TASTES OF THE ARCHIPELAGO
Authentic Indonesian dishes at Kayumanis Resto Jimbaran
Amidst the serenity in Kayumanis Jimbaran Private Estate & Spa, a unique Javanese joglo house stands within the resort’s manicured garden. Constructed of sustainable Javanese teak wood, the joglo house serves as the resort’s all-day dining place named Kayumanis Resto Jimbaran. Boasting an elegant design with hand-painted floor tiles and classicstyle chairs and tables, the restaurant consists of an indoor area that is facilitated with an open-plan bar and a veranda overlooking the tropical garden.
The restaurant just opened a year ago, yet it has become a favorite for Indonesian cuisine. Spanning over 17,000 islands, Indonesia has thousands of ethnic tribes, each with its own culture, traditions and, of course, food. Kayumanis Resto strives to present some of the authentic dishes from many parts of the country, from the western part like Sumatra to the eastern area like East Nusa Tenggara.
Sitting in their peaceful alfresco veranda for lunch, I was already drooling when a waitress showed me the list of their dishes. And with my orders in, my culinary journey across the archipelago began…
My dining experience began with Ayam Dabu-Dabu, which is served with dabu-dabu chili that originates from Manado in North Sulawesi. The dish consists of shredded chicken served with spices that blend perfectly, creating flavors that burst like fireworks in my mouth. It was such a flavorsome opening dish that boosted my appetite and got my palate ready for more Indonesian food.
For the main course, I opted for the star of the menu – the Bebek Panggang Mekudus (traditional Balinese smoked duck) which is similar to that of Balinese popular duck betutu. The difference is the cooking technique. The Bebek
Panggang Mekudus uses selected qualified duck meat which is first cleaned and massaged with spices for about 15 minutes, before being left to rest for a whole night. The next morning, the duck meat is marinated with traditional spices, and then steamed for about two hours. Then, it is cooked in the oven and is finally presented to the table on burning charcoals. The slow-cook process results in lush duck meat that is rich in authentic Balinese flavor. This meal is even more fulfilling with white rice, chicken wrap skewers, a chicken soup and Balinese matah chili.
Another highlight of the menu is the Nasi Bakar (the grilled fragrant rice). The origin of Nasi Bakar comes from Java, yet Kayumanis Resto Jimbaran has its own take with the use of corn, purple yam and traditional spices to add savory to the rice. The rice is also wrapped in banana leaves and is grilled over a charcoal fire, adding a rich and smoky taste to the dish. This meal is also perfect for lunch as it comes with either beef rendang, chicken curry or fish stew.
My lunch experience ended sweetly with a portion of Klepon Nilasari and Cendol Ngangenin for dessert. Klepon Nilasari is very much inspired by Indonesian klepon, a sweet delight made of rice flour filled with brown sugar, and served with shredded coconut. Kayumanis Resto gives a twist to the dish by using purple yam mixed with rice flour for vibrant colors on the outside, topped with shredded coconut, jackfruits and strawberries for a sweet sensation.
The Cendol Ngangenin is also just as interesting where a bowl of sweet creamy coconut milk – infused with brown sugar, slices of jackfruit and cendol (made of rice flour) – is served fresh in a coconut shell. The dish is even more unique with a piece of kue lumpur (a traditional mud cake) and a slice of kolak pisang (banana cooked with coconut milk and brown sugar). Indeed, indulging in the Cendol Ngangenin felt like scooping layer after layer of Indonesian traditional dessert.
Aside from its delightful local dishes, Kayumanis Resto also serves selections of traditional drinks. The Goyang Kawista drink is truly refreshing with kawista fruit mixed with lemonade, mint and soda, while Sinom from East Java is an amazing herbal drink for detoxification as it consists of tamarind leaves, turmeric and palm sugar. Another perfect option is Bir Pletok from Jakarta, a non-alcoholic drink that still gives a warm sensation with ginger infusion.
The wonderful Indonesian dishes at Kayumanis Resto are born from the hands of Chef Oka and his team. Chef Oka even went to Surabaya in East Java, Yogyakarta and Jakarta to search for some age-old recipes from local food joints. His determination is to turn simple street food into fivestar dishes.
“Our challenge here is to recreate Indonesian street food without any use of artificial flavor and preservatives, and present them in a high-quality presentation,” stated Chef Oka when he came to my table. With that in mind, Chef Oka is leading the kitchen team to have a deep understanding of each ingredient in order to cook a dish to perfection. “For instance, to cook beef rendang, we won’t use too much water to process the meat, so that the flavor of the meat, which comes from the juice, won’t dissolve.” As a result, Kayumanis Resto presents dishes that are true to their Indonesian roots, in terms of recipe and flavor.
“As an Indonesian chef, it is my duty to promote Indonesian cuisine, not only to our guests, but also to the country’s young chefs,” he continued, adding his concern that he rarely finds Indonesian cuisine in the curriculum during his time as a visiting chef in several culinary colleges in Bali. “Indonesian dishes may have thousands-yearold recipes, but unless we want to present real authentic Indonesian cuisine, we can modify our local food with our own creativity.” And indeed, selections of elevated Indonesian cuisine is what he presents at Kayumanis Resto.
The signature Bebek Panggang Mekudus.
The refreshing Goyang Kawista.