Rafael Nardo

Rafael Nardo


Q: How did you come to be the Restaurant Manager at Salt tapas?

A: I was already living in Bali when Luke Mangan was preparing to open the restaurant here at Peppers Sentosa Seminyak. I knew some of the guys involved from the Australian project when I was managing a really cool Spanish restaurant there. They introduced me to Luke, so here I am.


Q: So what’s the toughest aspect of your job? And what is the most rewarding? 

A: The toughest part is being an educator at all times. I want the staff to be able to think for themselves and take decisions based on what they think is fair, but sometimes, the result is catastrophic. I would love them to be able to read our guests and give them what they need. For example, a waiter might have two tables in his section; one is late for the airport, the other is celebrating a ten year anniversary. The service has to be completely different for each table even if they order exactly the same dishes, and I guess it is really hard to teach things like that. The reward though comes when the staff really cares about the guest’s experience, then everybody is happy.


Q: What’s the most ridiculous complaint you’ve ever received from a customer? 

A: “Excuse me, the beer is too cold” – I almost cried.


Q: What is an under-appreciated aspect of Salt tapas that you think more guests should know about? 

A: The simplicity. We are not Spanish, but we do celebrate tapas as a sharing experience. Our menu travels through the Middle East and the Mediterranean. We are casual, vibrant and we have a very affordable menu.


Q: Be honest, how fast would things fall apart if you weren’t around? 

A: It wouldn’t actually. Our staff have been working here for years before Salt tapas joined Sentosa. They know the place inside-out and they know good service. The only thing that would probably suffer is the wine service. Other than myself, there is only one other guy here with a real passion for it, but we are certainly working to change that.


Q: Who is another member of your team that you think deserves more recognition? 

A: My supervisor definitely deserves a promotion. The deal is this: when he can get someone from our team to have the same passion as he has, he can take my place and I will find another job.


Q: Would you mind sharing your recommendation for another restaurant in Bali and what your favourite dish there is? 

A: Anything from Sakanaya by Riosh on Sunset Road, and the pork chops from Eat Well. The Pad Thai at Mamasan for lunch is also a winner.


Q: It’s your day off. What’s on the itinerary?

A: I’ll usually walk the dog to the coffee place and check the surf. Then it’s lunch with the girlfriend, some ice cream in the hammock, sunset, followed by a cider at the Mexican for dinner. Home and bed.


Previous articleCharlotte Wesley
Next articleBenramdane Karim