What’s New Bali does not only introduce you to new hip places and excellent hotels in Bali. As the most comprehensive guide in Bali, we also want to introduce the faces behind each iconic place. The talent who is the heart and soul of a place. This week we met Chef Erwan Wijaya of Alila Ubud’s Signature Restaurant: Plantation.
One of Ubud’s finest chefs, Alila Ubud’s Executive Chef Erwan Wijaya specializes in Balinese and international cuisine that is inspired by the culinary wealth of Bali’s rice terraces, farms and seas.
Wielding culinary skills honed within the best restaurants in Bali, Chef Erwan brings to his cooking a strong commitment to the use of local ingredients and organic goodness wherever possible. A proponent of the ‘slow food’ movement, he believes that Ubud and regional Bali provide a rich abundance of produce that can be thoughtfully matched to a menu that tempts even the most discerning of diners.
At Alila Ubud’s signature restaurant, Plantation, he has put together innovative fine dining and fresh seasonal menus that celebrate the best of Bali “Farm to Table”, using ingredients sourced from local farms and markets, or harvested from the resort’s own organic garden.
Under his direction, Plantation has earned the ‘Snail of Approval’ by Slow Food Bali for its organic and sustainable food. It was also voted “Best Balinese Restaurant” in the 2014 and 2015 Now! Bali Best Restaurant Awards.
Chef Erwan and Plantation are also featured in ‘Flavors of Bali’, a recently published coffee table book, part of the Smudge Eats series of culinary guides, devoted to showcasing the best restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels on the island, as well as their signature dishes and the chefs behind their creation.
Chef Erwan’s signature creations include Balinese specialties such as: Parkedel Jagung – corn fritters with prawns, chayote, tamarind dressing and crisp Balinese salad; Kare Ikan – seared barramundi fillet served padang style with yellow curry sauce, kailan and homemade pickle; and Ayam Betutu – classic roasted chicken Balinese style with bumbu genep paste, sambal matah, cucumber and local vegetables.
On the Western front, diners can enjoy dishes such as: Fresh local crab meat combined with a refreshing mix of local produce from Ubud and Bedugul, spiced up with a Bloody Mary sorbet; Local organic duck breast with Indian curry flavors, creamy local taro with truffle oil, and sweet, crispy Bedugul leek; and Sous vide local pork ribs, glazed with spicy local sambal, served with fried peanuts and wok-fried wild fern tips. These are some Erwan’s creation that you wouldn’t want to miss.
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