The ‘famous’ Sunday Brunch at Mulia Bali is nothing short of a culinary masterpiece and something that should not be missed if you are visiting Bali. Whilst brunch is not a traditional Bali fare, you will find that Mulia has taken the brunch concept with both hands, made it their own and in the process has created something unrivalled. Talented world renowned chefs preside over the Soleil kitchen delighting foodies with their magnificent buffet, a classy a la carte menu, and a selection of dishes from the chef’s choice. The brunch can be enjoyed over four hours, with or without alcohol.
I first heard about the Sunday brunch at Mulia through a friend who had showed me some pictures of the buffet and the Mulia resort itself. I admit I looked at his photos with complete envy – the displays of the desserts alone were enough to have me sold and I was making this a destination on my Bali itinerary.
Once I was in Bali, I rang the resort a couple of days prior to book a table for myself and was able to secure one easily. Once again going to Bali in mid-January is a fairly quiet time in Bali, so if you were to go in the height of summer you might have to book well in advance.
On the Sunday morning I jumped into a taxi, as I was coming from Legian, at about 10 a.m and the journey to Nusa Dua took approximately 40 minutes. The Sunday brunch begins at 11 a.m and you will be grazing for about four hours if you so desire. Given this fact, one must really prepare for this brunch experience and I would strongly advise that you skip breakfast or at the very least eat a light one, otherwise you will be doing yourself an injustice.
The brunch is held in the Soleil restaurant which is located at the bottom end of the resort, overlooking the pool and the beach. As you wander through the resort you will really see how extravagant and luxurious the resort really is. I was quite fascinated with the towering stone statues that over look the pools, and I found myself snapping away with the camera before I had to remind myself that I had come for brunch!
Sunday Brunch at Soleil
I was greeted at the door by a staff member of Soleil, she asked for my name and checked it against her booking list. I was then escorted to my table which faced the large windows overlooking the impressive pool area. I was shown the menu and the lady looking after me explained how it all worked and asked me what option I would like to go with. There are two options; brunch with alcoholic beverages, which included bottomless wine and cocktails or the non-alcohol version which entitled you to juices, tea and coffee. The price difference between the two was about $30 (Aus), so I went with the alcohol option as wine is generally expensive in Bali and this was a great price. I was then asked for my preference of wine and I chose a Pinot Grigio from Italy. The other white wine on offer was a Sauvignon Blanc from the New Zealand Marlborough region. My wine was refilled at every opportunity with my waitress never missing a beat.
The way the brunch works is you can select anything you like from the buffet at anytime, along with being able to order anything from the a la carte menu that you might like and on top of that you will also receive the chef’s selection of freshly cooked small plated meals that are not on the menu – they tend to come out as a surprise. The buffet is extraordinary and offers many authentic international cuisines – all fresh and very tasty.
Once the formalities were done with and my order was taken, I immediately gravitated toward the dessert display. Everything was perfectly put in place and when one item was taken another was quickly put in the missing spot. I did actually see guests go and start with dessert straight up as they did look irresistible!
Now first up I decided that I would begin with the buffet menu and then I would order something off the appetiser menu as I knew I wouldn’t be able to do a main as well as the buffet, and I certainly wanted to have room for those desserts. The savoury selection included entree style dishes including tuna tartare, squid, chicken, fresh oysters, prawns, sushi, sashimi, a selection of cured meats and meats from the carvery. There were also vegetarian options.
Not knowing quite where to begin, I decided to go with a couple of things for my plate to start with and wandered back to my table. Quick as a flash the waitress appeared to ask me if I wanted something off the a la carte menu. I decided on the foie gras appetiser and in the meantime a Midori cocktail arrived to my table.
From the buffet I chose the tuna tartare, grilled squid on skewers and tumeric chicken.
The Foie gras from the a la carte menu, it was also served with a foie gras brûlée. The foie gras was incredibly good, with a rich buttery flavour. The brûlée was an interesting concept as it had a touch of sweetness to the taste, it was different but I really liked it’s taste and texture.
The chef’s choice also started arriving to my table, at first I thought they had made a mistake delivering to the wrong table but my server explained that everyone gets one of these dishes. So I went with that, believing that it would be just one dish. Not so, throughout the course of the day, these ‘chef’s choice’ dishes would be delivered to my table and each was a surprise as to what they would be.
Another chef’s choice – The beef filled ravioli.
The third chef’s choice to arrive was the beef resting on a bed of polenta. I really had no idea how many of these chef choices there actually were as they just kept appearing! At this point I was pretty much full with all this delicious food and honestly I needed a little rest before I decided to tackle the dessert.
During the day the head waitress came over to my table to see how I was enjoying the meal so far and then recommended that I go over and watch and try the crispy ice-cream. This was quite an interesting thing to watch being made. The chef explained the process of how this dessert was made and asked if I’d like to try some (of course I did). The fruit to go with it was probably the nicest and sweetest fruit I have ever tasted and just to make it super sweet I topped it off with a raspberry sauce.
Whilst I was eating my crispy ice-cream (which was delicious) another of the ‘chef’s choice’ arrived, this time it was chicken skewers and I had to refuse. My stomach was expanding at a rapid rate by now and I had moved on to dessert already. As my server could see that I was having a dessert she asked me what type of ice-cream would I like and seriously I don’t know why I said chocolate as I knew I couldn’t fit it in along with the buffet desserts I was going to get. So I took a break from eating for a little while and just sat and admired the view as I was seated at the window overlooking the pool.
At this point I was feeling a little like a glutton but I couldn’t resist trying something from the dessert table and picked out a couple of things to try. So the selection I chose was a chocolate fudge cake, creme brûlée, a chiffon cake and some sort of jelly fruit that I chose for the colour – it looked interesting.
No sooner than I started to take the first bite of the creme brûlée – the following happens (see photo below). The chefs dessert choice comes out and now I really look like a total glutton with half my table filled with desserts that could have fed six people! Hmm I felt rather guilty about wasting it all as I was only expecting a little chocolate ice-cream and I’m sure the waitress read the look on my face. So the only thing that I could think of to say was “I will just have a bite of everything”. Yes that’s what I would do – like it was some sort of consolation that I wouldn’t let this food go to waste. Once again without missing a beat she responded with a “just take your time … you have until 4 o’clock”.
The chef’s choice entailed a baked cheese cake topped with pistachio ice-cream, the chocolate ice-cream (I ordered) and a large chocolate ball with a coffee sauce. Which looked very inviting, I tapped it slightly with my spoon and the lid fell away to reveal some vanilla ice-cream.
And to finish off the dessert came a chocolate cocktail – delicious. So that was my Sunday brunch experience and the verdict is? – Nothing short of sensational and a must try if you are ever visiting Bali.
So after lunch I needed to walk all this food off – I felt like I was carrying a food baby. I fixed up my bill and spent around ten minutes photographing the room. As I was leaving the staff member who greeted me at the door enquired as to how I enjoyed the brunch, of course I said it was magnificent. She thanked me personally by my name – Miss Wendy. I was impressed that this lady made a point of remembering my name, especially when there are a lot of people dining at this restaurant. I walked away with a rather large smile on my face.
Mulia Resort and Villas – Nusa Dua Bali
Jl. Raya Nusa Dua Selatan,
Nusa Dua 80363 Bali, Indonesia
Tele:T. (62-361) 3027777
Website: The Mulia