Ijen at Potato Head Beach Club Bali
Recently, Bali has banned single-use-plastic and we can only be proud of our community for implementing such a great regulation. We already recycle conscientiously and always remember to bring a canvas tote to the pasar or the corner’s warung. But being green means a lot more than just ditching plastic straws and bags. Ijen at Potato Head Beach Club is committed to not only protecting the planet by following a zero-waste philosophy but also serve 100% locally sourced ingredients while they’re at it. They are sourcing hand-reeling caught seafood mainly, and locally-grown fruits & vegetables, essentially from Bedugul’s farmers with whom they work very closely, imposing to avoid chemicals and guiding them for better result. In addition, all food waste is sent to their composting site or pigs farm nearby. A notable effort to duck carbon footprint to the max. Every detail of reducing their negative impact on the earth has been thought of.
Ijen at Potato Head Beach Club Bali
Of course, such a concept requires Executive Chef Wayan Kresna Yasa to create and review his menu regularly following the daily supplies. What a challenge! The real point is a seasonal menu of beautiful and delicious dishes you’ll be thinking about for months afterwards, served on handcrafted plates for most, on locally-made furniture built from recycled materials.
Fish & Rice Crackers
While given the menu (made of recycled truck tyres) we’ve been served with some Fish Crackers prepared in-house with their own mixture of fish scales and leftover rice, and since we had no breakfast, we asked for the crispy Sourdough Breadbasket with Garlic-Chives-Butter. The bread is made out of fish stock, instead of water, for a better taste and better use of fish excess. Great idea, great flavour!
Ceviche with Calamansi Dressing & Tamarillo | Sourdough Breadbasket with Garlic-Chives-Butter
The Ceviche with Calamansi Dressing & Tamarillo was divine. Calamansi, or Kalamansi, has a citrus flavour that's all its own and difficult to substitute. The flavour profile is a cross between lemon, tangerine and passionfruit. It is super tart with a tiny floral finish, matching very well with the gently smoked fish and the complex essence of the tamarillo.
One of the particularities of Ijen is the way the kitchen operates. Everything is prepared on open-wood-fire, like in the old days, or in the wood-fired oven. No gas, no electricity for cooking. The King Prawn marinate 24 hours in coconut oil with Allium, Chili & Parsley, giving a pleasant sweetness and tang to the crustaceans, then grilled spatchcocked, accentuating the wooden penchant to the flesh. We also had the Grilled Barramundi Fillet with Mango & Bilimbi Relish. The fish, glazed with onion, mango, turmeric and smoked coconut yoghurt, comes with a nice golden colour, a melting silky-milky texture.
King Prawn, Allium, Chili & Parsley
Grilled Barramundi Fillet, Mango & Bilimbi Relish | Roasted Cauliflower, Kluwak Tahini & Cashew
As side dishes, we opted for the crunchy and nutty Roasted Cauliflower mixed with Kluwak Tahini & Cashew, and, both listed rice on the menu. White Rice with Squid, Shallots, Lemongrass & Fish Floss, and Black Rice with Kluwak, Sweet Potato & Roasted Baby Corn, topped with fried kale. Both mixtures are wrapped in banana leaf and oven-baked, giving a smoky taste to it. Personally, I found the white rice a bit too salty (probably due to the fish floss) and not matching so well with the fish but pleasant with the prawns. But, the black rice perfectly accompanied the sweet and sour kick of the mango condiment with the sublimely cooked barramundi. What an exquisite combination!
Pineapple, Pineapple-Mint Sorbet, Fresh Sweet Salsa & Sorghum Crouton
Banana, Honeycomb Ice-Cream, Palm Nectar, Bali Chocolate & Banana Flour Tuile
Dessert lovers will have their dormant volcano on fire with the Pineapple made of Pineapple-Mint Sorbet, Fresh Sweet Salsa & Sorghum Crouton served in pineapple shell. I am not so familiar with sorghum (except in Maotai, a Chinese liquor), but ask a hundred people if they’ve ever eaten it and chances are, they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about. However, sorghum, a cereal grain, has a mild, earthy flavour, a texture similar to wheat berries and the flour has been called out as being the most wheat-like gluten-free flour. Now you know!
If you need something a bit more nourishing, try the charred Banana with Honeycomb Ice-Cream, Palm Nectar, Bali Chocolate & Banana Flour Tuile. The fruit was firm yet tender and the honeycomb bits cracking under the melting ice cream and chocolate gave the dessert a magnificent roundness.
Executive Chef Wayan Kresna Yasa
Nusa Penida native Chef Wayan Kresna Yasa brings all his marine products comprehension and fishing tradition acquired in is youth with his family, and, his Michelin star background and savoir-faire to the table. The 2018 Foodies Magazine “Chef of the year” is doing a remarkable job putting the archipelago’s produce and originality on the global map, in the first sustainable restaurant of the island.
From the cuisine to the bar, with all its signature conscious cocktails in which the spirits are made in-house and the ingredient by-product is reused whenever possible, no doubt, Ijen with its mountain of sustainability, is reaching the uppermost peaks of Haute gastronomy!
by wlw - 2019.09.05
© dineandwinebali.com - September 2019