Makase pan-Asian restaurant in Bali offers continental classics with creative flair

Makase Bali restaurant

The dynamic and inventive Makase restaurant at Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach – one floor down from the lobby – offers a culinary experience far beyond the typical pan-Asian fare of noodles, dumplings, and satay found elsewhere in Bali.

Here, guided by the expert hand of Chef Heri Riskiawan Efendi, the menu is a curated journey through the diverse flavours of the continent with a series of unique twists, in contrast to the hotel’s SugarSand which offers a solely Japanese experience.

It brings in the robust spices of Indonesia, the intricate Thai balance of sweet and spicy, the nuanced tastes of Vietnamese cuisine.

Makase’s homey architecture seamlessly blends modern elements with timeless charm, with a vibrant neighbourhood-style design and open kitchen lending itself well to the restaurant’s focus on street food.

The menu offers a wide range of dishes from across Asia, from hearty and wholesome pho bo to spiced beef rendang and the warm broth of Peranakan-style seafood laksa.

The Pad Thai is a standout, combining contemporary presentation with the authentic flavours of the Land of Smiles – tender tofu, crisp beansprouts, a rich tamarind sauce, and a fresh squeeze of lime.

Just like on the backstreets of Bangkok, diners can tailor the dish to their preferences using the selection of ingredients on the side, customising the level of spice, the amount of bean sprouts, and other elements.

The Thai Beef Salad is another exemplary dish, featuring succulent sirloin and a blend of fresh mint, aromatic coriander, crunchy cucumber, and delicate shallots.

The addition of Thai basil infuses a unique, herbaceous note, while roasted peanuts add a subtle crunch and nuttiness.

Juicy cherry tomatoes and a hint of red chilli bring a burst of colour and a gentle heat to the dish.

For vegetarians, the salad can be prepared with tempe as a substitute for beef – with a nutty flavour and satisfying texture, it’s hard to believe it’s completely plant-based.

The dressing for the salad complements the ingredients without overpowering them, with a burst of fresh flavours finishing off this vibrant dish.

Chef Heri’s top pick from the menu is the 400-gram lamb shank, inspired by a recipe from a local street food vendor in Central Java.

The ingredients are Solo-style braised lamb, sweet soy sauce, shallot, chilli and tomato, creating a tantalising aroma and a pop of rich spices.

Another dish that guests should not miss is ayam bakar, a boneless baby chicken with pumpkin shoot and chilli jam, or the larb gai – Thai style minced chicken with iceberg, mint leaves, Thai basil and house-made sweet chili dipping sauce.

If you’ve still got space for dessert (and who doesn’t?) then order the Indonesian classic Es Teler, which is reimagined with a homemade pandan granita as its foundation.

A refreshing and exotic treat, the granita’s subtle, sweet grassy notes, provide a cool, icy base that contrasts beautifully with the creamy richness of added avocado.

Complementing these flavours are generous pieces of jackfruit, which add a tropical sweetness and a chewy texture.

The addition of coconut in this dessert not only brings a lush creaminess but also infuses a delicate, nutty flavour that is oh so tropical, while cincau (grass jelly) introduces a unique texture and a mild, slightly herbal taste.

Finishing off the dish, sago pearls offer a delightful burst and a gentle, appealing chewiness, combining to create a symphony of textures and flavours, making Es Teler a standout dessert that is both indulgent and refreshing.

Being gluten-free, it’s also an inclusive option for those with dietary restrictions – one of many on the menu.

Spearheaded by Chef Heri, Makase offers a culinary journey through the rich flavours of Asia that is as diverse as it is delightful, from the spiced lanes of Indonesia to the bustling streets of Thailand.

It’s a must-visit for anyone coming from across the globe to Bali who wants to try pan-Asian classics with a creative flair.