The Managing Director of Métis Restaurant & Gallery is a former chef who now coordinates the operations of one of Bali’s most highly acclaimed fine dining restaurants
Q: How did you first come to be the Managing Director at Métis?
Said Alem: After managing Warisan for more than 12 years, I decided to open Métis Restaurant.
Q: What are your main responsibilities?
Said Alem: I’m lucky that I have my partner Doudou to share responsibilities with. He takes more care of the kitchen and I’m responsible for the operational side of things. I have to make sure that everything we do is successful, including making sure that the atmosphere and the work flow of the operational team runs well. I also work to ensure that our customers always get the best experience possible.
Q: What is the toughest part of your job?
Said Alem: To make sure that Métis stands out amongst other restaurants in Bali.
Q: And what is the most rewarding?
Said Alem: The success that we have been lucky enough to receive until now.
Q: You were at Warisan, which you helped turn into one of the first truly fine-dining restaurants in Bali, before Métis. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the F&B scene in Bali since you first worked there?
Said Alem: The competition is the biggest change. Going back a few years, there were only a few fine dining restaurants in Bali. Nowadays, we have to be more creative to stand out and overcome the competition.
Q: How do you help make sure your guests are having the best experience possible?
Said Alem: We always give our utmost attention to them, always updating and changing our menus. And we work hard to create a nice atmosphere and ambience in our restaurant to satisfy our guests.
Q: What is the most ridiculous complaint you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
Said Alem: One day, we got a complaint from a guest that thought that his steak was glazed with sugar. In actuality, we sprinkled shallots on top of the steak, and that’s what made it a bit sweet. We explained properly, but the guest just wouldn’t listen and insisted the steak be waived from their bill. As a gesture, we gave them a complimentary dessert and they were happy with it. Problem solved!
Q: You have culinary training and have worked as a chef in the past – how does that knowledge inform your work managing Métis?
Said Alem: Yes, my background is as a chef, so I really understand the working flow in the kitchen. This really helps me to communicate more effectively with my team.
Q: Be honest, how fast would things fall apart if you weren’t around?
Said Alem: Well, I’m not the only person in this place; I have my business partner and my team. Everybody has their own responsibility, so there’s no problem if I leave even for a few months.
Q: Who is a member of your team that you think deserves more recognition?
Said Alem: The dishwashers, because they have the toughest job in the restaurant.
Q: Would you mind sharing your recommendation for another restaurant in Bali and what your favourite dish there is?
Said Alem: The Spaghetti Al Cartoccio at Sasa’ Restaurant.
Q: How do you like to unwind from the stress of managing your restaurant? What else do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Said Alem: I like to play sports or hang out with friends. I like to go to the gym, diving and swimming. If I have free time, I prefer to get out of Bali and travel around.
Q: What would the itinerary of your perfect day in Bali consist of?
Said Alem: Wake up early, have a nice breakfast, go straight to the office, exercise in the gym, enjoy a great sunset and then back to work.