…on the Island of the Gods

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM

Travel, Food & Wine Writer/Editor extraordinaire

All rights reserved

The intrepid and indomitable Travelling Gourmet flies to the Island of the Gods on SIA’s Boeing 777-200 jet to stay in…

MAGNIFICENT Chedi Sakala, just an M203 40mm  grenade’s launch from the pristine powder white sand of Benoa Beach in BALI.

I awoke each morning at 0548 when the alarm on my Breitling Titanium watch rang. Off to the beach after brushing my teeth to see the magnificent sunrise over the Island of the Gods, as well as mighty Gunung Agung to my left which is to the north. The luxury Chedi Sakala Resort is just a stroll away from Tanjung Benoa beach with its fine, powdery beige-white sand and many fishing boats and pleasure craft, as well as Outrigger Balinese ‘sampans’. Early in the morning, I always had the whole vast beach to myself, except for a pack of stray dogs who were fierce to me at first, but they warmed to me when they realised I was friendly. I love dogs. Like babies, dogs have a sixth sense or ESP that enables them to tell…if someone is good or bad, friend or foe…

The strong sea breeze, the salt in the air and sound of the waves lapping rthymically on the soft sand…all soothe and wash away whatever cares you may have…or will have. Tranquility and serenity prevails. That is the magic of Bali…

Romance and Food…

If you ever see the moon over Benoa Bay, see it floating over the sea, smell the Frangipani flowers in the air and the stars seem to shine like diamonds in the velvet night sky…and you happen to be with a warm woman, you’ll never forget it. And when you feel the desire for some very good food…

There is Splendid SAKALA…

The super Sakala Restaurant is just across the north-south road that comes from the airport. Specialising in Contemporary French cuisine with Balinese nuances…this is arguably Bali’s best French restaurant. It used to be an independent restaurant but has now become part of the Chedi Sakala Resort and the GHM group. The restaurant,the Chedi Sakala, the Ramada next to the Chedi and another Ramada in Kuta are all owned by wine loving  tycoon, Joni Kantono.

IMG_8773 In the high tech wine cellar…all plate glass and shimmering stainless steel…I always say, you can’t beat cold steel…(they don’t like it up them you know Ha! Ha!)

The Travelling Gourmet’s Exclusive INterview with…

Theo Mahendra, Food & Beverage Director of the Chedi Sakala Resort. Affable and very approachable Theo told me about how he got into the F & B line…

“I was born in a remote village in the centre of the island, near Bedugul…about 10km away. My father and grandfather were farmers. My first ambition was to be an Architect. I studied Civil Engineering instead in Jakarta…but I came back to Bali where my sister is a lecturer in Pariwisata (Tourism) in the University of Tourism in Bali. I missed Bali and my parents…so I returned to Bali. My sister inspired and encouraged me to go into Hospitality and Tourism. So after I graduated from the University in Bali, I did further studies…distance learning with West Coast University of Perth in Australia.”

The Travelling Gourmet: tell us about how you have incorporated Balinese ingredients in to the F & B outlets of the Chedi Sakala.

Theo: Well, there is the famous Balinese Buah Salak or snakeskin fruit. We make it into a cocktail with Salak puree plus Grand Marnier. I must say this is the most unique cocktail I have tasted in a long, long while. The presentation too is fantastic. You must come here to try this cocktail because as I always say “Tasting is believing!” Copycats with no original ideas of their own, remember that this tag line was coined by The Travelling GourmetTM.!

The afore-mentioned cocktail appeared in a flash…A tall Martini glass which seemed to be on ‘fire’ and smoking like it was going to explode was quite mind-boggling. Absolutely one of the best presentations of a cocktail I have ever seen in my myriad travels around the world! It reminded me of the Hunger Games and the “Girl on Fire”. What is the secret of the Bali Salak Cocktail?? I am sworn to secrecy. Why not come to the Chedi Sakala to taste it for yourself…Tasting is believing. Tastewise, the slightly tannic and tangy taste of the Buah Salak is definitely there…with the texture of grainy Salak puree at the bottom of the glass in a little cone. I adore exotic fruits like the Buah Salak! I was the first gourmet in the world to match exotic yet healthy Durian with wines in the Singapore Marriott in 2003. Back then, my dear friend, Kathrynn, was the Director of Marcom in the Marriott.  Our Durian and Wine event, attended by VVIPs, including those from the US Embassy, British High Commission and German Embassy, was a huge success.

Theo elaborated, “Food and wine has changed a lot in recent years. Many types of new wines and new recipes…Our Breakfast Buffet in our All Day Dining restaurant is very extensive. We have Asian, Japanese, Balinese and Western choices…”

I could only wholeheartedly agree. I loved the fresh squeezed Watermelon, Orange and Honeydew and Mango juices. Not reconstituted from juice extract with lots of unhealthy added sugar BUT simply squezed out from the fresh fruit with some pulp and fibre in the juice. So very healthy! And very nice too! They always did a freshly squeezed Tomato juice for me on special request.

Work in progress…To be continued…

About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
This entry was posted in Art, Chocolates & Desserts, Entertainment, Fabulous Food and Gorgeous Drinks, Fabulous Food, Gorgeous Wines! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to CAPTIVATING Chedi Sakala…

  1. Pingback: GHM To Unveil Chedi Club Jimbaran, Bali in Summer 2014 | Hotelier Indonesia News Portal

  2. Pingback: The Chedi Sakala Breaks New Ground in Bali | Hotelier Indonesia News Portal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s