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Sambal Search

As part of the preparation to open their new venue, the people behind Nusantara (by Locavore) shared their search and research about sambal from across the archipelago.

Nusantara (by Locavore) is the latest project of chefs Eelke Plasmeijer and Ray Adriansyah and their team who are always passionate about Indonesian ingredients and cuisine.

Their effort to champion Balinese culture and use only sustainably sourced local ingredients has been recognized and celebrated. Earlier this year, Locavore rose 27 places to No. 22, earning the title of the Best Restaurant in Indonesia as well as Highest Climber Award at the the 2017 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant awards.

Nusantara (by Locavore), they said, was a way to manifest their dream to serve authentic tastes of Indonesian cuisine.

“Our team has spent a lot of time and traveled to many regions in Indonesia, just to learn ingredients, recipes, cooking methods and tastes from each local dish they tried,” Ray said as we sat down for a chat at Locavore restaurant in Ubud recently.

Ray said that they would not adjust the taste to any kind of palate preferences in order to achieve their mission of introducing the real taste of Indonesia.

Chef I Putu Dodik Sumarjana, who has been part of the Locavore team since day one, has been trusted to helm Nusantara.

Already busy with their social media presence, Nusantara recently showcased the result of months looking into the Indonesian quintessential condiment: sambal; 25 of them to be exact.

“Why sambal? Because it’s an important dish you can find on every dining table in Indonesia”, said Putu.

This chili-based dish can be served on different ways: it can stand on its own, it can be a condiment, or it can be part of the ingredients for certain dishes.

Putu and his team actually came up with more than 25 sambal, but for the limited time that they have and with the available ingredients at their disposal, 25 was the number they chose.

“We already have a lot of sambal recipes that are ready for a turn every once in a while at Nusantara,” said Putu.

Of the numerous sambal, the ones Putu listed as his favorites were sambal lindung from Bali which used lindung (eel) as its main ingredient and sambal bajak from Central Java which was a combination of stir-fried chili, garlic and shrimp paste. He also mentioned sambal andaliman from Medan as the spiciest sambal he ever tried what with the andaliman (a relative of Sichuan pepper) known for its tounge-numbing capability.

As serious as they are about researching and developing their sambal, the crew is more serious about their menu.

Putu said they had been cooking more than 50 dishes as options to be served at Nusantara. “It is still under development, and chef Putu always presented a new or improved menu every week,” said Ray.

Among Putu’s favorite dishes is jukut kelor, which is made by stewing moringa leaves inside a coconut shell and then adding Balinese base seasoning base genep and fresh coconut milk.

Nusantara will open by the end of June, but Ray said the research would go on, so their menu would always grow and offer wider arrays of Indonesian authentic tastes. We can’t wait!

The list of sambal:

•Sambal Hijau
• Sambal Tomat
• Sambal Bajak
• Sambal Lindung
• Sambal Korek Rawit Merah
• Sambal Honje
• Sambal Pencit
• Sambal Sabus Kol
• Sambal Bongkot
• Sambal Goreng Bali
• Sambal Suna Cekuh
• Sambal Kecap
• Sambal Matah
• Sambal Andaliman
• Sambal Goreng Jawa
• Sambal Teri Medan
• Sambal Colo Colo
• Sambal Dabu Dabu
• Sambal Sasembrang
• Sambal Dadak Sunda
• Sambal Kemangi
• Sambal Goang
• Sambal Bongkot
• Sambal Terasi


Jalan Dewi Sita No. 10, Ubud, Bali
T: +62 361 977 733
Facebook: restaurantlocavore
Instagram: @restaurantlocavore
Instagram: @nusantara_locavore
Photographs by: Nusantara (By Locavore)

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