A Culinary Utopia: The New One&Only Desaru Coast

10 Sep 2020
5 min read
Nestled in 128-acres of lush tropical rainforests and positioned on a seemingly endless private, white beach overlooking the South China Sea, One&Only Desaru Coast offers guests a tropical oasis of dining, wellbeing, seclusion and privacy.

Designed by the award-winning Kerry Hill Architects, the first One&Only resort in Asia – which opened its doors on Sunday 6 September 2020 –  is unrivalled in its offerings, featuring world-renowned service, showcasing vibrant Malaysian culture and presenting authentic dining experiences. The aesthetic celebrates the destination’s architectural heritage with a modern interpretation of the traditional Malaysian ‘kampung’ (‘village’).

Spread across 128 acres, the resort has an intimate collection of just 42 Junior Suites, two expansive two-bedroom Grand Suites and an exclusive four-bedroom Villa One. Each of the hotel’s stand-alone suites is perfectly framed by nature, offering exceptional levels of privacy, either facing the ocean or wrapped by rainforests. All boast private plunge pools, abundant indoor and outdoor living spaces, decadent bathrooms and thoughtful Malaysian-inspired design features.

The ultimate address at One&Only Desaru Coast and perfect for larger groups or unforgettable celebrations, Villa One offers 1,500m2 of luxury living, secluded from the main resort. The two-storey, four-bedroom villa boasts generous living spaces, a private spa treatment room, a home office and a central courtyard garden with ocean-facing lawns surrounding an expansive 27-metre swimming pool. In addition, the resort will feature a Private Homes community, with homes available to own or rent, perfect for couples or families who desire a spacious haven to call home.

A culinary destination that seeks to captivate all five senses, One&Only Desaru Coast serves a melting pot of intriguing cuisines, with every one of the resort’s restaurants and bars bringing a distinct ethos, energy, design and flavour,  as well as showcasing the bounty of the region’s land and sea. From Asian-inspired barbecue at Ember Beach Club helmed by celebrated Chef Andrew Walsh, to the fine art of Japanese cuisine at Hoshi, guests will also be transported to the sun-drenched coasts of the Mediterranean at Ambara, while Essential and Dusky Monkey take inspiration from the surrounding exotic tropics of Malaysia.

Critically acclaimed Chef Andrew Walsh elevates the art of barbecue with flavoursome Asian spices at Ember Beach Club, a buzzing venue with a restaurant and bar set on golden sands overlooking two infinity pools and the enticing sea beyond. One of the first chefs in Singapore to drive the concept of ‘Bistronomy’, Irish-born Chef Walsh champions the art of creating exceptional food in a vibrant yet relaxed social setting. His illustrious career has seen him working in the United Kingdom under Jason Atherton and Tom Aikens at their Michelin-starred restaurants before launching his own flagship restaurant Cure in Singapore.

Set to be Malaysia’s first beach club and unlike any beachside destination the region has to offer, Ember is open to both resort and local guests for laid back sun-drenched mornings through to buzzing sunset sessions that transition into vibrant evenings. At the restaurant, Chef Andrew Walsh has curated a menu where the age-old tradition of open-fire cooking is refined, with prime meats and the freshest seafood coupled with tantalising Asian flavours take centre stage. Dishes are seasoned with regional spices and slow-grilled over charcoal to tease out complex flavours, highlights from the menu include Grilled Seabass served with green curry and fragrant coconut rice, Grilled Baby Lobster cooked in its shell and basted with rich brown butter and a home-made XO sauce, and tender Wagyu Ribeye with kampot black pepper sauce and shallot jam. Guests can also expect a hotly anticipated calendar of events ranging from outdoor movie screenings and live bands to DJs, showcases by guest mixologists and a quarterly four-hands dinner.

Hoshi, One&Only Desaru Coast’s signature restaurant, marries traditional Japanese sensibility with modern culinary techniques in an intimate space. Framed by a Japanese-inspired mural of the rainforest by local contemporary graffiti artist Abdul Rashade, the bar counter is the perfect vantage point from which to observe Chef Aziz Abduraimov expertly prepare tempura, nigiri sushi and sashimi. Seasonal omakase menus featuring the finest ingredients can be savoured by guests, alongside Japanese sake and exclusive whiskies.

