A GASTRONOMIC TWIST ON PAN ASIAN CUISINE
Organically Grown Greens, Spices, Fruits and Roots from Local Bedugul Farmers. New Zealand and Australian Imported Meats. Lots of Locally produced Soy Products, Tempe and Tofu. Organic Sumatra Mandailing Espresso Bar. Infused Cocktails with a variety of Organic Fruits, Roots and Beans, serving up some of Bali's Most Inspired Cocktail Recipes.
Since Chandi opened its doors in Bali on April 24, 2008, it has had the pleasure of growing with, at its core, the same team headed by Chef Agung Nugroho and his Wife Kirsten Weymar. Recipes and Design ideas have evolved, a second floor with Show Kitchen and an 8-meter Bar hosting private Cocktail Parties and Tasting Dinners, has Opened, but the commitment to a whole hearted approach to Culinary creativity and excellence has remained intact and kept its Team as Tight as Ever.
FROM WORD OF MOUTH TO WORDS ON PAPER
A few Chandi restaurant regulars met with Chandi’s chef extraordinaire, Agung, to run this interview.
After such a successful run with some of New York City’s most awarded and talked about restaurants, namely Nobu, Spice Market, Perry Street and Budhakan – why Bali??
Initially, I needed to re-experience first hand the foods, scents, and textures of Indonesia, before I could bring it my own twist. So, my wife and I flew from NYC to Jakarta, and made our way through Java, from warung to restaurant, from market to farmer, and then, we finally headed to Bali for a well deserved rest in Canggu, where we had the joy of falling pregnant, with who is now the full thrill of our lives: Nelson!! So we began considering Bali... for all its great attributes!!
Why did you choose Seminyak as a Location?
We fell in love with a space that had a great flow, lots of natural light, and a great kitchen layout!! and luckily it all fell into place rather fast!!
We created a partnership with the owner of the past restaurant, and were given green-light to re-conceptualize it into Chandi. My wife headed to Ubud in search of great carvers to partner on a design of what has become our main visual draw: an 8-meter hand-carved and backlit wall with an intricate eccentric motif, NYC meets Java and Bali. The space is wide and opens onto the street on side and a back garden on the other, and we are currently developing the rooftop. We have already had fun with large Wedding dinners, and Birthday Bashes and all kinds of special events. The clientele in Seminyak is a great mix of Glamour meets Health Nut!! And ultimately that is what Chandi’s Menu caters to. Chandi’s Kitchen now runs from Lunch to Dinner, Noon to Midnight, with the Bar open till 1:30am when busy. We are also developing a Chandi product line named “Javanaise” mostly involving Organic Spices, scents and accessories, that will all be available by Christmas 2008 in our Chandi boutique.
Tell us about about Chandi’s extensive menu and daily Specials?
Chandi’s menu presents a Gastronomic Twist on Indonesian Cuisine using Organic Spices and Greens, mostly sourced through Big Tree Farms of Ubud. The fish and shellfish are‘catch of the day’ of course and all red meats are from Australia and New Zealand. Tempe and Tofu are central to Indonesian Cuisine and offer endless possibilities, and outstanding health benefits, so they play their part, just as a three types of organically farmed rice, and wild nuts, grains and exotic fruits allow me to compose beautiful textures and plating. I have taken Indonesian classics such as, Sop Buntut (Oxtail), Beef Rendang, Sate, Banana leaves, and Tamarind, Pecel and... recomposed, with respect to traditional elements but freely altering the cooking process and plating. The Oxtail, and the Lamb Shank, the Crab, for instance go through a long process to reach their final “fall of the bone” quality. I am in constant development mode mostly with spices, and being Indonesian, I may have a bit of an advantage in sourcing great produce. Suppliers keep surprising me with better and better produce, while my Kitchen staff is growing into a truly amazing team, that I really hope will be able to come train our future New York city Kitchen Team!! Customers keep coming back and the word of mouth has truly been our launching vessel. It has all been a blessing!!