Inspired by the street food of many Southeast Asia countries, Bali’s newest ubergroovy restaurant has successfully transformed each into a superb, great flavour without altering the dish’s original taste.
Named after a loose garment made of a long strip of cloth wrapped around the body worn as a skirt or dress by men and women of the Malay Archipelago and the Pacific islands, Sarong can also be considered as an icon to represent wonderfully colourful of enjoying a relaxing lifestyle; it’s really matching with the atmosphere in Bali.
Internationally renowned Australian chef, Will Meyrick and two Bali’s noted food and wine connoisseurs, Andrew Mc Latchie and David Kearns, as well as other Indian, Chinese and Indonesian chefs, take Sarong’s visitors into a distinctly sumptuous eatery where its 120 seats are frequently visited by those food enthusiasts craving to spoil their palate in friendly relaxing ambience.
This new dining venue is really packed every night. Thus, making a reservation is the best way to turn an evening into a fabulous one.
Most foodies in Bali, particularly tourists, are well aware of what and where to eat, but the presence of Sarong adds another great dining venue with a myriad to choose from the menu.
Having an array of cuisines to choose from; from Chinese to Indian and Vietnamese, Cantonese to Indonesian, Sarong has transformed itself as the Bali dining scene with feast of Southeast Asian taste that create another first for Bali.
Open since April last year, the presence of Sarong compliments another unique eatery on the island of gods. Having the doorway surrounded by the antique Javanese, decorated by sheer curtains and adorned by low-lit chandeliers and glittering candlelight, Sarong takes visitors to reveal the secret of Southeast Asia.
Sarong has two open pavilions. The first one houses a lounge with sofas and armchairs neatly placed surrounded by artwork in comfortable and cozy setting. Adjacent to the lounge is a large bar and a private dining room for ten.
The bar is stylish and spacious where it has its own Sarong Tapas menu, a mix of Asian style tapas and Dim Sum (all finger, chopstick and fork dishes). Equipped with communal bar table, in addition to the bar’s private dining area, the bar creates a glittering sense to visitors.
The main dining area is nestled within the second pavilion. Having a combination of dining tables and sofas, the main dining area is surrounded by a fairly-lit garden that creates a sense of exotic dining. The restaurant’s partly open kitchen makes patrons become part of the show as much as the food, beverages and service.
Not only is Sarong designed to take patrons to an unforgettable culinary journey, but this elegant restaurant which situated in Seminyak, Bali offers a dining experience with the offering menu that stimulates all six senses. The restaurant’s exotic, relaxed vibrant atmosphere conjures up the sumptuous food and beverages that please all the senses.
Will’s kitchen concept remind us of a library. Instead of having books, nevertheless, Will has cooks. “A variety of Asian foods are the fruition of a team of cooks who have the expertise in their own cuisine,” he says.
The menu is divided into sections. The starters and salads, which offer a variety of flavours, include raw tuna betel leaf with lemongrass shallots and lemon basil. Other worth of trying menu are Roti Canai with chicken gravy, Ajwaini fish tikka cooked in saffron cardamom turmeric, Peking duck with prawn crackers and plum sauce.
Among the Indonesian menu specialties are West Sumatran Ayam Bakar (Roast Chicken) grilled over coconut husks and Sulawesi grilled fish marinated in turmeric lime juice and lemongrass with chili. Sumatran crispy duck with chili is undoubtedly worth to try.
Also, the restaurant serves variation of old street food favourites ranging from pad Thai to tandoori chicken. While the dim sum selection just tastes as the original Chinese one, the classic Indonesian Martabak reminds the talented chefs at Sarong in how they sumptuously make such authentic food into an international taste.
“And don’t forget to have a bite of authentic desserts like Vietnamese coconut crème caramel pancake and custard apple ice-cream,” Will recommends adding, “We, in addition, preserve the genuine flavours of Thai that are sweet, sour, salty or hot. Included in the menu are the sweet pork hocks (pieces of pork stir fried with tamarind and tamarillo) and beef slowly braised in a Penang curry with chili and Thai basil.”
Truly, having Pad Thai with tofu gai Ian with pickled radish and garlic chive flowers or Singaporean stir-fried chili crab stimulates at such an exotic place like Sarong creates a unique culinary journey on the Bali Island.
The Sarong’s enormous menu is really tempting and it is hard to get it fulfilled by only visiting the place once. Every item listed in the menu looks good and with how the food is excellently served, no one would say ‘no’ for having repeat visits.
With all the great menu and sensual atmosphere, Sarong has emerged as a new ubergroovy dine-in that spoils patrons craving distinctive culinary service. “By serving the best Asian foods, we are bringing a new culinary experience in a melting pot nuance yet maintaining the Indonesian authenticity,” Will says.
In designing Sarong, Will has worked with the interior designer Liv Clausen. “She really has the passion for pleasing the senses,” he remarks. At Sarong, Liv’s expertise can be seen in each part of the restaurant where a harmonious blend of comfort and sensuality is vibrated on a great venue where the epic flavours of Southeast Asia set new unique standards.
By Aulia R. Sungkar, published in the 4th edition of PMR Magazine S’pore, March 2009.