Alit Mendala: Bali All The Way
Alit originally hails from Singaraja, but because his parents worked in Denpasar, he is more familiar with Denpasar. He was raised by a mother who was passionate about food and cooking.
Growing up, Alit would have ayam betutu, Balinese minced beef or chicken satay, garang asem, jukut undis, Balinese tum, and berengkes polo which is made from the head of suckling pig.
Exposed to Balinese culture and cuisine, being a chef seemed to be most reasonable thing for him to do. Not to mention that he was surrounded by cooks.
“I’m very lucky, I have a smart mother who cooks good food. I also got some influence from two of my uncles. One is living in Brisbane; he has been living there for 25 years and works as a chef. Another one is in Bali; he is a renowned executive chef who works at a five-star hotel.”
The first dish he tried his hand at was a dish called lawar made from cooked minced beef or chicken, mixed with Balinese spices and chopped of steamed young jackfruit.
Alit is now a working at JuMaNa at the Banyan Tree Ungasan which employs French cuisine with a Japanese twist.
The menu at JuMaNa is an eclectic selection of French cuisine. The menu lists gourmet creations based on fresh seafood, meat and vegetarian choices. The presentations are mini works of art on stylish plates that make everyone gasp with admiration. Recommended dishes range from Alaskan king crab and Kobe beef to foie gras terrine.
Alaskan king crab is made from king crab cooked in court bouillon combined with transparent consommé gazpacho with some Japanese flavors from yuzu aioli and soya emulsion. The flavor is rich and complex with some sourness and spiciness, a must have for a starter or appetizer.
For Kobe beef, Alit chooses only the best quality Japanese Wagyu beef. He combines the beef with ginger butternut squash puree and spring vegetables, iberico and potato croquettes, completed with truffle just on the side.
For the fois gras terrine, Alit marinates French duck liver with Japanese spices and leave it overnight. When it has absorbed the spices, he steams and layers the liver with gelee au muscat de beaumes de venise mixed with kumquat chutney and truffle brioche.
In the future, Alit would like to dig deeper into Balinese cuisine as it is a big part of his life.
Baked or fried?
Food on a skewer or a tiny spoon?
Food on a skewer
Last meal on earth?
Soup or salad?
Chicken breast or thigh?
Breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast?
Dinner for breakfast
If you were stranded on an island with just one type of food, what would it be?
BANYAN TREE UNGASAN
Jalan Melasti, Banjar Kelod
T: +62 361 300 7000