Indonesia might not be famous as a culinary destination, the team at Locavore does show that the island nation has so much to offer.
The men in charge of the kitchen are Chef Patrons Eelke Plasmeijer, a Dutch native who arrived in Indonesia over ten years ago, and Ray Adriansyah, originally from Jakarta and who used to be the Sous Chef of Plasmeijer when both of them worked at Shy Restaurant in Jakarta. Together they set up Locavore three years ago in order to cook the way they wanted.
As Indonesian cuisine is by far not as well-known as some other Asian cuisines, the team behind Locavore has made it their mission to use as many local products as possible and prepare them with modern techniques.
Guests can choose between two set menus: one with meat and one vegetarian option and both are available as five or seven course menus. Through the use of indigenous herbs and spices, each dish has an intense flavour and the portions are intentionally kept modest so that the team can serve you the full array of what Indonesia has to offer. A lot of fermentation techniques are used, as well as many acidic elements, resulting in a dining experience that can be quite sour for some eaters.
To match this intensity in the glass, Locavore has chosen to pair their dishes with a series of original cocktails instead of wine. This way they are also able to adjust the beverages more easily because the wine options in Indonesia are limited and they launch a new menu every month.
The interior is sober with the use of a lot of wood and the dining room is fairly dark. The open kitchen is visible from every table and guests can also eat at the counter, similar as in Japanese restaurants.
Restaurant Manager Adi Karmayasa is in charge of the service but some of the kitchen staff come into the dining room to further explain the dishes they have just prepared. This is notable point where Locavore stands out, because a lot of emphasis is placed on staff training to elevate the culinary level in Bali. Similarly, there are targeted staff trips across Indonesia to bring back new inspiration and ingredients for the team.
In the end, all these efforts pay off well on the plate and that is what diners are coming for. The relaxed atmosphere in combination with the creativity on the food makes this an interesting restaurant experience when in Bali.
Written by Sebastiaan & Sven