Executive Chef Paul Lewis.
The Chopped Tuna.
Executive Chef Paul Lewis.
The Chopped Tuna.
A new addition in the heart of Seminyak where classic cooking equipment meets modern techniques and stunning interior...
Nestled right next to IZE Seminyak hotel, the exterior of Salazón restaurant looks outstanding among other restaurants on Jalan Kayu Aya in Seminyak. Glass windows and doors with black windowsills give an elegant classy touch to the building. Walking into the restaurant, the interior is just as stunning with an eye-catching winery and a dry-aging room on the far end of the spacious restaurant, while a bar decorated with a ceramic map of Indonesia stands on the left side of the space and an interactive open kitchen on the other side.
But the most interesting element is the “star” of the restaurant that stands next to the open kitchen; the 5.8-ton Scotch wood-fired oven that is especially designed and constructed for Salazón. This is where every dish is cooked and every stove is fueled, using coffee and tangerine wood as the charcoal. “Salazón” is actually a Spanish term that means salted meat, and this restaurant lives up to its name really well as they do a lot of curing, fermenting, pickling and dry-aging in the kitchen. And that is why Salazón is different from other restaurants as they try to bring back an old method with the use of classic equipment incorporated with modern techniques.
Being a second generation Australian with a Scottish background, Executive Chef Paul Lewis creates dishes with techniques that are very much inspired by his roots. He and his team also craft a number of special menus each day, depending on what meat is ready from the dry-aging room and what fish is available from the market as the restaurant always works with fresh high-quality ingredients. And the result is delectable cuisine with exquisite flavors and detailed elements like no other...
Salazón offers such an extensive menu that I needed some help from a waiter to choose the dishes. I opted to start with the dry-aged Beef Tartar with meat so delicate it melted in my mouth. The eggplant crema added a savory flavor while the nori crackers gave a perfect balance of crunchy texture. It was a wonderful appetizer that made me believe that I was off to a great start.
The Chopped Tuna was another outstanding starter. Served with pickles, seaweed and sea urchin, this dish has flavor that blends perfectly. Before moving on to the main course, I was tempted to try the nine-day dry-aged Baby Mackeral. This fish skewer has a delicious smoky flavor with fish meat cooked to perfection. The cream fraiche, bonito glaze and grapes made the dish even more splendid with a perfect combination of sweet and savory.
Then, it was time for the main course; the 60-day Op Rib. But before the dish was presented, another detail caught my eyes as the waiter set up the cutlery that include a French knife with a special design, decorated with a flower print for the ladies and a skull print for the gentlemen. I had to remind myself not to play around with it. Not long after, the rib eye with bone was served with glazed shallots topped by mushroom butter, and two choices of sauce on the side – a bone marrow sauce and a chimichurri sauce. The chimichurri sauce tasted fresh and tangy, but I personally preferred the bone marrow sauce because I think it elevated the taste of the perfectly seared meat. The sauce also contained pieces of delicate bone marrows that beautifully complemented the steak.
The rib eye came with savory potato boulangere, refreshing watercress salad, delicious sautÃ©ed mushrooms and spinach. But to accompany my main course, I ordered the foil baked mushrooms as a side dish. Consisting of Shitake, Shimeji and King Mushrooms, this dish has an Asian flavor with Japanese soyu and crispy chicken skin for garnish.
Raise Your Glass
Salazón also excels in their drink selections. The Coffee Wood Negroni is an art on its own as it is crafted on a trolley, right in front of diners. A mixologist approached my table while pushing the trolley after I decided to try this signature drink. He stopped next to me and started his own “show”. First, he burnt some coffee wood with a torch. Then, as the wood turned to ashes and smoke rose, he put a glass upside down to keep the smoke inside. “We let the smoke layer the inside of the glass to create a smoky sensation to the drink,” he explained. And then, he crafted the drink with gin and Aperol aperitif.
Another unique drink is the 21 barrel age where the bourbon is aged for 21 days in a wooden barrel. But my favorite was the Daiquiri. This concoction of rum has a sweet and sour flavor, with a refreshing and smoky flavor plus a touch of grilled lemon. As for the non-alcoholic drinks, Salazón presents an outstanding selection of tea blends, all are stored in glass jars and guests can smell the aroma and choose their favorite. The tea blends are especially made for Salazón, designed by the owner’s preferences – she is quite a tea enthusiast, so no wonder each tea blend is distinctive from each other and from any other tea on the island. Some have a refreshing aroma with a hint of fruits, while others are so calming. My choice fell on the Summer Dream that smelled like summer in a jar.
Some of the tea drinks can be served hot or cold. It was quite a warm night on my visit, so I opted for some ice Summer Dream tea to close the night. And of course, it was even more perfect when paired with dessert; the Chocolate Bomb, a rich chocolate brownie dish topped with soft meringue.
Jalan Kayu Aya Oberoi, Seminyak
By Risty Nurraisa
Magazine issue > Dine&Delights