BLANCO Par Mandif

BLANCO Par Mandif

The Roots Of Modern Indonesian Fine–Dining

Kitchen-2Award-winning Chef- Restaurateur Mandif M. Warokka is widely acknowledged in his native Indonesia and the region as a uniquely talented chef, especially following the 2012 launch of his maiden fine-dining restaurant, Teatro Gastroteque, in Seminyak.

Still involved with Teatro, Chef Mandif opened his second boutique restaurant venture, BLANCO par Mandif, in central Ubud in July this year – so named as it stands in the grounds of  Ubud’s Blanco Museum, perched on an embankment overlooking a busy thoroughfare.

Teatro has won critical acclaim for its sophisticated modern French cooking with Asian flavours and twists and BLANCO will do the same, with what Mandif defines as modern Indonesian fine-dining cuisine showcasing exotic Indonesian flavours on an international level – which, he correctly points out, is difficult to find.
Open for lunch and dinner (except Sundays), BLANCO par Mandif is quite the glam venue for Ubud: at the time of press, consisting of a stylish, intimate glass-encased space, dominated by a slick black chef’s tasting table seating around 10 diners, which runs along a lengthy open kitchen, plus a Maître D’ assisting diners and a smart dress code in place.

Sat on snappy yellow leather armchairs directly facing the kitchen, diners can watch a hive of activity, with the kitchen team, including Mandif, meticulously labouring over their creations, contributing to an up-close, interactive dining experience.
The scheduled alternative format of an intimate upper-dining floor should open around September.

Similar to Teatro, the star player at BLANCO is an exceptional, but simplistic, degustation menu, here with 16 courses; small sized but big on flavour and subtly divided into sections (protein, seafood, desserts and so on). Diners can also choose a minimum nine degustation dishes, a la carte-style.

Blanco-Par-MandifBLANCO is essentially about Indonesian cuisine and flavours, traditional recipes and techniques, with a contemporary and refined twist and presentation that reflect Mandif’s craftsmanship and passion for his traditional roots.

Although billed as international fine-dining, BLANCO prides itself on practically everything being made from scratch, and quality, fresh produce sourced locally, working with local famers and suppliers (apart from a few unavoidable imports); “From the bountiful harvests of Bali’s Jimbaran Bay to the lush greenery of Kintamani hills, BLANCO spares no effort in bringing guests the very best the season has to offer—from nature to table,” declares Chef Mandif.

Tying-in with the same philosophy shared by a growing tally of Ubud restaurants, this results in utterly flavoursome mouthfuls, from tasty free-range chickens to whole lambs marinated for 48 hours and exotic fruits.

Throughout this degustation menu, Chef Mandif unashamedly incorporates elements of his life path, a memory trip from his nomadic childhood across the archipelago, recreating Indonesian experiences and flavours through innovative dishes.
House-made noodles  are a nostalgic blast from Sulawesi,  served with a mouth-watering broth poured over, while  paddy field escargot, reminiscent of fresh snails a young Mandif used to devour in  Balinese rice paddies,  come finely minced with herbs and delicate edible flowers.  Cuttlefish crackers, blackened from squid ink, are stacked high, dipped in a totally more-ish, warmed tomato and green chilli sambal—one of many island varieties of sambal. Pomelo, transformed into bullet chips and soursop, freeze-dried in liquid nitrogen, together create a taste bud-blasting palate cleanser.

Teatro may wow with its theatrical-style presentations, but BLANCO presents some equally quirky plates, like the spectacular opening act, Spinach and Kale, with grilled, salted leaves deliciously crispy and dangling off a miniature tree, crafted in wire.

Food takes centre-stage but the drinks list—and execution—is also impressive. A mini-cocktail counter at the chef’s tasting table is pure old-school, with butler-style service and retro paraphernalia; classic cocktails infused with innovative flair are shaken and stirred in front of diners. BLANCO produces its own house-made bitters and aged Negroni, while the selected wine list includes labels that refreshingly complement the courses. A Miami-trained sommelier is on hand to advise, although the degustation menu comes with cocktail and wine pairings.

BLANCO’s launch not only reaffirms Mandif as one of Indonesia’s foremost chefs, but also helps catapult modern Indonesian cuisine onto the fine-dining global stage, a life-long dream for Mandif and something which few have managed—or have dared—to accomplish.

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