Chef Nathan Sasi believes in creating every single element of his cooking by himself, from sourcing products down to the most detailed sauces and condiments.
GIVEN THE highly seasonal nature of marine produce, running a seafood restaurant is always a challenge even for the most prominent chef, but Fishbone Local, currently one of the most happening hang-out venues in Canggu, has everything going for them.
We spoke to executive chef Nathan Sasi, famously known as a chef who makes everything himself, to understand his artisanal approach at Fishbone Local and beyond. “The best thing about Fishbone is that the food they started out with was exactly the way I like to cook – produce-driven, super simple – like a great piece of fish and other ingredients from suppliers trusted to bring high quality ingredients. Obviously when I came in I didn’t change any of that, but I put in my own style to make our offering stand out. The main theme is, of course, seafood, but it’s not exclusively European or Asian, but a bit of everything with the aim of being relatable to just about anyone.”
Set by the road heading down towards Berawa beach in Canggu, Fishbone Local is not just your average restaurant-slash-bar. The main dining area is a spacious, semi-open space with wooden chairs and tables opposite a bar that gets quite lively post sunset and beyond. Out the back, they’ve got an amazing grass patch fenced-off perfectly by trees for visitors to just lay back and chill on pillows over cocktails and light bites as they stargaze à la picnic. The restaurant constantly sees guests, even outside of meal times, and for good reason too!
Regarding his culinary creations at Fishbone Local, Chef Nathan shared, “There’s so many great dishes here, but my personal favorite out of the signatures at the moment would be the barramundi. What I like about it is that it is super simple, highlights the goodness of the fish itself with only this awesome sambal matah, obviously homemade. Each bite you get to savor the perfectly pan-seared, soft meat of the fish and the extra bit of spiciness of the sambal condiment makes it the perfect dish for anyone to enjoy. Presentation is very clean and honest. Nothing too fancy or distracting. Just the way I like it.”
Another popular choice is the prawn toast. This snacky order has prawn garnished with sesame, shallots, and a bit of chili, the perfect light bite to enjoy as you wait for sunset and together with your first (or third) cocktail. Speaking of light bites, the crispy calamari seasoned with chili salt and served with an aioli is a very intoxicating plate that you won’t stop enjoying until the plate is clean – and that usually doesn’t take very long.
As for his inspiration, Nathan takes in the energy from his passion for cooking and the F&B industry, including local suppliers and markets. “It’s not like we stick with a menu that’s good and comfortable and serve it every day. Working with farmers and fishermen very closely, I’m always aware of whatever fantastic produce that’s available. Whatever is incredible available for today, that’s what we’ll use to craft our specials, which changes daily. Unlike maybe pork, chicken, and beef, seafood is very seasonal, and we’re fortunate to enjoy a very close working relationship with fishermen who are very enthusiastic and always keep us updated on their catch.”
After sunset, Fishbone Local becomes this perfect bar where people can just relax over some of its honest culinary offerings as well as cocktails, wine, or coffee. Some of the popular cocktail selections include FB G&T, a classic gin and tonic infused with pomelo and tarragon; gin gimlet, which brews Tanqueray gin with kaffir lime and sea salt; or the Negroni 109 that blends gin, Campari, and vermouth – the cocktail to order for those looking for a more straight-up punch.
Always looking for ways to expand his creativity, soon Chef Nathan will be opening Mason. – an eatery that will focus on Mediterranean cuisine with an added touch of Spanish, Moroccan, and Middle Eastern. Most of the cooking will be done by hand, using charcoal cooking and firewood techniques.
“That is going to be the key elements of Mason. – I’m known in this area as a chef that makes everything from scratch. Back in Australia I make my own cheese, ferment my own products, and all that. At Mason. everything will be made from scratch, whether it’s the building itself or the food,” Nathan elaborates on this upcoming endeavor. “Again, the idea is super simple cooking using super incredible produce and other top quality ingredients.”
Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No. 99
T: +62 812 4606 5061