Looking for innovative cuisine, boutique wines, a vibrant ambience and ingenious decor? Head to 12,000 Francs and find out why it’s vying for the title of best restaurant in Central.
There many reasons to visit 12,000 Francs; its excellent contemporary European menu overseen by Chef Conor Beach, its carefully curated wine cellar with 80 boutique wine labels and hard-to-find wines and its remarkable ability to transform seamlessly from a convivial restaurant to a buzzing late night wine bar.
Named after the prize offered by Napoleon Bonaparte to anyone able to discover how to preserve food to keep his army fed, the concept at 12,000 Francs focuses on modern and traditional food preservation – from smoking, fermenting and vacuuming to pickling, salting and curing.
The decor is thoughtful and eye catching. As guests enter, one of the first things they see is a bespoke cast bronze pig standing atop the long communal sommelier table, the “wine in swine” with six chilled bottles in its back. The pig is a subtle nod to Napoleon the pig in George Orwell’s famous novel Animal Farm.
Meanwhile the Emperor Napoleon’s symbolic bee insignia provides the inspiration for the dense clusters of hand-blown, honey-coloured beehive pendant lighting, as well as many other design features throughout this stylish venue.
Imaginative and inspiring, Beach has created a menu with some quirky touches. He uses only premium ingredients sourced from across the globe with all the dishes created from scratch.
Divided into sections based on the method of preservation, such as Smoke + Salted, Vacuum + Fire, 12,000 Francs offers a range of delicious and tempting treats, from sourdough bread and terrines to the most divine hot pastrami, as well as incorporating some extremely localised specialities from places as far apart as Brittany in France and Bali in Indonesia. Beach surveys his “empire” from the hearth – his wood-fired oven – the perfect place for him to interact with diners and see them enjoy his unforgettable dishes.
One of the signature dishes is the hot 36-hour Angus rib-eye pastrami spiced and brined to sublime perfection. Served on the bone, the tender meat has a crispy charred outer and is accompanied by spicy kraut salsa, barley and pea shoots, making it a very satisfying meal.
A masterpiece of sweet temptation, the pandan k.a. (kouign amann) sees palm sugar and salted butter flaky pastry, inspired by that originally found only in Brittany, encompassing Indonesia’s highly popular pandan kaya paste with coconut served with a refreshing calamansi sorbet.
Another highly popular and inspiring combination of east meets west is the homemade tagliatelle with braised rendang-style pork cheeks, all the more piquant for the accompanying fried garlic and pickled jicama.
The restaurant also presents set menus and an extensive weekend brunch with free-flow option alongside the à la carte menus, as well as an exquisite selection of charcuterie and cheeses. So whether it’s foie gras parfait, bonito tartare or a hearty côte de boeuf or fire-roasted suckling pig, there are plenty of choices that suit all tastes.
Beach and his team also feature surprising pop up features as the whim takes them, such as the recent sausage feast to celebrate International Labour Day that included Bali’s own traditional dry fermented, spicy urutan sausage.