Blanco par Mandif | Ubud
It has been too long since we went to Blanco par Mandif in Ubud, so we decided to return as the menu has certainly evolved since our last visit. The open-kitchen chef ‘s table is now gone replaced by an elegant dining room, dressed all in white, with a view on the opposite hill and the bridges below, entering through a cave-like Balinese door opening to an intimate and cosy bar salon.
Everyone accustomed with Indonesian haute cuisine knows or has heard of chef-owner Mandif Warokka, one of a few to served traditional dishes, prepared and presented in a contemporary and Michelin-star way. Despite the à la carte option it is highly recommended to go for the Adiboga, the chef degustation menu, be it 7 or 9-course. The beverage pairing is optional but to ease your evening do not pass on it.
Mixologist Ms Angie
Snacks & Pickles
After the flowered water hand-washing ceremonial we’ve been served with some “snacks & pickles” to accompany the cocktail created and crafted au guéridon by the young mixologist, Ms Angie. Spiced Ox Tongue Taco, Fermented Long Bean with Sambal Roa, Pickled Jicama with Star Anise & Singaraja Vinegar, Tropical Fruits & Rujak Ravioli and Rampe, a spinach cracker with raw long bean karedok, garlic aioli topped with cashew nuts and aromatic galangal powder. All presented beautifully, each with distinctive taste and crockery.
Coming with the homemade sourdough bread and focaccia, the cone shape in-house-produced butter is remarkable. As rich as a good farm butter from Normandie. The Japanese-inspired amuse-bouche made of prawn, tofu & mushroom in a fish broth, covered with dumpling skin matched very well the bread dipping made of Singaraja vinegar and virgin coconut oil. After that, it will be difficult to go back to the classic olive oil and balsamic…
Blue Swimmer Crab
Hotatei Scallops with Papinyo Salad
The hand-picked Blue Swimmer Crab with cultured coconut cream, Granny Smith apple, sweet grapes and sea urchin emulsion, was very delicate. The crab meat elevated by the smooth flavour of the coconut and the slight acidity of the apple blew my taste buds. The Hotatei Scallops served with Papinyo Salad (a traditional cucumber salad), Calamondin, with Kenari Dressing, was probably the most interesting as the Japanese seafood is here to elevate the salad, and not the other way around. I loved the refreshing soupçon of the Cucumber & Lime Granita added à la minute.
14-day aged Duck à la Peking
After the Binte, a young coconut-corn-tiger prawn warm soup according to the recipe of Mandif's mom, we enjoyed a 14-day aged Duck à la Peking, with chicken liver mousse, grilled baby corn and beetroot 3 ways- fresh beetroot, pickled beetroot and beetroot gel - basted with a tamarind-beetroot sauce. The duck is farmed in Bali under Chef Warokka’s supervision, following a very special diet and husbandry practices. For instance, the poultry must reach 2.8kg, a specific content of natural fat before being delivered. The ageing process results to a soft, tender and concentrated flavoured meat, while the Beijing style cooking offers a glossy and crispy skin to die for.
Then came the sticky and rich Rack of Lamb glazed with maranggi (sweet soya sauce base) topped with homemade Indonesian style chimichurri, made from local herbs, and a dash of chilli, served with smoked aubergine, with its flower, and mushroom purée. This one was a special treat from Chef Mandif, and what a treat! Terima kasih banyak Chef!
Traditional Getuk Blanco’s Style
If you have been reading our foodie’s notes for a while, you might have understood that I am not so fond of sweets but the dessert was amazing, to say the least. Originated from Yogyakarta, the traditional Getuk is prepared with Blanco’s twist. A cassava mousse coated in Italian meringue, on raspberry jelly, kenari crumble, passion fruit tuile and coconut ice cream. The ensemble offers a minor sugar level despite the meringue, a touch of sourness and a pleasant creaminess due to the coconut gelato. Divine. As was the mignardises selection, all more succulent one than the other, and once more, not over sugary.
Photo courtesy of Blanco par Mandif
Special mention to the irreproachable wine pairing from the beginning to the end. A tour de force by the restaurant manager-sommelier as I have requested to be served only with wines. No cocktail for me as I am trying to avoid hard liquor (on diet?!? Maybe!). From old to new world, whites and reds were served at the perfect temperature and ouverture.
Blanco’s cuisine reflects Mandif passion for his Indonesian heritage through authenticity, originality and highlighting local farmers. Indonesian state-of-art cuisine by Indonesian Chef with Indonesian produce is what you get. A serious challenge won hands down. For those used to local warung or not so familiar with the archipelago’s cuisine, this is an opportunity to discover a singular and pioneering approach to local fare. Keep an open mind, stick to my motto of “try everything once,” and you’ll have the time of your life!
by wlw - 2019.10.17
@dineandwinebali.com – October 2019