Balancing Ingredients to Create the Authentic Taste of Balinese Cuisine
TEXT: TARA MARCHELIN; PHOTOS: GUGUN A. SUMINARTO
When it comes to cooking, Balinese always use a lot of spices, like galangal, turmeric, ginger, and kaempferia galangal, as the main ingredients. Though they love to combine those spices to enrich the flavour, Balinese still believe in balancing the main ingredients as the key to create the authentic taste of their cuisine. It’s a philosophy that they keep and pass over the generation, known as Basa Genep.
Based on the same philosophy, Putu Made opened its place at the 5th floor of Senayan City in December 2017. With the magic hands of Chef Mandif Warokka, the restaurant brings authentic Bali flavours to the capital city. Putu Made also modifies some traditional recipes and presents them in modern servings without reducing a bit of Balinese palate. As well as the interior which combines outdoor traditional Bali ambience with indoor modern concept.
Last month, The Peak had a visit to the restaurant and tried some of their signature dishes. As an appetizer, Putu Made served Rujak Udang & Jeruk Bali (pomelo and prawn salad). The salad gave mixed textures in one spoon, the juiciness from pomelo and tomato, the tenderness from prawn, and crunchiness from lettuce and peanut. Putu Made dressed the salad with a combination of pindang soup and palm sugar tamarind which delivered a unique spicy-sweet flavour and made the salad very refreshing.
Satay is a mandatory dish when you are in a Balinese restaurant. Thus, we tried Putu Made’s Sate Platter (satay platter). The platter featured six kinds of satays which were Sate Lilit Bebek, Sate Kambing, Sate Lilit Ayam, Sate Lilit Ikan, Sate Escargot, and Sate Ayam Bumbu Merah. Each satay was well seasoned and had different flavours that satisfied everyone’s appetite. Sate Lilit Bebek, Sate Lilit Ayam, and Sate Lilit Ikan suited for those who love non-spicy food since the satays had savoury flavours, as well as Sate Kambing which had a dominant sweet taste from the soy sauce. On the other hand, Sate Escargot and Sate Ayam Bumbu Merah gave a bit spark with the combination of spicy and sweet flavours. The platter came with Sambal Matah and Sambal Kecap to enhance the satays’ taste.
The Peak’s culinary experience of Balinese cuisine didn’t stop there. After the delectable satays, Putu Made brought a whole chicken of Ayam Klungkung to the table. The finger-licking chicken was grilled over coconut husks with flavorful chilli shrimp paste marinade that created smokey and spicy flavours. As side dishes, there were stock-based soup called Komoh Soup and tossed boiled long beans called Lawar Kacang Panjang to balance the taste or just dip the chicken to Sambal Bongkoh or Sambal Klungkung to make the flavour even stronger.
The restaurant served Ajengan Lauk Bali as well. It was a set of Nasi Liwet Kemangi (basil Liwet rice) served with Tum Jamur (Tum mushroom), Ayam Base Kuning, Perkedel Jagung (corn cakes), and Sambal Uleg that uniquely presented using bamboo. The tantalizing and flavorful liwet rice perfectly combined with the tasty chicken, tender mushroom, and crunchy corn cakes. We topped off the meal with the sugary and refreshing Es Kelapa Campur (mixed fruit ice). The mixed fruit ice consisted of coconut flesh, avocado, jackfruit, sago pearl and dripped with condensed milk also coco pandan syrup.