Cuca Flavor

Cuca flavor is currently the most-talked about restaurant in Bali, since the opening in mid 2013, it’s been reached the top rank on Trip Advisor website in short period.

Before moving to Bali, Kevin Cherkas had spent some of his career at several starred restaurants around the world including El Bulli and Arzak in Spain, and Daniel in NYC.

Before Cuca, I heard and red some articles about him during his time at BLU restaurant in Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. He’s known for his molecular approach on his food such as “breakfast” dessert which looked like an sunny-side-up, but made from coconut cream and mango juice (they served it at Cuca too!).

Tired of working in fast-paced fine dining environment, he then tried to open a place where he can deliver high quality food with more relaxing environment. His philosophy is using only Indonesian ingredients, but focusing mainly from Bali. Basically, he tries to apply modern technique on local ingredients.

Most of the food here is tapas size because they’re mean to be shared among your dining partners. It’s good really, since you can try different dishes without worrying about getting full too fast.

 


IMG_0567“Pan Con Tomate” and Betutu Cotton Candy
Famed Bread, Crushed Tomato, Chili, Parsley, Garlic Aioli

Cuca’s version of original spanish tomato bread. I really can’t compare with the authentic spanish version, because they just different in terms of flavor. This one has more intense and bold flavor with Indonesian touch on the tomato dipping.

The cotton candy was close to unedible. The feeling was like having a hunk of cotton candy dusted with unpleasant betutu-flavored msg.

IMG_0569Smoked Sablefish
Beetroot Yoghurt, Avocado, Bread Cracker, Wild Herbs.

Intense smoke flavor from the fish, and the beetroot tasted mildly from the yoghurt which compliment the fish really well. Delicious.

IMG_0570Glazed Young Carrot Salad
Whipped Avocado, Bedugul Strawberry, Cashew Nut, Basil

This is one of my favorite dish. The carrot was very tender, but still managed to have the right bite. It’s perfectly glazed with a hint of cumin at the back. The strawberry delivered the right amount of acidity.

IMG_0571Crispy Wild Chicken

Wild Honey, Country Coleslaw, Sesame Dust, Lemon Basil

Some people says this is one of the highlight, but i feel that this one pretty mediocre. The only good thing about it is the beetroot-infused-cabbaged-slaw. The honey was to overpowering which make chicken tasted more like a dessert.

IMG_0572Bbq Octopus

Asian Gazpacho, Fresh Apple, Caramelized Cauliflower,Coriander

Everyone has to agree that this plate looks georgeos! It’s clean, simple, green, and bright. At first I didn’t like the gazpacho, the flavor is too complex, and lots of coriander (I hate coriander by the way). But after awhile it tasted quite good actually. The problem here is the octopus itself. I know that octopus is difficult to be cooked properly, it has a very fine line between undercooked and overcooked, and between mushy and tender. The octopus meat it tasty, but it’s slightly mushy to my preference.

IMG_0574Roasted Tiger Prawn

Sweet and Sour Eggplant, Red Chili, Light Coconut Broth, Kaffir Lime

This dish was packed of flavor, especially the “light” broth which I personally feel that it has intense prawn flavor. The broth was slightly too thick to my liking, but flavor wise was just spotless.

IMG_0577Chilled Watermelon Salad

Calamansi, Pink Radish, Pandawa Seaweed, Sesame, Cilantro

Again, cuca managed to put simple ingredients together to create something flavorful. It looks fresh and simple where some of the watermelon balls wearing radish hats. The sweetness from the watermelon is well balanced by the calamansi.
 
dessert

IMG_0578Moon-Gria

White Wine, Iced Fruit, Brandy Soda

IMG_0575Bali Breakfast

Sweet Runny Mango, Frozen Passion Fruit, Whipped Coconut

This “breakfast” dessert is one of his signature dish during his time at BLU restaurant in Singapore. Even though I haven’t tried the original version yet, I believe that the concept is still the same. The mango sphere is placed on top of coconut milk foam which created refreshing flavor.

IMG_0576Cocoa 8

Warm Dark Chocolate Mousse, Mint Ice Cream, Cocoa Crouton

This dessert is inspired by “after 8” chocolate bar that you can easily get in the supermarket. Basically it’s a marriage of chocolate and mint. The mint sorbet was just can’t get any better than this. It’s packed with strong mint flavor, and mellowed by the luxurious warm dark chocolate mousse.

IMG_0582BBQ Berry

Grilled Mountain Strawberries, Almond Ice Cream, Pandan Custard

It’s hard to decide which dessert I like the most because most of them were just keep teasing my evening. The grilling treatment manages to reduce the sourness and let the sugar caramelized a little bit.

 

 Since I went there in a big group, I didn’t really try the rest of the desserts.

 

 IMG_0579

Monkey Business

BBQ Banana Pudding, Espresso Gelato, Hazelnut Dust, Whiskey Butterscotch

 

IMG_0584 Pineapple Pudding

Roasted Pineapple, Sesame Ginger Pudding, Frozen Crumbled Yoghurt, Tarragon

To sum up the whole experience at Cuca, this place is all about the man, Kevin Cherkas, who knows really well how do flavors suppose to marry each other. I think almost every dish tasted delicious, and that is the most important thing on the plate apart from the gorgeous plating and so on. I really respect him since he tries to channel his passion by using local products in the middle of the trends where our local chefs tend to westernize their cooking mindset. This is the place where you can spend a romantic evening without getting any fine dining intimidation, or just spending time with your buddies in a good place that serves good food.

Cuca Flavor

IMG_0566

Jalan Yoga Perkanthi, Jimbaran, Bali 80364, Indonesia

+62 361 708066

http://www.cucaflavor.com

 

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1 Comment

  1. Cuca Family

     /  February 14, 2014

    Dear Media friend,

    Thank you very, very much for writing about our beloved Cuca in your blog, for your time and for your kind support. As you know, Cuca is very new (only 6 months old) but we are doing everything we can to make it a very special restaurant.

    Let us know if we can do anything for you. In the meantime, we will keep you updated with any news, improvements and promotions!

    We look forward to welcoming you again very soon.

    Warmest regards,

    Cuca Family

    Reply

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