One hundred and twenty medicinal plants surround Will Goldfarb’s refreshed Room 4 Dessert, the Bali-based sweets joint that the chef shuttered in January for a three-month facelift.
“Last year we were like, we’re either going to blow it up, or go for it,” says Goldfarb of his decision to invest in his restaurant’s expansion, and in basic equipment like fridges and a Vitamix. But, more importantly, the chef chose to develop landscaping around his dessert and drinks lounge to house dozens of new herbs and fruit trees––like pandan, lemongrass, and galangal––the local flavors that have become Room 4 Dessert’s guiding philosophy.
Goldfarb initially opened Room 4 Dessert fourteen years ago in New York City. But, after a fall-out with business partners, he transplanted his sweets-focused tasting menu concept to Ubud, in central Bali. And while the chef––whose resume counts time spent at Spain’s visionary, modernist restaurant elBulli, past positions alongside Manhattan’s elite, like Masaharu Morimoto, and a James Beard Award for Best Pastry Chef in America––was best known for his techy, avant-garde desserts, once in Bali, due to financial limitations which precluded him for owning the technology to which he was accustomed, Room 4 Dessert morphed to adapt to its surroundings, with desserts increasingly guided by simpler techniques and the local flora.