Since opening mid last year, Ji at Bale Sutra at the Hotel Tugu Bali has been a special addition to the surf community of Canggu. This new restaurant serves a selection of dishes that celebrate Japanese traditions fused with other exotic cultural influences alongsde specialty cocktails in a beautiful and unique setting.
Walking through one of the three unique doorways is entering a mythical experience for the senses, one that has you lingering between the pleasures of this world and those of another. Leading the heart of this journey is the namesake and inspiration of this unique Japanese-cum-Peranakan Chinese dining experience, the 310-year-old Kang XI period temple that Tugu Hotels founder and designer Anhar Setjadibrata rescued from ruins in Java and completely reconstructed on the island in Indonesia where the temple originally landed hundreds of years ago.
The fusion of the ancient Japanese and Chinese cultures, which are reflected not only in the ornate animal carvings of the Chinese temple’s elegant dark wood façade, but also in the restaurant’s branding, an innovative take on Japanese calligraphy highlighting the fanciful flora, fauna and cultural elements of the region, offers animated glimpses into the past while at the same time spearheading into the future. The temple exemplifies the nearly 2,000-year-old relationship between the two cultures and stands as testament to the vast influence the more ancient China had on aspects of life in Japan.
Ji, which fittingly means temple in Japanese and Chinese, at Bale Sutra 1706 has three different sections; the hip, exotic, historic Red Room, which houses the majestic centuries-old temple with artefacts from old Balinese culture; the Front Bar, with eclectic, maximalist design surrounding an ancient Kabuki theme, serving Asian-inspired mixologist cocktails, fine wines and sake; and the Upstairs, which is a sea-view and alfresco casual dining area and lounge under the stars. The establishment also offers a wine to go and delivery service, which aims to provide the villas in Bali with the most affordable fine wines and sake on the island.
A culinary aficionado’s dreams will be fulfilled in the selection of dishes that celebrate Japanese traditions fused with other exotic cultural influences. After feasting on a meal such as the Dragon of Ji Roll shaped as a dragon, the Crab and Fennel Tsukiji Salad, the most melt-in-your-mouth Pork Belly with ginger and scallion, the Smokey Salmon Zaru Soba with home-smoked salmon belly and citrus broth, Yuzu, Mint and Basil sorbet, Green Tea cheesecake and Peach Millefeuille, guests can be forgiven for assuming they have sampled from a monarch’s personal menu.
Patrons who venture through the decadent proceedings downstairs to the upper floor lounge can find themselves enchanted by another version of heaven: the 180 degree view of the magical Indian Ocean’s crashing surf as it ebbs and flows onto the exotic sands of Canggu Beach This is how Ji at Bale Sutra’s journey culminates and where all guests’ senses find their ancient match in the fusion of time and space.
• 60ml aromatic coconut
• 45ml Sagatiba Cachaca
• 40ml passion fruit purée
• Dry ice
1. Put ice in a mixing glass and add the passion fruit purée, aromatic coconut and Sagatiba Cachaca.
2. Shake well and then transfer into the serving glass.
3. Put dry ice in a coconut bowl and place the glass containing the cocktail inside.
4. When serving the cocktail at the bar or table side, poor hot water on top of the dry ice for smoking effect.