Exploring Two Chef’s Tables BLANCO par Mandif and Api Jiwa

4 years ago

The term of chef table probably has been familiar to certain foodies who crave for culinary trends. Generally, it defines the style of having a meal in front of the kitchen where guests are served directly by the chef. The big deal of the chef’s table is ultimately the experience. Witnessing the chef proceeding the ingredients from the very top to plating besides is the opportunity to interact with the chef about the multi-course menu presented. Normally it is bar-type seating with no more than 10 people to keep the intimate ambiance around.


To evolve the idea of chef’s table, Mandif Warokka, Chef Patron of BLANCO par Mandif (BpM) and Matt McCool of Api Jiwa Restaurant at Capella Ubud, they escalate the experience. First of all is the setting. Located at Api Jiwa Restaurant, overlooking the lush greeneries and impressive pool area, the dining experience provided guests with 10-course dinner. Second of all, the guests were not informed what to expect as they only knew the ingredients written on the menu, no name of the dish. The arrangement enabled guests to enrich their knowledge about food, thus, they would not regard the taste by merely the name.


Of the 10 courses, tantalizing canapes entered the table to trigger one’s appetite. Yellowfin tuna with Namjin dressing and radish on an oba leaf was very refreshing for a start. The complexity and spiciness at the end from the oba leave elevated the flavor. It was then followed by Prawn yaki gyoza, yuzu aioli, and caviar, adding more sensational flavor especially when the Cucumber Daiquiri paired. An authentic essence of a culinary journey yet to embarked after the canapes had been seized upon, revealing fantastic hands of the talented chefs from two awe-inspiring fine dining restaurants in Ubud.


The two chefs served their best recipes in a sequential series where Chef McCool was the first to plate his appetizer: pearl meat with pickled daikon, and yuzu Kozo dressing. Afterward, Chef Mandif’s sardines that sided by grilled baby romaine, mimosa parmesan, black garlic, and toasted bread completed the “opening act”. Guests were escorted through the oceanic dining, to explore the best from the archipelago itself. From there, the guests were allowed to arrive in the three-main-course session, combining quality produce from the sea and land.


Featuring crab and Uni (sea urchin) for the first main course, Chef McCool used chawanmushi recipes (a Japanese egg custard) to deliver a savory yet bold taste. On the other hand, Chef Mandif picked tender octopus to fire up the first round. Grilled cucumber, Kalamansi-Kenari and Konbu Fried combined this in one plate. The second round Chef McCool remained putting Japanese-inspired dish. He presented Miso Charred Salmon to be dipped in Japanese-cooking stock Dashi with squid noodles and pork sausage. Differently, Chef Mandif promoted Indonesia’s traditional recipe, Kalasan on the quail which was completed in liver mousse and sided with beet pickled. Last but not least, the third main course met duck and beef consecutively. Chef McCool enlivens the room with Duck Tsukune wrapped in the famous Korean kimchi whilst Chef Mandif surprised the guests with Maranggi (West Java’s sweet-savory sauce to marinate beef) Beef Wagyu A9, hand-in-hand with baby potatoes, eringi mushroom and kalio rendang, Sumatera’s original sauce.


To end the wonderful culinary venture, both laid special dessert on the guests’ table. Chef McCool with Yuzu & Sherbets packed inside one fresh medium-sized lemon and Chef Mandif with his typical deconstructed food idea. He put the essence of Indonesian grilled rice called Nasi Bakar, with sarikaya, coconut and rum ice cream, and sprinkled by sweet Serundeng. The blending sweet yet savory dessert was balanced by the Sweet Yuzu cocktail to sip. 


This post was last modified on September 13, 2019 10:46 pm