CLASSIC BEAUTY, NEW CUISINE
TAPPING SHOES IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU MIGHT EXPECT FROM ONE OF BALI’S MOST POPULAR BEACHFRONT HOTSPOTS – A FUN AND FIRST-CLASS FINE DINING EXPERIENCE WITH THE KIND OF VIEWS THAT TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY. DECORATED WITH SPECTACULAR ARTWORK, A CEILING COATED WITH GLISTENING CHANDELIERS, AND AN AMBIANCE REMINISCENT OF 19TH CENTURY PARISIAN ELEGANCE, TAPPING SHOES EXCEEDS ALL EXPECTATIONS – AND THAT’S BEFORE WE’VE EVEN SAT DOWN.
Located on the second floor of the burgeoning Potato Head Beach Club, Tapping Shoes presents French fine dining with a Japanese twist. Innovative and unrivaled French cuisine is cooked up by Japanese Chef Hikaru, paying homage to the traditions and ingredients of classic French cuisine, while using samurai techniques and Japanese influences to create contemporary, eye-catching dishes.
Conceived under the shared philosophy of “revitalization of old beauty”, Tapping Shoes is an interpretation of classic traditions, wrapped distinctively in the simplicity of a contemporary setting. From the five and six-course degustation menus, to the a la carte and the Sunday brunch spread, Chef Hikaru rekindles the beautiful flavors of French cuisine into a modern and daring culinary interpretation.
Let’s Set the Scene
Just one step into the second story restaurant of Potato Head Beach Club, and I am instantly transported to 19th century Paris. A subtle feeling of warmth and intimacy is captured by the abundance of soft boudoir lighting, enhanced by tall and delicate candlesticks atop blue striped tablecloths – a refreshing alternative to your typical crisp whites. Sophisticated crystal chandeliers captivate my gaze; twenty-seven of them floating under the white patterned ceiling, emanating an elegant but playful ambiance.
Floor-to-ceiling white-paned windows reveal the neighboring sparkling ocean, reflecting its glimmering beauty throughout the bright and spacious dining room. To my left, I can see Potato Head’s glistening infinity pool resting below, partially shaded by tall and swaying palm trees. The palm leaves reach the second floor windows of the restaurant, like a hovering garden in the sky.
Impeccable attention to detail is lavished on everything, from engraved and whitewashed woods, to the art deco style uniforms worn by expert staff. They remind me of grand pianos; black tuxedos with one sleeve colored white. And the flawless service they deliver is equally as grand, attentive but far from intrusive. As I approach my table, the white egg-shaped chair is pulled out before me, and a pristine white napkin seamlessly finds its way to my lap.
Browsing the menu, I am anticipating an “eyes bigger than my stomach” moment, so I decide to start with something light, to ease myself in to the gourmet marathon ahead. The cauliflower velouté is exactly what I had in mind – dainty and refreshing with decadent little touches. Tender poached shrimps hide beneath the cool and creamy cauliflower sauce, topped off with a hint of cheesiness. Every other bite delivers a pleasant crunch of small cubed croutons, and a subtle kick from the drops of a curry dressing.
Chef Hikaru also recommends his innovative trio of foie gras farandole as a tasty appetizer. My favorite is the foie gras crème brûlée with a perigourdine sauce; sweet and creamy like the beloved French dessert. The foie gras confit of duck breast is similar to a rich and meaty pâté, while the foie gras “revelation” is light and fruity with a mango sphere, finished with Sauternes wine.
With my appetite well and truly whet, I move onto the grilled scallop. As I cut through the butter-like texture, I have to ask how the chef makes it so incredibly tender. I am informed that the Japanese Hokkaido scallop is lightly grilled and finished off with a Jamon Iberico foam, preserving the succulent and soft center. Asparagus spears and croutons are artistically placed around the delicate crustacean, which is topped with a fluffy and airy foam. Simply delicious.
Onto the main course, and I am presented with a fantastic beef tenderloin, showered with colorful roasted vegetables. The meat is cooked to perfection with its delightfully pink middle and flavorful grilled exterior, drizzled with a rich port wine sauce. Cheesy potatoes complete the dish – similar to dauphinoise but cubed and dainty. I also decide to try the Fish of the Day, which was a deliciously crumbly pan-seared Grouper fillet.
I tried both the parsley bacon cream sauce and the vanilla cream sauce, but it was the latter that truly blew me away. It was sweet with a crispy coat, luxurious and velvety beneath – a real show-stopper and the perfect way to round off the savory courses. Desserts vary depending on the menu you choose, but all are equally as delicious. The vanilla panna cotta looks like a fried egg, presented in a little glass and topped with a passion fruit and mango purée. A decadent square of chocolate brownie is a bed for a creamy chocolate fondant. To wash everything down, Tapping Shoes is proud to introduce cocktail expert, Dre Masso. Working alongside Chef Hikaru, Masso formulates an iconic set of classic cocktails using a myriad of first-class spirits and exotic liqueurs. The duo experiment with the mix of flavors from the Tapping Shoes kitchen, to inspire the creation of new cocktails that compliment the perfect dining experience. Try the Australasian Mary for a Cajun spiced twist on the beloved classic, decorated with roasted tomatoes and peppers, and infused with barbecue sauce and a spicy Indonesian sambal.
Let’s Do Brunch
Tapping Shoes is typically only open in the evening for its exquisite dinner, but from 11am – 4pm on a Sunday, the talented Chef Hikaru brings you a fusion of the finest quality meats, fresh vegetables and juicy tropical fruits for a delightful Sunday brunch spread. The brunch package includes the option of additional free flow beverages, so you can brunch the day away amidst the unrivaled ambiance of ease and warmth, after a long and buzzing night at Potato Head Beach Club. The menu includes breakfast classics such as pork ham eggs benedict, as well as Tapping Shoes’ all-time favorite dishes in the form of small tasting plates. Each delicious dish captures Chef Hikaru’s perfected culinary flair, taking the best-kept traditions of French cuisine, and interpreting them into his own distinct, Tapping Shoes way.