Arriving at Barbacoa, one of the newest restaurants to open in Petitenget, we find a large golden brown pig being grilled in the open wooden fire, and a cook on standby to constantly add more coffee wood to keep the fire burning. “It’s been slowly grilled for the last eight hours,” he explains.
Our well-dressed host leads us to our table at the backyard and we are glad to have arrived just before dark to witness the last remaining rays of sun upon the green rice fields. This elegant restaurant with its high ceilings is both warm and homely, with a large airy space that seems to be created to encourage conversation, yet retains a certain intimacy, for those inclined to be left alone. The solid cooling system works wonderfully against the Balinese humidity. Designed and created by owners Adam Dundas-Taylor and Pete Zuttion, Barbacoa makes a charming addition to the dining scene of Jalan Petitenget.
Sydneysider, Dundas-Taylor, is a chef with a penchant for barbeque,
and a passion for creating food that, “You won’t find anywhere else
except here.” Having worked in Spain, London and other European
countries; he has now teamed up with fellow chef, Sean Prenter, (ex Rock
Pool) and his brother, Kieron Prenter, who is head Mixologist. He tells
us that he is excited about Latin American cuisine which translates
here as a fusion of Spanish, Mexican,
Peruvian and Argentinian flavours. “We love these styles of food and hence, Barbacoa was born – it means BBQ in Spanish,” he explains before disappearing, with a promise of Frozen Margaritas to come. A gulp of the chilled punchy margarita later, we are ready to select our meals. The various dishes on the menu will please any meat-lover and are served tapas-style, so ideal for sharing. The more the merrier seems the rule of the thumb here. Cuban Pork Torta with Pickled Red Onion, Aioli and Tomato comes first, in the deceiving form of a burger with a generous thick juicy cut of meat. The deliciously messy Braised Beef Brisket Corn Taco with Pico de Gallo and Radish is a must-try and tastes even better when eaten with hands. Moving on to the grill selection, our Charcoal Grilled Prawns with Guajillo Chilli Marinade and Avocado are impeccably grilled and still juicy, with a slight smoky aroma. The star of the show is the 8 Hour Wood Fired Asado of the Day carved from that grilled pig that we saw near the entrance. The tender and perfectly sliced meat comes with crunchy pork skins and excellent dipping sauce. We close our dinner with a White Chocolate & Honeycomb Ice Cream Sandwich, a tasteful caramel balance of salty and sweet, ended with a mischievous coconut-flavoured biscuit. With a resolution to come back soon, we leave this atmospheric restaurant and call it a night to remember. Eve
Barbacoa | Jl. Petitenget 14 Kerobokan | P +62 361 739 233 | Open 5pm - 12am