My mouth is watering and I am now day dreaming about Indonesian street food – “that happens” chuckles chef Eelke as he describes the ancient method of cooking in coconut husks with mythical sounding ingredients and punchy flavours of Semur Daging, his most recent take on the traditional Balinese stew for his authentic Indonesian restaurant, Locavore, in Ubud, Bali.
Eelke Plasmeijer and business partner Ray Adriansyah always wanted their business to be good and do good. Now operating some of the best restaurants in Bali since 2013, along with a cocktail bar, butcher shop, food lab and soon-to-be farm, complete with forest, apiary and distillery. They are an exceptional example of a sustainable hospitality business, with their zero-waste policy, local sourcing, renewable energy production, educational programs and more!
“At the beginning it was very difficult to source authentic Indonesian products because most farmers only grow the western ingredients that hotels want to buy. But we told them we want to use the same ingredients that your grandparents would use….who comes to Bali to eat salmon, scallops and foie gras?”
Teams of chefs from the restaurant are now venturing into the Indonesian archipelago (a mind-blowing 17,000 islands) with the aim of bringing back traditional recipes, methods and ingredients on the brink of disappearing, serving them in their restaurants and teaching the locals how to cook them again. This has now become a formal process of the business, known as the ‘Jalan Jalan’ project.
The restaurants are a must visit when in Bali, and their delicious dishes will show you a refined take on traditional Indonesian cuisine. Our favourite dish is the Daun Kelor Mesanten, a Balinese soup from one of the chefs grandmothers consisting of the super-nutritious Moringa leaves cooked with coconut milk and Balinese spices in a young coconut over an open fire. “The sweetness of coconut works well with Moringa and helps balance the distinct aroma of the leaves”. Eelke kindly shares their secret recipe on the next page.
Local Guide: Chef Eelke shares a few Tips on Bali
Culinary hikes allow you to experience the beautiful landscape and see how connected the locals are to nature. Their understanding and knowledge of how to use everything that grows in the wild is fascinating.
The north and east near Padang bai is ‘old Bali’ — how it used to be in the 50s and where there is nothing more than to just enjoy the quiet beach and untouched nature.
The Warung (food stalls) have incredible local food and often specialize in just one dish. There are 100’s in Ubud and most don’t even have names, you just need to talk to the locals and ask where they eat. Babi gulling (roast pork) is a must in Bali and is best eaten in the morning when it’s just finished roasting.
Chef Eelke shares his recipe for Daun Kelor Mesanten and Bumbu Bali (the essential spice base for all Balinese cooking).
85g Aromatic ginger
135g Big red chili
50g Curly chili
1tsp Wangen (peppercorns are a good substitute)
10gr Shrimp paste, toasted
2 tbsp Coconut oil
1. Grind all ingredients in a pestle and mortar until you have a nice, smooth texture.
2. Warm a tablespoon of coconut oil in a little pan over medium heat and fry the paste for a few minutes until fragrant.
3. Cool down and transfer to a jar until further use.
Daun Kelor Mesanten
100g Kelor (moringa) leaves
70g Bumbu Bali
25ml Coconut milk
2 pcs Bongkot (ginger torch), sliced
2 pcs Kaffir lime leaves
1 whole coconut
1. Cut open the coconut (try to do this nice and neat because the dish will be served in the same coconut).
2. Discard half of the coconut water (keep this for other dishes or simply drink it with a slice of lime and ice).
3. Put the whole coconut on top of an open fire or BBQ and roast it until hot, it should change colour on the outside.
4. While heating up the coconut, put a small pan over a medium heat and add some coconut oil.
5. Add the bumbu Bali and the kaffir lime leaves and sauté until fragrant.
6. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture straight into the whole coconut (that is still sitting over open fire getting charred).
7. Add the sliced bongkot and some salt to taste, stir and bring to the boil.
8. Add kelor leaves, stir and cook for around 3 minutes.
9. Finally add the coconut milk and stir well until everything is cooked completely.
10. Remove from the heat and serve directly!