A timeless, contemporary classic in the centre of Bali’s culinary heartland
Located at the entrance to Seminyak Village, the island’s newest boutique shopping mall, Tiger Palm, is celebrated Chef Will Meyrick’s exciting new restaurant and bar. Open all day, it’s a cool hangout and a place where guests can indulge in some quality Malaysian dining or sip on a refreshing drink of their choice in stylish comfort.
As Will so beautifully states: “The Tiger wakes up at 10AM and likes to stay up late until 2AM. From Kopitiam–style breakfast and coffee time, there are different menus for lunch, dinner and late-night drinks served with casual dining items. Compared to our other restaurants, I would say Tiger Palm has a more informal and relaxing style.”
With seating for up to 120 guests, the restaurant is a delicious blend of classic Malaysian colonial architecture and contemporary café chic designed to take diners ensconced within to the Palm Court of the Eastern and Orient Hotel. A sweeping copper-fronted bar is the timeless centrepiece, whilst the softly lit dining area offers comfortable seating interspersed with potted palms.
The glazed wrought-iron panels and glittering chandeliers, like the artwork and décor, pay fine tribute to the colonial heritage of Malaysia. There are copious images of Will on his culinary travels printed onto large glass jars found stacked on recessed shelving to remind diners of the origin of their food, as well as some terrific artwork. Together they help create the fabulous ambience.
Outside there are high tables with bar-style seating where guests can take a leisurely Long Island Tea or a refreshing juice from the extensive drinks menu while chatting with friends or just watching the world gently wander past. With ample underground parking, superb menus and a terrific location, Tiger Palm is bound to be another culinary hit for Will and his Sarong Group team.
“During my travels through Malaysia, I have been constantly inspired by the incredibly diverse and spectacular food, both from street vendors and in restaurants,” says Will, who is passionate about the plates he serves up. The menu is colossal and packed with stylized authentic dishes from the chef’s culinary journeys through Malaysia. Deliciously aromatic food from the kitchens and streets vendors of Penang has been skilfully recreated using only the highest-quality ingredients. Often famously touted as the “Street Food Chef”, taste and presentation is king for Will. As he says: “People regard my food as fusion or modern Asian, but I like to see it as regional authentic food cooked with Western hands.”
In fact in all his restaurants throughout the region, Will presents beautifully plated, authentic local dishes constructed after years of research, experimentation and countless forays into some of the region’s most exciting street markets and kitchens. It is no surprise that Tiger Palm, with its heavy Malaysian slant, maintains that winning formula.
“We have tapped into the essence, history and heart of regional Malaysian cooking and have combined traditional cooking techniques with super fresh, authentic ingredients; we are excited to bring these amazing flavours to Bali.”
Over the centuries, Malaysian cuisine has been subject to a succession of external influences resulting in a diverse range of traditional foods consumed lovingly by its multi-ethnic population. Malays, Indians, Eurasians, Chinese and the indigenous peoples of Borneo have all contributed to create the extraordinary culinary wealth that Will taps into at Tiger Palm.
Reflecting Malaysia’s huge Indian influence, and perfect with a late-night drink, is what could be the ultimate tapas, the delicious Tiger Palm tandoori wrap. For breakfast, indulge in a Kopitiam-style feast with dim sum favourites such as Chee Cheong Fun, Chicken Balls Rice and Coddled Eggs.
The lunch and dinner menus include a range of fresh Malaysian kerabu salads, Kandar beef rendang simmered in coconut milk with Indian spices and curry leaves, Crispy Mamak fried chicken with curry powder, Biryani egg and curry sauce, and Crispy Peranakan Fish with ginger flower chilli tomato and tamarind.
Famous for his own culinary excursions through the region’s vibrant gastronomic scene, Will swapped roles in the preparations for Tiger Palm by inviting Pearly Kee to his house to help develop the skills required and the menu to ensure the authenticity of the Nyonya taste.
“She is so passionate about what she does; she is an excellent Nyonya cook and promotes her cuisine heritage proudly through her dishes and her cooking school. Because of her different techniques, it was fantastic to have her introduce the dishes to our kitchen staff and give them that authentic angle to experience firsthand.”
Pearly is something of a celebrity in Penang, as well as being a guru of Nyonya cuisine – the intermingling of Chinese food with the spices of the tropics and hints of Indian and Malay flavours. As she says from her home-based cooking school: “This was fusion before fusion was trendy; at my school in Penang, you can learn the secrets of authentic Nyonya, Malay, Southern Indian and Nasi Kandar street food.”
It was on one of Will’s culinary journeys into Malaysia, researching local dishes and techniques, that he met Pearly at her cooking school. From that time and from her visit, she provided inspiration for the special Nyonya cuisine dishes on the Tiger Palm menu. “Nyonya cuisine is like a picture within a picture. Malaysian cuisine is influenced by many cuisine cultures and Nyonya cuisine is one of those influences, which in turn is influenced by Malay, Chinese, Indian and Thai cuisines.”
No matter what time you arrive, the kitchen at Tiger Palm is a hive of activity creating deliciously rich curries, fresh salads, soft rice noodle dishes, fresh fish, a selection of authentic deserts and a plethora of light bites, all inspired by Will’s famous gastronomic adventures. For lovers of outstanding Malaysian cuisine, backed by excellent service, Tiger Palm really is the perfect setting for either a quick bite while shopping in Seminyak’s newest boutique mall, or for a more leisurely lunch or dinner. Welcome to the Jungle!