Bali is entering the Age of Dry-Age and one of the key players is the new Seminyak hip restaurant, Salazon. We visit the restaurant and see what the fuss is all about!
We have been hearing a lot about the upcoming En Vie complex at the heart of Seminyak. One of the first installment of En Vie that has been opened is the industrial-chic restaurant and bar, Salazon. When we ask what Salazon means, the manager quickly explains that the name refers to the methods of salt curing and the dry-age process that embodied the whole restaurant. When we look it up online, Salazon means salted in Spanish. This makes us even more curious about the place.
On the first look, the whole place is dominated by black color and is very spacious. However, if you start noticing the details, you will be impressed, starting from the wooden chandelier, the artworks on the wall, the glowing bar, the glorious open kitchen and of course, that big display of Dry-Aged room showcasing various meat, poultry and fish. Not to be missed is the beating heart of the experience at Salazón, which is the 5.8 ton Scotch oven, the wood-fired oven that remains burning 24-hours a day at differing temperatures to produce everything from bread to roasted fish, poultry and meats. The Scotch oven fuels the whole kitchen and was the inspiration for the entire concept. The oven burns three varieties of wood that produces the coals that fuel the grills, the smoker and all the other cooking processes in the kitchen – even the ash is used.
Talking about Wood fired – we are impressed to see that even the cocktails at Salazón follow the theme of wood-fired smokiness. There are two drinks you can order from the Trolley Bar: Twenty One Barrel Aged and The Negroni. The trolley will come to your table and you can see how it is made. There is an extensive wine list available for diners and for drinkers after a glass of something special. Personally, I love something sweet, and Cuminimum is for me.
Everything served in the restaurant is made on-site; the dry-aged meats, the charcuterie, even the sourdough bread and the butter served with it. The expert team at Salazón produces vinegar, tomato sauces, and relishes, chili sauces, ice cream, and pastries. Executive Chef Paul Lewis plans his menu well ahead with the dry-aging and pickling processes being different in length and process for cold cuts through to duck, fish, pigeon, chicken, pork, and beef. Spanish mackerel is dry-aged for 9 days, with a subtle and delicious result lacking any strong fishy flavor. That day we try the 60 Day Op Rib – the longest dry-aged meat available in the restaurant. And trust us when we say that this is one of the best meat that we’ve tried and it melts in our mouth. It’s so juicy and tender, and the flavor is intense. We love it.
Other than that, we tried other favorite dishes that fall into the category: little plates. The first one was the Chopped Tuna – dry-aged loin, cheek, and belly, which are then smoked and served with tattie scone and sea urchin. It’s crispy, fresh, and delightful. Then we tried the dry-aged Beef Tartare – 4 different cuts of beef, infused with cured beef fat, salt, pepper, chives and then served with eggplant crème, pickles, and seaweed crackers. This is a dream tartare! And of course the Chorizo Sanga – 30-day dry-aged chorizo, brioche, homemade tomato sauce and fennel relish. We love it!
All produce, apart from the beef, is locally sourced, including local lamb. For the pork, Chef Paul has established a relationship with an organic pork producer in Bedugul and seafood suppliers, who contact him directly about what fresh seafood they get in on any given day.
We end the night with something light and a bit sour and sweet – 24-hour lemon. This cuts off all the meat flavor and just bring back our senses. It’s like we’re flying to the seventh heaven with all the dry-aged meat that we had, and this dessert bring us back to earth. Making us appreciate what we just had even more. Congrats, Salazon!
Jalan Kayu Aya, Seminyak