NAMESAKE CASTS LONG SHADOWS
Though kaki lima street vendors have been opportunistically dishing it up nearby, Chef Quib has boldly brought this restaurant into its own, finally plating up its very own namesake: gado gado. This, a bite from his new Sunset Bites menu, and a beverage – a Spicy Sunset – is like popcorn in an open-air cinema.
Gado gado means mixed, and can loosely be applied to the children of foreigners and locals, or Mediterranean cuisine created by a Dutch Chef and served in a Balinese-style building in downtown Seminyak. Food-wise, it is but a playful vegetable medley doused in mildly hot peanut sauce. Chef Quib’s long-awaited version has only long beans and peanuts in common with the local arrangement, touching the adult palate with bangkoang, pesto, mustard, purées, palm hearts, and asparagus – from the kitchen gardens in the hills of Plaga.
Bookending the tables, long couches are huddled together as inviting sets from which to watch the sunset. Chez Gado Gado offers its diners a chance to ritualize this daily transition, its elevated stance on Seminyak beach offering poignant views. The Sunset Bites menu offers chilli-roasted cashew nuts, fried calamari, escargot, and generous portions of belota capa negra Iberico ham (seasonal) to go with your drink(s).
The bar is glossy hardwood and offers a wide selection of wines from major orchards around the world. With a price list rivalling the multitudinous beanbag establishments in the area, Sunset Specials, available for IDR 65 K from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., are gingery Mojitos, Gado Gado on the Beach, and Gin Smash.
This month has seen the veggie-crowned arrival of a much-anticipated dish, along with a few other revisions of local favourites that include a new take on babi guling – pork in local spices, and a remix of local fruits – es campur.