It seems the Potato Head Family is on a hot streak. Having reopened its Bali ‘complex’, better known as the Desa (or village), encompassing the Beach Club, Potato Head Studios and everything that happens in-between, the lifestyle destination has been active reinvigorating the local art, music and food scenes. Riding the momentum, the group has recently reinvented their seafood restaurant, Ijen at Potato Head Beach Club, with a new menu that boasts flavours even fresher than before.

When it first opened, the restaurant was built on a very strict ethos, one that embodied the ‘zero-waste’ principals both in the interior design but also in its operations. Firstly, it’s built from recycled materials: the terrazzo-style dining room floor repurposes broken plates and chipped drinking glasses, and furniture features ethically sourced Mersawa wood and plastic from motorcycle oil caps.

The zero-waste mentality continues into their management of waste: Ijen’s goal is exert the absolute minimal impact upon the earth. Materials and cooking techniques are made to reduce environmental footprint: they separate waste, food remnants are fed to pigs at local farms or composted at their own site — but often culinary innovations are born out of finding new ways of using what is traditionally seen as waste foods.

The Food and Flavours of Ijen

The biggest changes that have come about with Ijen’s relaunch is its menu. Although, the central philosophies remain the same, that being: Chef Daryl Wonorahardjo finds inspiration in the daily catch, caught locally on hand-reeled lines. Beyond the freshest and most prolific from the sea and the land, the new menu celebrates responsibly produced ingredients only from trusted suppliers around the Indonesian archipelago.

Nearly everything is cooked over an open fire allowing the natural flavours of the ingredients to speak for themselves. Chef Daryl and team have created a more sophisticated menu, one that goes beyond the more rustic approach of its previous iteration and adds more innovation to the flavours and creations. Examples include the Rilette (Smoked Blue Mackerel, fermented potato chips) and Oysters (lacto gooseberries, pickled seaweed, apple vinegar) from the Bites menu; to the Ravioli, filled with turnip fish and bathed in a bold prawn bisque; and Prawns, poached, servied with rosella and strawberry relish. The Mains focus on fish, with Mackerel always available, such as the Mackerel Rack per 220g (with Fermented apple sauce, sauerkraut), but the White Fish (Chilli butter, garlic chives, lemon) is based on availability — whatever’s caught, is served!

Cocktails, mocktails and even the beers that accompany the seafood fare are all distinctly Bali-inspired. Featuring Jahe Fizz made from Kecombrang arak and fresh gingers, Jamu Sling made from turmeric, coconut water and citrus juices to name a few! All-in-all, food and drink, diners will always have a taste of the local.

Using great food and flavours as both a draw-in and a medium, Ijen at Potato Head showcases the many ways the food and beverage industry can be more Earth-conscious. Their focus on putting an end to excess, both in kitchen and design, are great examples for others looking to go down a similar, more sustainable path in this on-going journey to create responsible dining in Bali.

Ijen at Potato Head Beach Club
Jl. Petitenget No.51B Seminyak, Bali 80361
+62 361 473 7979 

Edward Speirs

Edward Speirs

Edward, or Eddy as he prefers to be called, is the Managing Editor of NOW! Bali and host of the NOW! Bali Podcast. He enjoys photography, rural travel and loves that his work introduces him to people from all walks of life.