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Meet the Expats Behind Scrumptious International Eateries

International Eateries in Indonesia
Meet the Expats Behind Scrumptious International Eateries

Global Food Goes Local – Meet the Expats Behind Scrumptious International Eateries in Indonesia. 

The culinary scenes in Jakarta and Bali are diverse. From Indonesian, French, Greek, German, Argentinian, to Spanish cuisines, authenticity is underlined as the chefs and owners behind some of the regions’ favourites want to bring flavours of their cultures. Indonesia Expat has gathered some of the expat chefs and owners behind scrumptious eateries for you to either dine-in or have delivered to your home!

JAKARTA                 

Francisco Mario Suarez
Francisco Mario Suarez (Pancho), chef and co-owner
                                              
  • La Posta – Taste of Argentina

  • Name and position: Francisco Mario Suarez (Pancho), chef and co-owner
  • Origin: Argentina
  • Moved to Jakarta: 2015

What brought you to Jakarta? 

My wife Kat’s father and step-mother live in Jakarta and they were always encouraging us to bring Argentine cuisine to the city. After nearly ten years in Spain and a lifetime of culinary experience in Argentina, we were ready for a new challenge. We came with a vision to create a typical North Argentine style restaurant with a focus on quality food and warm, welcoming service.

Where were you working before? 

We had a small restaurant in the coastal city of Valencia, Spain. Prior to that, I spent most of my life running the family restaurant in Salta, Argentina. A huge space that seated more than 400 guests, we even catered for the Pope when he came to the city!

What’s the most difficult ingredient to find and how have you adjusted?

My wife’s the restaurant manager but she also makes most of the desserts. She would definitely say dulce de leche, a rich, milky caramel used in many Argentine sweets. Unavailable in Indonesia, we have to make our own by hand. Although very simple ingredients, it’s very labourious and requires many hours on the stove over a low heat with a high risk of burning. But it’s a key ingredient in desserts so we just have to have it.

Chef’s recommendations? 

There are so many great traditional Argentine dishes on the menu it’s hard to choose one! The salt-crusted beef ribs is definitely a signature dish and represents my North Argentine roots, as well as our oven-baked empanadas, a savoury pastry with delicious homemade fillings. The Argentine-style top loin steak is a classic example of simple, high-quality beef, and the Flank steak we serve is hard to find anywhere else in the city.

In North Argentina, the focus is on simple ingredients combined with delicious heart-warming dishes and generous portions. Guests in La Posta love our traditional ham and potato omelette, the classic pickled beef tongue gramajo, and our homemade ravioli. Try one of our famous Argentine desserts! Every week we have a different special, from tarts and cakes to cheesecakes – lots of caramel and chocolate involved.

Where can readers dine in?

Stop by on Jl. Karet Pasar Baru Timur 5, no.25, Tanah Abang, Jakarta.

La Posta is a first-floor restaurant located in the Sudirman area, close to CityWalk shopping centre. It’s a non-smoking venue that normally seats up to 100 people – reduced to 50 percent nowadays. La Posta attracts an older crowd of both expats and locals who love great steaks and have an interest in Argentine food and culture.

How can readers order delivery?

Takeaway was a whole new area for us in La Posta! When the pandemic hit, we quickly developed a menu with the food items we feel travel best. This includes an exclusive range of steak sandwiches that are only available for takeout or delivery. Guests usually prefer to order through WhatsApp but we also have a smaller selection available on GoFood and GrabFood, you can see the menu and contact us directly.

Get in touch: WhatsApp 081285872935, visit www.laposta.id or follow Instagram and Facebook @laposta.id

Rafael Martinez, executive chef at Caspar
Rafael Martinez, executive chef at Caspar
  • CASPAR

  • Name and position: Rafael Martinez, executive chef
  • Origin: Spain
  • Moved to Jakarta: December 2020

What brought you to Jakarta?

Opening a new great Spanish restaurant in Jakarta. My team found me in Spain and offered me to be part of a new exciting project in Jakarta, so I was excited to join them and take on this new challenge.

What’s the hardest ingredient to find here and how have you adjusted?

It’s difficult to find a variety of cheeses and all our Jerez wines, much appreciated for drinking and cooking. I choose cheeses and wines from different countries, same with other ingredients. I adapt my recipes to the local and international ingredients rather than depending on our suppliers.

Where were you working before?

I was working at Alevante, Chiclana, and did an opening for another restaurant in Madrid.

Chef’s recommendations?

Our signature dishes are the famous and authentic Spanish paella and other dry rice made with meat, seafood, a mix of both, and also vegetarian. Our popular tapas and top-quality meats are freshly cut and dry-aged.

Caspar has an energetic and detail-oriented chef who leads by example, with a special focus on fine-dining with years’ experience developing recipes. We are constantly seeking a better way to maximise guest satisfaction.

