An organic farm-to-fork journey
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.
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.