On a recent visit to the five-star resort, I spent each morning enjoying my breakfast in the open air, feeling the warm sun on my skin, listening to the rushing river below, and watching the tree branches sway in the breeze. I didn’t need to “close my eyes and visualize” to experience this serenity; I was enveloped in it. Now that I’m back in New York City… Well, I’m decidedly not enveloped. But there’s one more sense I can use to call back that experience: taste. The Sayan culinary team, led by executive sous chef Wayan Sutariawan (Suta), was gracious enough to share with me the recipe I ate every morning with breakfast in Bali: a “yogurt foam verrine” with spiced berries. Now, close your eyes and visualize the lovechild of a yogurt parfait, a berry crumble, and an ethereal, light and airy cumulus cloud.
I’m someone who can never choose between savory or sweet for breakfast, and this delightful dish provided the perfect “why not both?” solution. The yogurt gets whipped up to be so delicate and fluffy—I could order nasi goreng sayur (an Indonesian veggie fried rice) or dosa and then satisfy my sweet tooth without worrying about being uncomfortably full or drowsy as I went about my day. Dessert with breakfast, yes please!
The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan has been wowing critics and travelers (including the Obamas and Julia Roberts, who is rumored to have stayed there while she filmed Eat, Pray, Love) since it opened 25 years ago. London-based architect John Heah was more than just inspired by the natural surroundings—including verdant rainforest, rolling rice paddies, and Bali’s longest river, the Ayung. Rather, he sought to create a design where the buildings were in complete harmony with the environment.
Heah nailed it. A dramatic suspension-bridge entrance to the property’s main building leads to a lotus-laden “rice bowl” reflecting pool that feels perched in the jungle’s canopy. From the bridge, guests descend a staircase to the hotel’s main lobby and dining space, Ayung Terrace. While the rooftop reflecting pool is take-your-breath-away gorgeous, it’s upon entering the space that you feel the magic of Heah’s vision. You’re technically inside—there is a roof, after all—but you feel like you’re fully immersed of the forest. Ayung Terrace is a circular balcony that puts you at eye-level with the songbirds flitting between the palms.
The resort has two main restaurants, Ayung Terrace, which specializes in traditional Balinese dishes, and Riverside, a contemporary grill overlooking the property’s main pool as well as the Ayung river. (Culinary experiences guests can enjoy also include a local market tour and cooking class at the Sokasi cooking school, a Sayan Valley picnic, and a megibung dinner, inspired by a 17th century Balinese communal dining ritual.)
To further appeal to wellness-minded travelers, in 2022, Chef Suta also unveiled a “Sattvic Soul Food” menu. This offering is inspired by Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing system that seeks to promote well-being by finding and maintaining an energetic balance within the body and mind. A Sattvic diet is a vegetarian way of eating that promotes balance and harmony through the consumption of fresh, organic produce, whole grains, and legumes.
The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan's whipped yogurt recipe
The whipped yogurt parfait I fell in love with in Bali is chock full of antioxidants and fiber, thanks to the fresh strawberries and blueberry jam it's topped with. It also packs a punch of protein: a serving of Greek yogurt contains about 10 grams of protein (for comparison, an egg has 6 grams of protein). And last but not least, the cardamom and cinnamon add a pinch of anti-inflammatory goodness. Think of is as a guided meditation for your taste buds.
Whipped yogurt recipe with spiced berries
Yields 2 servings
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup blueberry jam
4 large fresh strawberries, chopped
1/4 cup crumble
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
For the crumble
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
7 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 340°F. To make the crumble, combine the flour, butter, and sugar in a food processor until it resembles coarse, wet sand. Transfer the mixture to a sheet pan and spread it into one even layer. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crumble is lightly golden. Let it cool completely before crumbling into smaller pieces.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the yogurt and heavy cream. Whip with a balloon whisk until fully combined.
3. To assemble the dish, add a layer of the whipped yogurt mixture to the bottom of a bowl or plate. Next, add the jam, strawberries, and crumble on top. Using a small fine mesh strainer, garnish the dish with a sprinkle of cardamom and cinnamon powder. Exhale—and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Sayan culinary team, adapted for the home cook by Maki Yazawa
Loading More Posts...