Did you enjoy last week's dining experience steps away from the Four Seasons hotel in Austin, Texas?
"Grilled baby corn, young parmesan, fresh lime, parsley. Based on the classic street food, our version is unique as the entire baby corn can be eaten rather than just the outside kernels. Freshly cut baby corn is boiled in the husk pulling the flavor from the tender outside leaves, then chargrilled until dark golden. Crusted with young cheese, parsley, garlic and fresh lime, it’s a lot of taste for such a small corn!!"
In the kitchen, chef Kevin Cherkas says, “We are proud to be globally inspired by comfort food from over the world and then create our own versions source locally. We use 100% local ingredients to make sure your international customers taste the unique flavors of Indonesia."
Her two other favorite dishes are the restaurant's top seller, the BBQ octopus, made with Asian gazpacho, fresh apple, caramelized cauliflower, and coriander, and the baked scallops, made with Lombok scallop, mashed cauliflower, and toasted butter crust.
"This extraordinarily tender octopus is the result of applying a traditional Greek technique: we simmer it, then marinate it for six hours and finally grill it over hot coals. The twist is the sauce: a raw aromatic vegetable broth made with green chili, coriander, ginger and green onion. The cauliflower adds a bitter crunch and the apple balances the dish with sour freshness," she says.
"The baked tender scallops just out of the oven bubbling with warm melting cheese, crispy golden breadcrumbs and fresh aromatic herbs. This dish is inspired by the rich and delicious American style baked oysters dishes but following our philosophy of using only Indonesian ingredients."
Entizne describes the dining area as "a relaxed and intimate space ideal for guests to enjoy the company of each other. Spacious tables amid floating curtains provide casual privacy while still conveying the mood of the natural surroundings of our coconut grove."
The bar is "an interactive and exciting space where wooden chairs run along one impressive 8-meter-long teak counter. Slightly elevated, guests directly face the open kitchen, as if they were front-row spectators attending a performance. Action takes over while dishes are crafted before their eyes and chefs interact and serve the guests directly. The show is guaranteed. Sit back and enjoy!"
Meanwhile, the garden is "a chilled out space gently touched by the ocean breeze and surrounded by the undisturbed beauty of nature. Among towering coconut trees, Cuca’s Garden Lounge tempts you to let the hours pass by while sipping well-crafted cocktails, sharing delicious tapas and tasting distinctive desserts. Feel free to choose between our comfy lounge sofas or our proper dining tables."
Virginia Entizne has provided us with more background notes on her exciting venue. The following is directly from her, in her own words:
Opened in Jimbaran, Bali, in July 2013, Cuca serves its signature cuisine made only from the best and freshest local ingredients thoughtfully curated from artisanal producers in Indonesia. A casual dining destination serving tapas, cocktails and desserts, the restaurant offers three distinctive spaces: an interactive and exciting Food Bar where foodies can sit down at the 8-meter-long teak counter and enjoy the show; a relaxed and intimate Dining Room, ideal for guests to enjoy the company of each other in a comfortable and air-conditioned environment and a chilled out Cocktail Bar & Garden Lounge, gently touched by the ocean breeze and surrounded by the undisturbed beauty of towering coconut trees.
With nothing more than sheer passion and a resume jam-packed with extensive turns at some of the world’s best eateries including three star restaurants Arzak, La Broche and El Bulli in Spain and Daniel Boulud in NYC, Kevin Cherkas and Virginia Entizne, the souls of Cuca, took the island by surprise when they boldly broke into the restaurant scene to offer aradicallydifferentcasualdiningexperience. Now well into its second year, the restauranthassucceededinestablishingitselfasoneofAsia’s favouritedelicious destinations.
Cuca’s philosophy starts by getting the basics right: the most amazing ingredients carefully selected and sourced exclusively from Indonesia to maximize freshness, support local farmers and growers and showcase the uniqueness of delicious local products.
Chef Kevin studies each ingredient, finds out how it is traditionally used to understand its potential and then prepares it applying western techniques developed through a painstaking international career in some of the world best restaurants. The vast range of great products available in Indonesia is truly inspirational and works amazingly to create delicious new western dishes. Guests can expect a casual feel totally food focused, small portions to try more and a menu meant to be shared.
Cuca is located between Kayumanis Jimbaran Private Estate and Spa and Belmond Jimbaran Puri. Reservations can be made online at www.cucaflavor/reservation. The restaurant opens seven days a week from 12pm to 12am.