Where can readers dine in?

CASPAR is located in Sudirman Suites Apartment, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No.36, Bendungan Hilir, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta City, Jakarta.

How can readers order delivery?

Contact +6282217817880.

Get in touch: Follow Instagram @casparjakarta

Kai Werner, executive sous chef at Kempinski Jakarta
Kai Werner, executive sous chef at Kempinski Jakarta
  • Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta

  • Name and position: Kai Werner, executive sous chef
  • Origin: Germany
  • Moved to Jakarta: May 2019

What brought you to Jakarta? 

After more than six years in China and the Philippines, I wanted to experience more of Asia and got the opportunity to work in Jakarta.

What’s the hardest ingredient to find here and how have you adjusted? 

Stroh 80 is a rum from Austria. I like to use it for baking and some pastries. It’s slightly similar to Captain Morgan rum but much stronger.

Chef’s recommendations?

We have several restaurants here at Kempinski Jakarta, and here are my recommendations if you pay a visit:

  • Home-brewed beer and pork knuckle at Paulaner Brauhaus
  • Kambing guling and nasi gandul at Signatures
  • Truffle gyu don, chicken karaage, and salmon aburi roll at OKU

Where can readers dine in?

Signatures Restaurant and OKU are in Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta. While Paulaner Brauhaus is in Grand Indonesia East Mall, 2nd floor.

How can readers order delivery?

Call 021 2358 3800, email [email protected] or WhatsApp +62 877-7503-7507 to place your orders.

Get in touch: Follow Instagram @hotelindonesia_kempinski

BALI

Lia Spyropoulou
Lia Spyropoulou
  • Santorini Greek Restaurants Bali

  • Name and positionLia Spyropoulou, part-owner of a family business
  • Origin: Greece
  • Moved to Bali: 2000

What brought you to Bali? 

My family had a business here in Indonesia at the time so we, the kids, decided to move here with them and go to school so we can all be together.

Where were you working before? 

I moved here when I was young so I’ve always worked in the family business in Indonesia, however, I was in Australia for university and I worked at a large hospitality company over there.

What’s the most difficult ingredient to find and how have you adjusted? 

There are actually a few ingredients that we can’t source here however, the biggest one for us was traditional Greek yogurt and feta cheese. We decided to make both ourselves from our family recipes. Now you can also enjoy a good homemade Greek yogurt and feta cheese in our restaurants.

Chef’s recommendation?

 I would have to say the moussaka, consisting of layers of eggplant, potatoes, homemade Bolognese and bechamel sauce, served with Greek salad. It’s my grandma’s recipe and one of the most popular dishes in our restaurants.  We make a vegetarian option and are currently working on the vegan recipe, but grandma has to approve it first.

Where can readers dine in?

  • Location 1: Jl. Poppies 1, Kuta, Bali. WhatsApp: 0857-3903-1709
  • Location 2: Jl. Batu Mejan No. 50, Canggu, Bali. WhatsApp: 082341451976
  • Location 3 – Express: Jl. Batu Bolong, Canggu, Bali. WhatsApp: 0812-4636-1729

How can readers order delivery?

All of our locations are on the GoFood and GrabFood applications.

Get in touch: Follow Instagram @santorinigreekrestaurantbali

Renato Domini, owner Barbarossa Bali
Renato Domini, owner Barbarossa Bali
  • Barbarossa Bali

  • Name and position: Renato Domini, owner
  • Origin: Swiss national with Spanish and Italian heritage
  • Moved to Bali: 2004

What brought you to Indonesia? 

I moved from Thailand to Indonesia in 2004. I was intrigued by the vast archipelago Indonesia has to offer as well as its culture and culinary diversity.

What’s the hardest ingredient to find here and how have you adjusted?

Fresh artichokes.

Chef’s recommendations?

We have a few popular dishes available at Barbarossa Bali, such as the ragu di anatra or pappardelle with duck ragu; slow-cooked shredded duck served with homemade pappardelle pasta. Next are our original, classical lasagne, Margret de canard or pan-seared duck breast which has proven to be one of our best-sellers, followed by our seafood bisque soup. Our gourmet pizzas are delicious too. One of our best-selling pizza is sopra la capra – white pizza with mushrooms, mozzarella, rucola, goat cheese, and black truffle oil.

Where can readers dine in?

Barbarossa Bali is located in Jl. Danau Poso 1, Sanur, Bali.

How can readers order delivery?

Gofood and soon available on Grab. You can also take away.

Get in touch: Follow Instagram and Facebook @barbarossa.bali or visit our website www.barbarossa.com

Kevin Cherkas, chef and owner Cuca
Kevin Cherkas, chef and owner Cuca
  • Cuca

    Name and position: Kevin Cherkas, chef and owner

  • Origin: Canada
  • Moved to Bali: 2012

What brought you to Indonesia? 

