Bali’s new subterranean restaurant has been receiving rave reviews from diners from all over the world. The award-winning restaurant, headed up by world-renowned chef Ryan Clift, opened in May 2022. The venue was temporarily closed in July after local authorities raised concerns about the cave being used as a restaurant. Now in the clear, the restaurant is fast becoming a Bali favourite.
Foodies from all over the world have rushed to book their sitting at the restaurant in Uluwatu. The restaurant offers a 7-course gourmet menu, with the option of wine or cocktail pairing. The restaurant is a part of The Edge Hotel which is one of Uluwatu’s most luxurious villa resorts.
Uluwatu sits on the southwestern tip of Bali and is a much-loved spot for international surfers. In the last decade, the area has undergone massive tourism development and is now home to some of Bali’s most lavish, elaborate, and expensive tourism facilities, including resorts, villas, retreats, and restaurants.
The immersive one-of-a-kind dining experience is attracting food connoisseurs, influencers, and indulgent travelers to the tables. The Cave is fast becoming Bali’s next most Instagrammable eatery with over 16,000 followers on the platform already.
Indonesian-Australian digital creator shared his experience at The Cave online and described the whole evening as ‘surreal’. In the caption, he wrote ‘This is another to the list of my most unique dining experiences! It feels so surreal and mesmerizing at the same time!’ One viewer commented that the cave gave them ‘full Aladdin vibes’
The dining experience is about more than the food, the subterranean dining room is beautifully lit and there are mesmerizing visuals projected around the cave. There are intermissions between dishes for guests to get lost in the stunning light shows. Guests even have the opportunity to don a hardhat and headlamp and explore the ancient cave.
The restaurant can only seat 22 people and offers 2-3 dining sessions a day. This exclusive and intimate atmosphere all adds to the overall experience. Since places are limited booking is essential.
The cave itself is reported to have been discovered in 2013, during the construction of The Edge Hotel. Management got to work making the cave accessible and safe and with input from hospitality specialists and world-renowned gastronomical experts they curated The Cave dining experience.
Authorities in Bali launched an investigation into the cave in July, and even closed the venue for further inspection. The temporary suspension only lasted a few days and was enforced by Saptol PP (the civil service), and Bali Police.
Authorities were unaware of the cave until a video of the restaurant went viral on local social media channels. Authorities were concentred that since the cave was undiscovered until 2013, there could be cultural or historical importance to the cave that may mean it needed to be registered as a Protected Cultural Object.
Saptol PP and Bali Police enlisted the support of the Head of the Bali Cultural Conservation Maintenance Center, Komang Anik Purniti. The cultural conservationist and her team investigated the site and concluded that the discovery of the cave in 2013 was the first time the space had ever been entered by humans. Therefore no historical or cultural value needed to be preserved.
Speaking in late July the Head of the Badung Regency Culture Service, I Gde Eka Sudarwitha told reporters that ‘the underground cavity is estimated to be thousands of years old. [we consider that] the formation of 1 cm of stalagmites or stalactites takes decades. This estimate is also reinforced by findings in the field that the stalagmites there are quite long and have become pillars. So we can estimate that the cave has existed for thousands of years’.
Authorities were also concentred that The Cave did not have the correct permits to be using the cave as a restaurant. The investigation found that paperwork for The Cave and The Edge Hotel was all above board.
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