshness and crisp textures on my plate.
Our next course was pickled cabbage in an apple cider vinaigrette. The server mentioned that the apple cider was made in-house and fermented for 3 months. Our 3rd course was a corn and crab soup with extra crab in the middle of the plate that was wrapped in watercress.
Next came homemade noodles that were topped by grated fish and pickled veggies. The fish was smoked for 2 hours per day for 15 days straight. I really enjoyed the smoked octopus with sundried tomato and black bean tartare and compressed papaya with coconut and honey vinaigrette. The smoked octopus was hearty and had the texture of meat, plus the sundried tomato and black bean tartare was bursting with flavor.
Out 6th course was a king prawn with potato puree and crispy potato, followed by red snapper with cauliflower curry sauce. We had a gorgeous sorbet cleanser with fresh pomelo pieces and roseline jelly.
I couldn’t get on board with the gudeg, but maybe it was just too foreign to me. Gudeg is young jackfruit dish and at Blanco Par Mandif, it was served with glutinous rice with chicken, egg and buffalo skin. There were a lot of flavors happening on this plate, but they didn’t mesh with me.
The next course definitely redeemed it for me and it was a slice of duck breast served with sweet potato puree and chicken liver sambal. Afterward came the beef with a rice square and fresh vegetables. Finally, the last savory course was a lamb chop served with a miso soy glaze, peanut sauce and charred vegetables and onions. This dish was inspired by lamb skewers found in Indonesian street food. I have to admit that the chef really knows how to cook his proteins because all of the fish and meat dishes were cooked perfectly.
Dessert is not really Blanco Par Mandif’s forte, but I can’t really complain since we were quite full from our dinner. I don’t remember what the dessert was, but I remember the bar being reminiscent of pumpkin pie.
As you can probably tell from the photos, the presentation of all the dishes was very impressive. Currently, the restaurant is renovating their main dining room where they plan to let diners have a more casual experience that isn’t limited by a set menu. If you are staying in Ubud, I would highly recommend Blanco Par Mandif as an absolute must to dine. Be sure to make reservations beforehand and don’t forget to request seats right in front of the chef!