Chez Gado Gado & Chef Quib:
Chez Gado Gado’s Executive Chef and his restaurant alike have deeply transformative histories–and here is how the couple found each other at Sunset Point, Seminyak.
Once a daydreaming employee in the insurance world, the 26-year-old then made a bold move, taking up study of an unrelated subject in Belgium. This is where the culinary arts fortuitously met chef Quib.
What the institutions had failed to notice all along was Quib’s mile–wide creative streak. If you add a dash of perfectionism, this explains the unravelling scroll of the Chef’s Tasting Menu–but still doesn’t explain: why Bali?
After graduation, there was idle chatter in the kitchen–the theme was both transcontinental and culinary. For once, the pipedreams didn’t go up in smoke, and the two chefs and friends conspired to fashion Shy Restaurant in Kemang, South Jakarta. Shy’s reputation added to his own, and word of chef Quib soon reached Bali. Since then, remarkable and mind–blowing pairings have been coming forth from the aptness of this harmony–this particular man and this particular, historic Seminyak hotspot.
As for the restaurant’s own transformations, Gado Gado Beach Club was once little more than a traditional alang–alang structure with a noisy generator and a noisier tape deck, greeting the first travellers in the early seventies. One change of ownership and two renovations later, harmony between East and West has been struck and embodied–in the aling-aling entranceway meant to deter bad spirits, the high gloss teak and merbau interiors, and the nautically curvaceous bar fashioned by former ship–builder Fredo Taffin.
With no shortage of transformations, Chez Gado Gado’s menus have undergone the selfsame journey to perfection’s peak as the animal and his habitat–the Chef and his wantilan abode. Quib’s take on escargot–with pancetta–took over a year to find its exacted harmonies, emerging from its shell and crawling forth into a frame of cutlery–a culinary masterpiece. And perfectionism it would not be if a happy accident were overlooked, resulting in some deliciously outrageous pairings. The Chef’s Tasting Menu runs like never-ending film credits and is full of some wonderfully special effects–changing up to three times, weekly. While the menu happily accommodates aforementioned, fateful mash–ups, the Chef also labours to delight with what is freshest and in season, drawing from Chez Gado Gado’s 3000–square–foot allotment humbly known as the kitchen gardens in Plaga, inner Bali.
If you hurry, you may delight in encountering tuna tartar with pickled cucumber, Avruga caviar, a finale of Thai yoghurt, and more. The story begins here, for as Bali’s many and dear yogis profess, change is a constant–as constant as the richness of design and flavour at Chez Gado Gado.