When Canadian chef-restaurateur Kevin Cherkas, protegee of Spain's Michelin-starred El Bulli, launched Cuca in 2013 it became an instant foodie hit. His clever comfort-food tapas concept comes armed with cutting-edge culinary flair and an intense taste focus, utilizing Indonesia's finest natural, artisanal produce (predominantly organic, sourced from across the archipelago—right down to the coffees and wines). Western-technique dishes are created from what's fresh and available locally, with everything homemade from scratch. Cuca's delish, affordable tapas emulate Barcelona's finest, but here burst with flavors, balancing texture, color, and taste. Tender barbecued octopus with Asian gazpacho and smoked sable with beetroot yogurt are winners; stab 'n' bite salads provide crunchy goodness, like glazed young carrots drenched in zingy lemon balm, with whipped avocado, mountain strawberries, and cashews. Ceviches present the freshest raw fish splashed with fiery limes and fruit-infused shaved ice. Ultra-refreshing signature cocktails are concocted purely from fresh fruits and display ample creativity.

The ultra-contemporary space that houses Cuca is the antithesis of the usual Balinese look. It's housed in a large, open-plan, minimalist building that's all glass-encased and set in a coconut grove. It's very stylish and sleek, with clean lines and polished wood floors, with a garden lounge and a dining terrace. You can watch the chef's El Bulli–legacy culinary execution from a seat at the teak counter facing the open show-kitchen.