We were lucky enough on our recent trip to Bali to be invited to eat at Kaum a new Indonesian restaurant at the very popular Potato Head Beach Club in Seminak, Bali.
This is their second restaurant, which opened at the end of October, and they have high hopes for it, following the recent addition of their Hong Kong restaurant to the Michelin Guide. Kaum is very firmly at the fine dining end of the Bali restaurant spectrum and if they continue to perform as they did on the day we ate there, I have every confidence they’ll be in the Indonesian Michelin Guide this time next year.
Kaum focus on traditional Indonesian cuisine and they work hard to source their ingredients from local and small family producers. Their menus also highlights many regional and often overlooked ingredients such as stinky bean, moringa leaves and young coconut.
Our waitress was very attentive and talked us through her personal favourites, most of which we opted for. The menu is split into small plates – either to eat as starters or to accompany your main course and ‘sharing’ for your main course. These are designed for 2-3 people. Choose a rice, any side dishes you want and a selection of sambals to accompany and off you go.Whilst we waited for our food, we enjoyed some cocktails. Mine was a combination of gin, lemongrass and ginger and was really refreshing. Dave’s was a take on an aperol spritz and was very pretty with its Balinese oranges (which are actually green!).
We opened our meal with five sambals (which stayed with us throughout the meal), the very traditional gado-gado salad (assorted blanched garden vegetables tossed in peanut dressing, served with free range egg, tofu, garlic crackers & fried shallots) and the batagor (fried prawn & fish dumplings tossed in spicy cashew nut sauce with sweet soy sauce).
- sambal ikan teri bakar (salted grilled whitebait & red chilli relish)
- sambal matar (shallot, lemongrass, torch ginger, red bird’s eye chilli & coconut oil salsa)
- sambal kluwak (roasted black nut & mixed chilli relish)
- sambal rica rica (crushed lemongrass, ginger, red chilli & fresh lime juice relish)
- sambal mbe (fried crispy shallot, garlic & red chilli relish, with kaffir lime leaves & coconut oil)
All of them were spicy and I think the sambal matah was my favourite, though the samba mbe was also really really good!
The gado-gado salad was delicious – creamy and nutty but with a crunch from the fried shallots. The eggs were poached to perfection, a seemingly little detail but let’s face it – a bad egg can make or break a dish. The prawn & fish dumplings were incredible, possibly the best bit of the whole meal. The filo pasty was so crispy and contrasted beautifully with the soft, spicy filling. And that cashew nut sauce… stunning!
For our main course we chose the bebek goreng sambal mangga muda (crispy duck with green mango & red chilli relish). It was a really hard decision as the options were all so good. We almost went with the sate babi kecap (chargrilled pork belly satay) but crispy duck is so synonymous with Bali, we had to have it.
The duck came to our table already portioned. It was crispy and full of flavour. I was pleased to see it split into two neat piles for each of us – no squabbling over who had the most meat! The accompanying salad was fresh and piquant from a healthy topping of sliced red chilli. The mango and chilli relish was really tart, not as sweet as I was expecting. Although it was delicious though, I found I preferred the duck paired with one of the sambal matah from our platter; made with shallots, lemongrass, ginger, red chilli and coconut oil.
Alongside the duck we enjoyed a huge pot of nasi kuning (turmeric & coconut flavoured rice) and bobor daun kelor which is mooring leaves & snake gourd cooked with fresh coconut milk. We loved the presentation of this dish. It was presented to us at the table in a fresh young coconut and our waitress then proceeded to use a spoon to scrape the flesh from the coconut and stir it into the liquid. I’ve certainly never tried anything like this before and the creamy mild flavour was perfect alongside all those spicy sambals!
I think it’s clear from the above that we loved our meal at Kaum. The service was attentive but not over the top, the food was stunningly presented and totally delicious. For a special meal in Bali, this is the place to come for sure. Hong Kong is on our destinations list and we’ll be heading to their restaurant there for sure.
Check them out online at Kaum.com or on instagram. And find them here:
Bali 83061, Indonesia
Following on from our meal, we enjoyed a lovely evening watching the sunset and enjoying a few cocktails poolside at Potato Head Beach Club. Look out for a full blog post soon!
*We were guests of Kaum and did not pay for our meal, however, all thoughts and words are my own. I will always be honest in any review I post here.*