Open for breakfast and dinner, Mediterranean-inspired Ambara celebrates provenance and seasonality, showcasing produce from local farmers and the resort’s Chef’s Garden. Breakfast dishes include flavourful shakshuka and spiced buckwheat pancakes, Malaysian favourites such as brown rice congee, nasi lemak and roti canai, alongside healthy tropical fruits topped with superfoods and local rainforest honey. In the evening, the restaurant transforms with a soft amber glow, making it the perfect venue for a romantic night or an intimate dinner with the family. Guests can feast on freshly baked breads, mezze platters and grilled meats and seafood, and watch the chefs live in action at the open kitchen complete with two wood-fire ovens. For those that wish to follow a balanced and healthy lifestyle, Ambara also offers a selection of dishes that follow the principles of Chenot’s signature Biolight Diet, complementing the programmes at the resort’s Chenot Spa.

The diverse cuisines of Malaysia are captured in the inventive local specialties at Essential, located next to the spectacular 50-metre infinity pool.  Whilst reclining in the comfort of the shaded day beds amidst the tropical breeze, guests can create their own healthy bliss bowls, or enjoy laksa, satay skewers and gado-gado salad adorned with condiments from the Chilli Collective – a table of sambal (local pastes) made from chilli varieties from all over the world. Chilli-based products such as infused oils, sauces and spiced chocolate will also be available for those with piquant taste buds. At sundown, Essential transforms into a stylish bar, serving artfully prepared cocktails and light snacks, the ideal end to a carefree day by the pool.

Perched above the swimming pool, the acoustics of the surrounding jungle and ocean provide the perfect soundtrack at the open-air Dusky Monkey bar. Shaken or stirred, the bar boasts an extensive menu of curated rums from the region, fine whiskies, gins, artisanal tonics and a selection of refreshing handcrafted drinks by the resident mixologist. During the day, the cosy atmosphere is the perfect place to gather over relaxed afternoon tea and pastries, with a special Dusky Monkey Tea blend of oolong leaves, dried bananas, pineapple, papaya and lemongrass created exclusively for the resort by artisan tea specialists Quinteassential. As the skies come alight with stars, guests can soak up the live music with cocktail in hand.

Gourmands can explore behind-the-scenes at the Chef’s Garden and discover produce used throughout the resort’s kitchens, including both Asian and Western herbs, a collection of chilli varieties and learn the wonders of the lost and forgotten herbs of Malaysia. To reduce the resort’s environmental footprint there is a composting station, and guests can learn about the green food waste practices employed by the resort. The resort’s expert team of chefs showcase local ingredients and cooking techniques at the Chef’s Demonstration Table, while those looking to perfect their skills in the kitchen can partake in a variety of cooking classes such as sourdough baking workshops, rum mixology sessions and sambal-making lessons, whilst kids can have fun baking and chocolate-making with the team of pastry chefs.

The resort’s team of warm and talented colleagues are on hand to create bespoke, private dining experiences for special celebrations and memorable events, including intimate dining for two by the blue seas over candlelight, an unforgettable family meal surrounded by the rainforest under the stars, a personalised barbeque, or a floating breakfast tray for guests to enjoy in their private pool.

Guests that want to improve their vitality and performance can visit the Chenot Spa and experience a revolutionary scientific and holistic approach to health and wellness. Focusing on the ‘whole self’ by understanding the individual needs of each guest through the latest advances in research and diagnostics, Chenot Spa offers a curated menu built around four pillars – Sport & Physical Activities, Emotional Wellbeing, Nutrition, and Aesthetics – all designed to work in synergy to reset and strengthen body and mind. One, two and three-day programmes include tailored nutritional menus, fitness schedules, targeted spa treatments and stress relieving activities designed according to individual needs. Guests can further their wellness journey with bespoke nail care by Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez. The resort also boasts a fully equipped, state-of-the-art fitness studio, a specialist Pilates studio and a yoga pavilion that overlooks the azure waters, providing an inspiring space for yoga and meditation classes.

To find out more and to book, visit the hotel’s website.


Images © One&Only