Gado-gado, a mixed vegetable salad covered in peanut sauce, as served in Kaum restaurant in Bali. (Photo courtesy of Potato Head)

New Restaurant in Bali Serves Authentic Indonesian Cuisine Right by the Beach


NOVEMBER 15, 2016

Jakarta. The selected sambal, or hot sauces, come in different saucers at Kaum restaurant in Seminyak, Bali, and each dish has its own colorful condiments, all served on a wooden tray.

At a glance, one can easily notice the pale chili sauce as Bali's famous sambal matah, made of chili, shallot, lemongrass and torch ginger drowned in coconut oil.

Others, however, require a bit of tasting to identify. The salted and grilled whitebait in sambal ikan teri bakar, the roasted black nuts in sambal kluwak, the garlic and red chili relish, fried crispy shallot and kaffir lime leaves in sambal mbe, or the mix of crushed lemongrass, ginger and red chili in sambal rica-rica.

This rich selection of hot sauces is probably how guests realize that Kaum, a new restaurant at the Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak, Bali, takes their Indonesian cuisine seriously.

For many Indonesians, you simply can't have a meal without sambal. Ask any Indonesian who lives abroad, and he will readily wax lyrical about his favorite sambal.

The sambal selection is not the only thing Kaum does spectacularly. Get a taste of their small plates, vegetables, rice dishes and on to the main courses, and you know the Potato Head group's latest outlet has hit a home run.

"Kaum" is the Indonesian word for "tribe" or "clan." To stay true to the spirit of togetherness, meals in Kaum are best when shared with your friends or families. This allows you to sample as many dishes as you like, without feeling overstuffed in the end.

For a group of four, it is recommended to pick two or three small plates before heading on to the main course. Kaum offers a variety of fish, chicken, meat and vegetable-based appetizers to satisfy all palates.

The gohu ikan tuna (Rp 85,000) is a fresh, clean-tasting starter featuring raw tuna marinated in virgin coconut oil, kalamansi juice, star fruits and toasted kenari nuts.

Ayam kampung berantakan (Rp 75,000) is a deliciously spicy number of a whole pan-fried chicken topped with toasted coconut flakes, fried garlic slivers and fried curry leaves, otherwise known as serundeng in Indonesia.

The gado-gado Kaum (Rp 65,000) offers a hearty take on Indonesia's favorite mixed vegetable salad, with generous helping of peanut dressing.

If you're feeling adventurous, try the lawar klungah (Rp 80,000), a young coconut husk salad tossed in lesser galangal and red chili dressing that comes with pork crackling.

Kaum only offers three vegetable dishes, and the rich and tasty bobor daun kelor kelapa muda (Rp 65,000) alone warrants a return visit to this restaurant. The vegetable soup is a staple of many Indonesian homes, but at Kaum, the moringa leaves and snake gourd, cooked with fresh coconut milk, are served in a coconut shell.

The idea is, of course, for you to scoop little bits of its tender coconut flesh as you go along.

Indonesians love their rice, so feel free to pick one of Kaum's five rice dishes; including red rice (Rp 20,000), yellow rice (Rp 25,000), wok-fried rice with chili paste (Rp 130,000) and fried rice with pork sausages, egg, braised pork meat and mushrooms (Rp 120,000).

For main courses there's the Bali-style slowly roasted chicken (Rp 225,000), crispy duck (Rp 175,000), grilled lamb satay with pickled rujak (Rp 160,000), grilled jumbo prawns (Rp 160,000) and charcoal grilled pork belly (Rp 140,000).

Desserts include the Dutch-inspired coconut pudding klappertaart (Rp 75,000), seasonal marinated fruits in a rujak sorbet (Rp 70,000) and the colorful iced-shaven es campur (Rp 65,000).

The bubur sumsum (Rp 60,000), however, is the real winner as it is quite difficult to find a good one, even in Jakarta. The rice custard porridge, made from Balinese heirloom rice, paired with coconut cream and palm syrup, leaves a perfect sweet and savory aftertaste.

Although Kaum Bali opens from 12 p.m. to midnight, sometime between the afternoon and evening is the best time to go to the restaurant. This is a perfect time to be seated outdoors on a balcony that overlooks the vast expanse of white sands at the Petitenget Beach.

Watch the sun sets over the Indian Ocean, a mocktail in hand, and have your authentic Indonesian dinner soundtracked by the sound of gently crashing waves.


Kaum Bali

Potato Head Beach Club

Jalan Raya Petitenget no. 51B, Seminyak, Badung, Bali

T: +62 361 300 7990