TASTES OF THE AR­CHI­PEL­AGO

Au­then­tic In­done­sian dishes at Kayu­ma­nis Resto Jim­baran

Bali & Beyond - - TEAM TALK - Kayu­ma­nis Resto Jim­baran Kayu­ma­nis Jim­baran Pri­vate Es­tate & Spa Jalan Yoga Perkan­thi, Jim­baran (0361) 705-777 www.kayu­ma­nis.com By Risty Nur­raisa

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…

LO­CAL CHOICE

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.

EL­E­VAT­ING TRA­DI­TION

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.

Ayam Dabu-Dabu.

The sig­na­ture Be­bek Pang­gang Mekudus.

Nasi Bakar.

Kle­pon Ni­lasari.

Chef Oka

Cen­dol Ngan­genin.

The re­fresh­ing Goyang Kaw­ista.

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