bla­tantly be­lan­tih

An or­ganic farm-to-fork jour­ney

hellobali - - CONTENTS - DEISHA TA­MAR

T

HE FARM

Petitenget Bar & Restau­rant ( Jl. Petitenget no. 40X, Seminyak, T: +62 361 473 3054, petitenget. net), or sim­ply known as Petitenget, was es­tab­lished back in 2012 and has be­come an in­sti­tu­tion here in Bali, and a haven for food­ies look­ing for qual­ity dishes.

How­ever, it’s not com­monly known that the chic bistro sources its in­gre­di­ents from its own farm in the north­ern part of Bali. That is why the bistro de­cided to hold the “From

Farm to Fork” ex­pe­ri­ence, tak­ing some lucky folk (in­clud­ing yours truly) on a jour­ney to its farm to see what the charm­ing bistro is do­ing be­hind the scenes.

Es­tab­lished in 2011, one-acre Be­lan­tih Farm sits nicely at 1,400 me­tres up in the breezy Kin­ta­mani area. Be­lan­tih it­self is the name of the vil­lage which the farm is part of.

The jour­ney to Be­lan­tih took al­most 2.5 hours by car. We were greeted by a vast farm grow­ing masses of green plants and veg­eta­bles. At the back stood a small open-air house called Gladak House, with a “Be­lan­tih Farm” sign on the wall. A long ta­ble was al­ready set up with cut­lery, and the place was ar­tis­ti­cally dec­o­rated with Hy­drangeas.

“When we first bought this farm, it was cov­ered in sandy soil, and only or­anges and cof­fee beans would grow here. It took us a while to be able to grow the things we wanted,” ex­plains Sean Cos­grove, the mas­ter­mind be­hind Petitenget, as we en­joyed the cool weather in Kin­ta­mani.

We were then taken on a 30-minute tour of the farm by En­dah, the friendly mid­dleaged manager. Born into a health-con­scious fam­ily, En­dah knows his greens well. While show­ing us around, he men­tioned the benefits of the plants that grow on the farm, such as the guava leaves that ap­par­ently can treat di­ar­rhea.

It’s im­por­tant to stress that Be­lan­tih Farm is 100 per cent or­ganic; it doesn’t use any chem­i­cals to kill pests. In­stead it uses nat­u­ral pes­ti­cides, such as tobacco wa­ter. Worms are con­trolled with In­taran leaves, and snails with salt. It also uses nat­u­ral fer­tilis­ers, from cow and chicken ma­nure to cow urine.

Around 39 kinds of veg­eta­bles, fruits, and herbs are grown on the farm, in­clud­ing

zucchini, oregano, pump­kin, and straw­berry. En­dah al­lowed us to taste some of the fruit, which was so sweet and per­fect for not hav­ing been treated with chem­i­cals.

In ad­di­tion to plants, the farm is also home to chick­ens, turkeys, fish, cows and rab­bits. En­dah em­pha­sised that Bali needs to breed more turkeys, since it’s the per­fect lo­ca­tion and it’s not as com­pli­cated as peo­ple think. And it could be a great busi­ness as well.

THE FORK

Af­ter the tour, lunch was served at Gladak House. The three­course meal was sim­ply heav­enly, es­pe­cially know­ing that the in­gre­di­ents came from the farm it­self. While we were en­joy­ing our starters, chef Simon Blaby, the ex­ec­u­tive chef of Petitenget, went out­side to pick some in­gre­di­ents that he had run out of. Our de­li­cious lunch in­cluded risotto of gold­band snap­per, shred­ded Ba­li­nese duck salad, and tartlette of pas­sion fruit.

Af­ter we were done with lunch, we were taken back to our ac­com­mo­da­tion. I was stay­ing at the so­phis­ti­cated The Elysian ( Jl. Saridewi 18, Seminyak, T: +62 361 730 999, theelysian.com). This bou­tique villa prop­erty is re­ally to-die-for, at 140 square me­tres and com­plete with a pri­vate plunge pool. It was the per­fect way of “com­ing home” af­ter that long jour­ney to Be­lan­tih. I also got to en­joy the villa’s Ap­ple TV fa­cil­ity, and also the won­der­ful break­fast and spa treat­ment the next day. I was al­ready wish­ing that Petitenget could in­vite us here ev­ery month.

That same night, the ex­pe­ri­ence ended with an ex­quis­ite din­ner, as Sean and Simon spoiled us rot­ten with beau­ti­ful dishes such as co­conut tem­pura prawns, pan seared Ne­gara bar­ra­mundi fil­let, and Petitenget Tiramisu – which was per­haps the big­gest and the most de­lec­ta­ble tiramisu I’ve ever had in Bali.

Sean is plan­ning to make the Be­lan­tih Farm tour open to the public in the fu­ture. He in­tends to build eco lodges around the farm so peo­ple can en­joy an­other side of Bali that is not yet known to most tourists.

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