“Rumari” means the house of the sun and full moon, a place of true celestial beauty right on the cusp of Jimbaran Bay. Led by executive chef Gaetan Biesuz, the restaurant within the vast acreage of Raffles Bali presents the finest dishes in a contemporary style.
“It is important for me as a travellers when in a destination to find the flavour and the food of the place where I go. Coming to Bali and Indonesia, my first priority is to work with the local flavours and then match those with the flavours of the food that I am used to. So at Rumari, we use Indonesian ingredients but it is not Indonesian food,” says chef Biesuz of his cuisine at Rumari. Keeping true to where the restaurant is, 80% of the ingredients come from Indonesia, while 20% are imported, and all this is explained with the help of an origami menu, a tribute to the owner of Raffles Bali, who is Japanese.
The menu is offered in three “steps”, five courses (INR1.300++), seven courses (INR1.750++) and nine courses (INR2.050++). However, for in-houses guests there is a small a la carte menu. “Some guests stay with us for 10-15 days, so one has to have a little bit of flexibility,” explains the chef. The array of amuse bouche change often, depending on what’s best in season, while each course is named after the place the main ingredient comes from in Indonesia.
Padang is a coastal city and is known for its seafood sauce, which is also called Padang. A dish that pairs well with Krug Champagne, of which Rumari is the first Krug ambassador in Indonesia.
A heritage dish from West Sumatra, the course uses crab from Sumatra with Padang sauce and heirloom tomatoes. From Sulawasi comes the Ahi tuna, 80% of which is exported to Japan. It is lightly smoked with coconut and is balanced with sambal matah, which is the sambal from Bali, the base of which is the torch ginger flower and one of my favourite things to eat. The dish also has seaweed from Lombok, Osceitra caviar, sea grapes, salicornia and sea broccoli. From a farm in Brebes comes the sous vide organic duck egg. “This is a surf and turf dish. In the plate, we have the land and in my plate we have the sea. Soft poached eggs, textures of coconut, crispy duck skin and finished with a generous topping of caviar, the surf part of the dish, done tableside. The caviar balances the sweetness of the coconut and the richness of the duck egg yolk.
Grilled sea bream is often found on menus in Lombok and at Rumari the fish fillet comes with its crispy skin and the chef comes table side with the “bone and the head”. It is not as sinister as it sounds… “We make a collagen sauce using the head and bones and finished with lemon basil oil and a bit of chilli oil,” says the chef. The dish has beetroot and a chutney of tomato and ginger.
The star of Rumari, offered in the nine steps menu is the Minangkabau, which is the largest matrilineal society in the world from West Sumatra. Rendang is known as the “treasure of Minangkabau” and at Rumari it is made with Australian Wagyu beef tenderloin. “It is not so fatty and on the bottom of the meat, you have three sauces. The dark one is the beef jus, the green one is sambal ijo, which is green chilli and fish herbs and a bit of coconut cream. On the side, textures of cassava has cassava root, cassava leaf and cassava foam,” explains the chef.
From Central Java comes the palate cleanser of tamarind, turmeric, jamu sorbet, the traditional herbal drink in Indonesia, Novio Farms cloves, honey and garden flowers. Staying in Java but heading east comes the dessert. Pemalang farm pineapple textures is served on a sable, with pineapple sorbet and coriander. Refreshingly delicious!
“I do try and show that Indonesian cuisine can compete with any cuisine around the region by matching Indonesian ingredients with dishes that are a little bit more fresh, a little bit more light, and paired them with the strong flavours of Indonesian cuisine.
“We have developed these menus to stay on the very thin line in between flavours and authenticity of what you find in Indonesia but completely redone,” states chef Biesuz.
Call +62-361-2015-800, WhatsApp +62-851-7110-9559, email [email protected] or visit raffles.com/bali/dining/rumari.