I moved to Indonesia nine years ago from Singapore to make my dream of opening my very own restaurant come true.

What’s the hardest ingredient to find here and how have you adjusted? 

Torch ginger. It is very difficult to find this exotic flower but we love to use it in our cocktails because of its unmistakable, amazing aroma.

Chef’s recommendations?

When coming to Cuca, I definitely recommend ordering our Chef Tasting Meal priced at Rp580,000++ per person. It highlights our menu that best reflects the soul of Cuca and is inspired by the freshest market products.

Where can readers dine in?

Cuca Restaurant is in Jl. Yoga Perkanthi, Jimbaran, Bali

How can readers order delivery?

We are available in Grab and Gojek.

Get in touch: Follow Instagram @cucabali

International Eateries in Indonesia
Eric Cocollos, director of culinary at The Apurva Kempinski Bali
  • The Apurva Kempinski Bali

  • Name and Position: Eric Cocollos, director of culinary
  • Origin: France
  • Moved to Bali: 2017

What brought you to Bali? 

Working in Asia is a dream of many professional chefs, so I was really excited when the opportunity presented itself. From the moment I was introduced to The Apurva Kempinski Bali, I could feel that the resort had a lot of wow factors. The more I learned about it, the more that I realised that the hotel stands out in such a way that it draws me in. Of course, the chance to explore Indonesian cuisine is not something I could miss, so here I am.

Where were you working before?

My professional career was mostly in France with two and three-star Michelin restaurants, palatial, luxury hotels and casinos, and I joined the international hotelier scene in 2016 with La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech, which is known for being the best luxury establishment that’s set on a former royal estate dating from the 12th century.

What’s the hardest ingredient to find here and how have you adjusted?

I’m all about locavore. When it comes to ingredients, I don’t discriminate between European ingredients and Indonesian ingredients. Instead, all the talented chef team try to explore and discover what Indonesia has to offer, and create dishes that elevate the best aspects of these ingredients. We always try to incorporate sustainability in everything we do, so using fresh produce from the island is something that’s constantly on my mind. The pandemic gives us the opportunity to dive deeper into the flavours and ingredients that are available in Bali’s market. This way, we can keep supporting our partners and be mindful of the ecology.

Chef’s recommendations?

First of all, since we have different dining venues with different flavours and inspirations, I would suggest our guests visit these restaurants and find their favourite cuisine. There’s always something for everyone.

For example, the Blue Crab, which uses kecombrang, the flower bud native to the country, is a popular menu item at Koral Restaurant. At the Japanese restaurant Izakaya by OKU, the OKU karaage is very popular, and various grilled selections at Reef Beach Club are perfect for a casual gathering with friends and family. The Sunday Brunchcation at Pala Restaurant has become a special rendezvous spot for communities in Bali, and our newly-unveiled Chinese hot pot restaurant Bai Yun is perfect for gathering. For classic and creative pastries, bakery, and all-day breakfasts, Selasar Deli is the place to be.

Where can readers dine in?

Stop by The Apurva Kempinski Bali on lot 4, Jl. Raya Nusa Dua Selatan, Benoa, South Kuta, Badung, Bali.

Get in touch:  Drop a message to WhatsApp 081138209541 or follow our Instagram accounts @koralrestaurant @reefbeachclub @izakayabyokubali @baiyunbali @kempinskibali.

International Eateries in Indonesia
Grzegorz Odolak, director of culinary at Grand Hyatt Bali
  • Grand Hyatt Bali

  • Name and Position: Grzegorz Odolak, director of culinary
  • Origin: Poland
  • Moved to Bali: August 2016

What brought you to Indonesia? 

I moved to Bali after leaving my previous position as executive chef at Park Hyatt Chennai, India. Personally, I love to travel a lot and explore new things. The best part of being a chef is creating plenty of possibilities and trying something new every day. Furthermore, I’m fascinated with the people, tradition, unique flavours, and ingredients of this beautiful island.

What’s the hardest ingredient to find here and how have you adjusted?

I don’t think I find it difficult, because I always use and make the best of the top local

products here in Bali.

Chef’s recommendations?

You have to try Garden Café to experience authentic all-time favourite Indonesian cuisine such as sop buntut and rendang sapi. Don’t forget to try Le Petit Chef, the 3D dining experience, as well.

Where can readers dine in?

Find Grand Hyatt Bali at Kawasan Wisata ITDC Nusa Dua, South Kuta, Badung, Bali.

How can readers order delivery?

Call +62 361 77 1234 and our communication centre team will assist.

Get in touch: Contact +62 361 77 1234 or email us at [email protected] for reservations. Follow Instagram @grandhyattbali and Facebook Grand Hyatt Bali.

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