Food connoisseurs on the island will be ecstatic to know that there’s a new kid on the Ubud block as The Suku Bali opens its doors to the public. Focusing on a unique farm-to-table concept, this new dining destination presents guests with affordable international culinary offerings and beverages using locally sourced ingredients in a warm and laid-back ambience.
Opened on Thursday, 7 October 2021, The Suku Bali is located on the green foothills of Ubud at Jalan Raya Pengosekan. ‘Suku’, meaning ‘tribe’ in English, is driven by environmental sustainability and community empowerment. This expansive establishment features an open-plan restaurant, café and event space enclosed by a verdant garden growing a variety of spices and produce for the kitchen to utilise. Nestled on 1300sqm of land, the venue accommodates 25 indoor seats and 35 outdoor seats, while the garden space enjoys a maximum capacity of 500 people.
“For us at Suku, looking after the community means empowering people on an economic, cultural, social, educational, and occupational level,” said Co-Founder and Partner, Russell Cameron.
As an establishment that supports local craftsmanship, the interiors at The Suku Bali features a minimalistic contemporary design that is decorated predominantly with eclectic woodwork, from the hand-carved Balinese timber and the handcrafted rattan tables to the intrinsic ceiling installations, all made by Balinese artisans. The moment you step into this establishment, you’ll feel the homey ambience right off the bat, whether you sit on the indoor tables and sofas or the outdoor hexagonal daybeds or bar area. The Suku Bali is also equipped with industry-standard audio equipment that can accommodate a range of live performances and events.
The Suku Bali is collaborating with Project Mei on an art programme dubbed “Project Suku”, which will feature a series of art exhibitions that will rotate every three months, showcasing the works of both established and emerging artists.
The culinary offerings at The Suku Bali present an array of international dishes and drinks crafted using locally sourced and organic ingredients. They are also committed to supporting an ethical food system in Bali by reducing food waste, hence, all dishes at Suku are prepared with minimal food waste by up-cycling excess ingredients into new recipes and converting kitchen scraps into agricultural goods.
Based on a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Indonesia is the world’s second-largest food waste contributor, behind Saudi Arabia, producing 300kg of food waste per person per year. That is why The Suku Bali strives to lower this figure by direct-purchasing from partnering farms in Bali and Java, while also maintaining the quality and freshness of produce.
The food offerings at The Suku Bali presents options from any time of the day, from the breakfast menu to the lunch and dinner menu. Several must-try dishes include Deviled Eggs (4 pieces of eggs with egg mixture, bacon, puffed sorghum, and cilantro); Japanese Tuna Salad (sliced tuna, pickled radish, avocado, seaweed, grilled pear, crispy nori, and spicy ponzu); Grilled Octopus (grilled octopus served with romesco, red pepper puree, fresh herbs, and chimichurri); Suku Garden Medley (a medley of Suku’s garden vegetables, herbs, and flowers); Pasta of the Day (a rotating selection of freshly made pasta); Chicken Two Ways (boneless buttermilk chicken individually pan-seared and fried, served with carrot cumin puree, honey-glazed carrots, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, mushrooms, and chicken jus); and Crispy Pork Belly (pork belly marinated in Suku’s garden mixed herbs served with Honey Soy Gravy).
Spearheaded by staff certified by Suku Partner, Founder of So So Good Coffee Company, and 2019 Indonesian Barista Champion – Mikael Jasin – The Suku Bali will also organise career workshops and a barista training programme for underprivileged youths to continue their efforts towards social empowerment.
You mustn’t miss out on the amazing selection of cocktails curated by Head Mixologist and 2016 Diageo World Class Competition finalist – Herry Kurniawan – from arak-based cocktails dubbed Local Heroes such as Pulau Kelapa, Senja, Cilinaya, Brem & Rose, Legend of Honje and Made in Bali to local twists on classic cocktails such as Black Pearl, Kintamani Brunch, Northcoast Paloma and Watermelon Bliss.
The team behind The Suku Bali will be led by senior staff with over 8 years of experience at renowned luxury establishments. With a focus on community engagement and humanitarian efforts, The Suku Bali aims to be a welcoming communal space for anyone who walks in through its doors.
“We reserve 30% of our staff positions for the surrounding community, and a total of 60% for Balinese. We wanted a strong local team, the best of the best in their field. This provides a balance of experienced mentors for the educational programs we want to run,” said Cameron.
“Suku is essentially a platform for local communities to showcase their produce, products, and talents, and hopefully a stepping stone onto bigger things,” he added.
Soft Opening Weekend: The Suku Bali Presents Pahlawan Domestic
In conjunction with their soft opening, The Suku Bali will be organising a month-long cultural experience and movement called ‘Pahlawan Domestic’, or hometown hero, as an ode to all things local including farmers, musicians, chefs and artisans. They will be kicking things off with an official soft opening weekend from Saturday & Sunday, 23-24 October 2021.
Following the traditional Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Karana, which means “the three causes of wellbeing”, The Suku Bali apply these beliefs throughout the venue and highlights them in the Pahlawan Domestic movement, which aims to create a safe and sustainable platform for local heroes to display their talents and to all who walk through the venue’s doors.
Pahlawan Domestic will kick off the soft opening weekend on Saturday with a farmer’s market, where attendees will be able to purchase freshly-harvested produce provided by the venue’s partner farmers, followed by an eventful morning of workshops including making Batik Jumputan or making ‘kokedama’, the art of arranging Japanese-style ornamental plants. There will also be fire-side dialogue on sustainability as well as panel discussions on creativity with several thought leaders of the design and music industries. The night’s entertainment will feature a star-studded line-up of Indonesian talents including Ras Muhammad, Tuan Tigabelas, Mukarakat, Blue Room Boys, Anak Bandung and Soltice.
As with the first day, the event’s second day will feature an additional workshop on growing your own food and will have a dedicated art section in collaboration with Project Mei, showcasing an exhibition from Abenk Alter, Andre Yoga and Kanoko Takaya. Day 2 entertainment will see legends of Jakarta and Bali’s electronic music legends including Ecilo, Indra 7, Apsara, House Cartel, Trigan Young and Halim Ardie.
In line with Pahlawan Domestic’s ethos, the event will have no single-use plastics and will instead have attendees pay a refundable deposit for a reusable metal cup for all drink purchases, food waste will be converted into compost, and cigarette butts will be collected and repurposed into ashtrays and bricks.
Aiming to set the standards for the new normal event etiquette, Pahlawan Domestic will apply strict protocols to ensure the safety of attendees. Attendees will have to check-in and show proof of vaccination using the PeduliLindugi app, or alternatively, take an antigen swab test available outside of the venue in partnership with Ari Canti hospital. They will apply a cashless payment system using NFC wristbands in partnership with PouchNATION. Attendees also have the option to donate their leftover wristband credit to a selection of foundations through the donation platform, Kasi, at the end of the event
General Admission Passes are available for purchase through thesukubali.com/events. General Admission prices start at IDR 125,000/ticket for early bird pricing.
For group bookings and premium seating including tables, please email the reservations team at pahlawandomestic@TheSukuBali.com. To keep up with updates and set-times of the DJs, please follow the event’s Instagram page @PahlawanDomestic