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Gado Gado: The secret source of a chef’s inspiration.

Published 30 May 2012   

I had the pleasure of dining recently with the Executive Chef at Chez Gado Gado, Quirijn Rademaker or better known as Quib, to try some of his new dishes. We were sitting on the timber deck of the very popular beachside restaurant with the crashing waves as a backdrop and tastefully lit trees above. As the dishes rolled out, Quib explained to me how he goes about finding the inspiration to creating new dishes. “I spend about an hour on the internet every day searching the trends, mainly by following the commentary of the top food critics. I keep an eye on what is happening internationally,” confides the Dutch chef. He also spends a lot of time in the kitchen crafting the ingredients available into dishes and finding the best presentation.

There are a number of new dishes scattered around the menu including starters, mains and desserts. Dishes like the tuna tartar with Thai yoghurt, pickled cucumber and avruga caviar, which was so fresh and tangy on the palate. It arrived in a large tumbler glass – a simple idea and the presentation, perfect. The poached slipper lobster with sweet corn crème, oyster mushrooms and pomelo was also a sensational explosion of flavours. “Pomelo always goes well with the seafood,” Quib says.

And there’s another little known reason why Gado Gado has such succulent vegetables accompanying their dishes. The Kitchen Gardens is what they call a 3000 m2 parcel of fertile land in Plaga on the slopes of central Bali. The purpose built market garden has a staff of 24 farm workers who tend the fields and supply Gado Gado exclusively. Many of the seeds have come from Holland and the land is supplying the restaurant with the freshest fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices enjoyed in all their new dishes.