If you’re not French like moi (nobody’s perfect!) and you’ve never heard the word bistronomie, it might be seen as an expression of French chauvinism. Au contraire! Let’s go over the semantics quickly shall we. Take the words “bistro” and “gastronomie” and voilà, bistronomie! Okay, but what does that mean? Basically, it’s upscale fare without the hefty price tag and most of it is produced by non-French chefs, just like chef Ryan Clift at the head of Grow in Petitenget. The Englishman with four restaurants (Tippling Club amongst them) and an arm full of awards uses locally-sourced products and works with local farmers and fishermen, bringing a fresh and sustainable cuisine to Bali. Each item on the menu starts with a single ingredient, or flavour. That’s the foundation. Then Clift accentuates and intensifies them while keeping the balance and without being too tricky or changing its nature. We’re talking about smart, modern, very down-to-earth food. And when it hits your tastebuds, it’s magic!
First on the menu was the giant nori cracker with marinated tuna and avocado purée. First you get the crispy crunch of the nori cracker that brings out the neptunian flavour of the tuna, then the creamy avocado crowned with peppery watercress. Simplicity at its best. We also had the steak tartare with confit egg which is a staple in French bistros and goes so well with a glass (or two) of red Côtes du Rhône.
The chicken Vietnamese style coleslaw is perfect for a light lunch, served with crispy shallots, peanuts and the very distinct flavours of the Noc Cham dressing. Next up, strozzapreti pasta packed with delicious flavours with a 48-hour braised oxtail ragu topped with parmesan wafers. If you’re vegetarian, then try the spaghettoni with roasted broccoli sauce, pine nuts, feta and chilli. For us it was the confit chicken thigh with garden peas, smoked bacon and whipped mash that won the day. It was homey and totally satisfying.
To end it on a sweet note, the basil and lemon tart with crispy basil shortbread and fresh vanilla ice cream. Or if you’re a chocaholic, you’re gonna love the rich cacao flavours of the chocolate sunday with warm chocolate fudge cake, chocolate ice cream and those honeycomb shards. Probably the best sweet treats I’ve had so far in Bali. And guess what? Desserts are sans gluten! Yes, my jaw dropped when I learned this half-way through and I shoved in several other spoonfuls for the sake of gluttony investigative journalism…
Go check it out: Grow
Find it: Jl. Raya Petitenget No.8L