| By Christopher LeQuesne
What a wonderful time for food lovers to be alive!
Never has there been so much attention paid to the infinite variety of world's cuisines ... preserving and perfecting traditional recipes in some establishments, experimenting and fusing old and new in others.
Never has the wealth of the world's food been so accessible through modern travel options.
Chefs are travelling too. Some are seduced by
| the local ingredients they find far from home and settle long enough to work their magic on them.
In the southern seas far from the sophistication of the Old World is a restaurant which we believe, in the words of the Guide Michelin, is worth a detour or even a special journey.
It is Sardine in Bali.
Pascal Chevillot is a 4th generation chef from Burgundy and his partner Pika a Slovenian artist and interior designer. Their life's work has taken them to the Caribbean, Los Angeles and now to one
| of the prettiest islands on the planet.
They chose to build their temple of food away from the nearest towns so they could sit serenely surrounded by their own rice fields. A couple of years on, the town has almost caught up to their spectacular traditional pavilion in bamboo. High ceilings, intricate honey-coloured woodweave, with gently floating fringes like scarves. Truly brilliant and delightful to walk into, passing artworks by Pika as you glide. Your body feels sensations as you enter, long before you take up a menu and a glass of champagne or a local arak cocktail.
The executive chef is Michael Shaheen from California with credits at Spago and Cafe Pinot Hollywood. He says it's a dream to have a menu changing every day, sourcing the freshest from the nearby fishing village of Jimbaran.
The food is described as 'cuisine de soleil' and its light and sunny inventiveness reminds one of Roger Verge's cooking at the Moulin de Mougins in the south of France.
Sardine is a bright, ...
clear showcase for the fish of the district. Every day the menu reflects whichever varieties are pulled flapping from the sea, as well as a fantastic array of lobsters, octopus, clams, crabs, scallops and oysters. You will almost always find a dish of sardines, a fish ironically not highly fancied by the locals.