Ryan Clift’s newest restaurant is located in the heart of Seminyak in Bali
Bring on bistronomie
Ryan Clift has made quite the formidable name for himself on our shores. Nine years ago, he moved to Singapore to start his own venture, which we now know as Tippling Club. Within its first two years of operations, Tippling Club was hailed as one of Singapore's top restaurants and in 2010, was named in Miele Awards' Top 20 Restaurants in Asia. Fast forward to 2017, and the restaurant is ranked 27th in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants and 31st in the World's 50 Best Bars. Clift also heads up the kitchen at Open Farm Community, a hip restaurant with a focus on urban farming in Singapore.
With these accolades stacked up in his favour, it's no surprise that Clift has set his sights on something away from our vibrant hub. His latest project takes him into the heart of Seminyak in Bali, a strip bustling with activity and bursting with cafés, restaurants, and shops alike. There's stiff competition when it comes to food on the Island of the Gods, but nothing yet like what Clift is offering.
Enter GROW, a delightful restaurant and bar located in the L Hotel Seminyak. Based on the "bistronomie" concept, which showcases high end food in a casual setting, the focus at GROW is on fresh, sustainable produce that will also support and stimulate the local economy. "Where we can, we employ farmers to grow certain ingredients especially and only for GROW — a true 'farm to table' situation'. The soil on Bali is amazing and you can grow a lot of vegetables relatively faster than in other places," explains Clift.
The first thing you'll notice when you walk into GROW is its feature bar with colourful hanging bottles, and how the restaurant is beautifully shrouded in lush greenery. There's tropical foliage inside and out, and walls to match the leafy space. The best seat in the house? By the window, drenched in natural light (read: perfect for your pictures). Call for the steak tartare and fresh local burrata to start, both classics done to perfection — the former is one of the best we've tried, with a melt-in-your-mouth tartness that pairs well with crisp croutons. The slow cooked octopus and confit chicken thigh are also great options for sharing should you and your crew decide to have something more substantial.
According to Clift, if there's one thing you need to have on the menu, it's their pasta. Handmade with locally-grown semolina, this recipe is the brainchild of Daniel Taddeo, head chef at GROW, who was born and raised in Italy. "Pasta is a true comfort dish, and at GROW, the pasta dishes speak true simplicity without having you feeling stuffed afterwards," says Clift. "I have tried many carbonara dishes in my lifetime, and this is by far the best in the world."
Thirsty? No meal is complete at GROW without one of their progressive cocktail concoctions. Try the Spring Meadow Sour, or "L"der Flower Collins, both refreshing drinks crafted with whisky and gin respectively, that will keep you cool while escaping the Bali heat. Once the sun starts to dip below the horizon, make your way to GROW UP, GROW's stunning rooftop bar. With an unbeatable view of Seminyak and a vibe to rival any bar in Spain, you'll be knocking back more than a couple of drinks with your best crew.
If you have time for a leisurely midday bite, the three-course lunch menu is great value for those who wish to try a little bit of everything. Priced at less than SGD$20, expect a three-course selection from Clift's main menu that will tantalise your taste buds and leave you fully satisfied.
Time to make that trip to Bali? Our eager stomachs certainly think so.
For more information, visit GROW.