A Beachside Epicurean Delight

mejekawi-exterior2Mejekawi is the fine dining and kitchen laboratory concept of the iconic Ku De Ta and is perched atop the wildly popular beachfront destination. With large glass windows all around, guests have unobstructed views over Seminyak Beach and its rolling waves, which are beautifully floodlit in the evening.

With its minimalist decor, the focus is firmly on the food and the chefs never fail to deliver. Entering Mejekawi, at the top of the wooden stairs, the kitchen is the first thing you see. A large, open expanse of stainless steel, this calm centre of activity is home to some top-of-the-line, high-tech and seriously science lab-style kitchen toys.

Executive Chef Ben Cross presides over his domain and uses this ultra-modern equipment to create fun twists on familiar foods using the freshest, mostly locally sourced, ingredients, as well as the necessary imports. This intriguing balance between food from village farms and kitchen equipment so progressive that most home cooks wouldn’t recognize it is brought together to make exquisite food prepared with both modern cooking techniques and olden-day skills that have almost been forgotten.

caffe-mocha-coconutThe bread served prior to the dinner was yeast free, but as moist and airy as any baker could hope for. Chef Ben revealed that he had managed to use natural leavening agents, an old practice now rarely used, and that it had taken a year to get the right balance and to achieve consistent results. In a time when instant gratification is the norm, this kind of patience just highlights the attention to detail used in the kitchens of Mejekawi.
Ben shares the kitchen with chef  Stephen Moore and chef Nuño Garcia, with Nuño being in charge of sweets and pastries. Their laid-back demeanour in the kitchen belies the skill and creativity they bring to their food and they are happy to chat to guests to see what they are enjoying and if there any allergies they need to be aware of before cooking.

The food choice at Mejekawi is simple—a five or 12-course degustation menu, which can be expertly paired with a range of wines and sake if you wish. Not only is the food divine, but the plating is exquisite—making each course an individual work of art.

mejekawi-kitchen-showcase2Chef Stephen Moore made use of the kitchen’s wood fire to prepare the taste sensation of succulent crayfish placed atop glistening pearls of fregola pasta in a rich, deep orange XO sauce, with shredded spring onions draped across it. The juxtaposition of tastes and textures from the al dente pasta, sweet, smoky crayfish and rich sauce is such a treat that you could wish it came in a larger portion, but then you would miss out on all the other temptations!

Our favourite dessert was the white chocolate cone with mangosteen sorbet, markisa and raw peanuts—a densely flavoured, refreshing burst of icy cold sorbet in a cute chocolate cone with the contrasting crunch of peanuts. Perhaps Chef Nuño could persuade Mejekawi to do a dessert-only menu!

wood-fired-‘freshwater’-crayfish-xo-sauce,-fregola,-spring-onionMejekawi is great place to visit. With laid back fine dining, ultra high-tech equipment alongside a wood fire, food straight from the farm served with gorgeous international wines and fabulous cocktails… the contrasts are numerous, but the result is a fun night out that satisfies the most critical of gourmands.

Booking is highly recommended.

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