Chez Gado Gado


The New Year brings many new things, and for Chez Gado Gado, that means a bundle of new dishes. So to showcase some of these delicious new recipes, Executive Chef Quirijn Rademaker, better known simply as Quib, has curated an outstanding six-course fish degustation dinner to give us a taste of his sumptuous and locally-sourced creations.

Chez Gado Gado’s menu is full to the brim with indulgent bites and gourmet comfort food, like the tender Lamb 3 Ways or the rich and creamy Beef Cheek Lasagne. But for those of us working on making our bodies beach-worthy, Chez Gado Gado’s ocean treats are both nutritious and fresh, and what’s more, each one infuses Bali-grown produce, including vegetables from the Plaga plantation in the hills of Bedugul. Aside from tasting absolutely scrumptious, the focus of the menu is on simple flavours and flawlessly cooked fish – subtle and yet exceedingly satisfying.

The first of the six courses kicks this concept off superbly. It is the crab cocktail, sprinkled with fresh local strawberries and tomatoes before being drizzled with a syrupy strawberry gazpacho. Strawberries and crab are rarely ever combined, but the local strawberries from Bedugul seem to offer a slight sourness that provide the perfect amount of tang to the creamy crustacean. The parcel of shredded crab meat is then shaped like a tartare, topped with fresh green leaves and layered above the cool and refreshing strawberry soup.

Next is the silky smooth gindara, poached in a coconut oil and served atop a bed of pickles. The fish is impossibly soft, to the point that it falls apart with the touch of a spoon and seems to melt away in the mouth. It is topped with a ‘seroendeng’ crust – a mix of Indonesian coconut, shallots and crumbled peanuts. The flavours are clean and fresh, jazzed up by the pickles and rhubarb. The citrusy tinge leads onto the following course perfectly, which sees seared octopus dabbed in an olive purée then paired with a thick tomato vierge and a potato mille-feuille.

The fourth and fifth dishes introduce international delicacies to Bali’s finest crops. A grilled Atlantic scallop with foie gras raviolis is paired with a velvety pumpkin purée, hazelnuts and a piquant kaffir lime sauce, followed by the sea bass ‘rogan josh’. The Indian flavours of rogan josh are typically utilised with lamb, but the rich and aromatic sauce works impeccably with the fish. The subtle taste of the delicate and crumbly sea bass lightens the hearty spices and lets each flavour introduce itself to the palate one by one. Reduced with yoghurt, the peppered curry sauce is served with Indonesian sauteed fernheads and an Indian-style coleslaw to pep up the robust flavours.

The menu concludes with a choice of dessert from the a la carte menu, including Chef Quib’s latest  sweet treats. His strawberries and cream is a twist on the classic, offering a lighter, more innocent and innovative version. The cream is whipped, as airy as a cloud and infused with an elderflower aroma. Together with fresh Bedugul strawberries, it is paired with a strawberry sherbet; less creamy than ice cream and as fruity as a sorbet. There is also Chef Quib’s sweet doughnuts, textured like churros and served with a delicious fig ice cream. Of course, doughnuts don’t quite fit in with our nutritious regime, but we’re all allowed to give in to our temptations sometimes.