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RIN.....

A Break from Tradition!

RIN is a Japanese restaurant at The Conrad Suites, Tandjung Benoa, 800 metres past the main Conrad Resort entrance. RIN is also the name of a Japanese popular music group which combines traditional Japanese instruments and style with elements of modern pop and rock music. An unusual base for the name of a restaurant in Bali but then there is nothing usual about this restaurant which breaks with traditional Japanese standards and creates their own.

The Nigiri and Maki Sushi and the Sashimi stay close to the original Japanese but even then there are a few Sushi creations, such as a Chiroshi Sushi; shredded omelette, salmon and prawns topped with salmon roe and miniature pods of green peas. Chiroshi Susi is sometime called scattered sushi as the shredded items are on top of tightly packed sushi rice, making a small round patty.

Cold entrees are highlighted by a simple, yet perfect, Ocean Trout. Thin strips have been just seared on one side only, served with the raw side down in a sauce of sesame oil, chive and vinegar, the grey cooked side topped with a julienne of raw salad. Another entrée, a Japanese Spring Roll, begins to depart from the norm. Tuna meat, Kukonomi [goji berries] and fennel, are all combined with a wasabi mayonnaise and in a soft almost pita bread-type baked wrapping made with wheat flour, into a roll, then cross sliced and served upright with a dash of balsamic on the top of each small roll.

Hot entrees can be Chawan Mushi, a foie gras flavoured steamed custard made from ginkgo nuts combined with the meats of chicken and king crab, or a mix of Lobster, Scallop and Clam Zeitaku-ni [Japanese meaning a ?luxurious extravagance?] with seaweed in a ginger sauce. The Clear Soup is most unusual, a delicate taste, at its centre is a large patty of fried tofu with shimeji, daikon and kenya beans, across the top of the bowl a stick of lemongrass!

The main courses at RIN are all of their own creation. Pork Belly is with sauteed shimeji, ginko nuts and edamame, a block of boiled daikon topped with aburaage on the side. Scallops are caramelised almost to firmness with black bean sauce, a strange pairing with a round fat pork croquette. A Tebasaki Gyoza is fried chicken wings that have been stuffed with prawn and dry shiitake in umeboshi sauce. A fillet of Gindara is cooked in miso and Salmon is grilled and served with black bean vinaigrette.

The beef is Wagyu, not surprising in a Japanese restaurant, unless they were to serve the original Kobe beef [also from wagyu cattle but only from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu, raised according to strict tradition in Hy?go Prefecture]. At RIN both Sirloin [with dried baby corn and asparagus and a daikon-oroshi sauce, of daikon with soy, honey and vinegar] and Tenderloin [with mushrooms and a miso sauce] cuts of Wagyu are served.

Catering for all tastes, Udon and Soba noodles dishes are also available, either hot or cold, as well as cold So-men Noodles. Rice dishes with a miso soup on the side can be Onigiri, mushroom, plain white or Ocha Zuke [the strange combination of cooked white rice, green tea and dashi broth, porridge-like in appearance].

The dessert menu escapes from Asian norms, and becomes much more International. Highlight for me was their Hot Rhubarb and Raspberry Souffle topped with a sticky caramel sauce almost, but not quite, to the normal toffee stage. It was served with a small salad of rhubarb and rosewater and a basil ice cream.

The mandatory chocolate dish is even on this menu, and it is a very exotic version thereof. The hot chilli-chocolate java cake is with Armagnac prunes, chocolate-espresso jelly and passion fruit trifle, white chocolate cannelloni with fennel and pineapple confit and fried polenta with truffle honey. The serve of this dish is large enough to share!

The list of available Sake and Schochu at Rin is quite amazing for Bali. There are four basic types of sake: Junmai, Honjozo, Ginjo and Daiginjo. Each requires different brewing methods and a different percentage of rice milling. Additionally, referring to the different handling of fermentation, sake can be divided into ten different classifications of sake, most of which are available here and all are listed by their classification.

Shochu is Japan's other indigenous alcoholic beverage, but unlike Sake, Shochu is distilled. If that is not enough RIN also offer Umeshu, Japan?s favourite plum wine.

RIN offers an attention to detail that will impress the indigenous Japanese diner, who will be amazed to find this level available in Bali.

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QUICK REVIEW
RIN
Address:
Conrad Hotel,
Tanjung Benoa.
Phone:
778.788
Open:
Dinner from 6.00 p.m., daily.
Bookings:
Advisable
Parking:
Secure in hotel grounds.
Price:
Rp. 1,200,000 for two [+ drinks]
Credit Cards:
- All Major
- Amex
- Mastercard
- Visa
Food:
Contemporary Japanese!
Wine:
Extensive list
Service:
Perfect
Atmosphere:
Classic setting for classic food.
Overall:
Fine dining, at its best.
Last Reviewed:
March 2011
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