Home Dining Wood-fired fish – Ijen Bali

Wood-fired fish – Ijen Bali

by Joëlle Terrien

Ijen, a restaurant serving tasty wood-fired dishes with a zero-waste philosophy

Ijen is an open-air restaurant at the ground-floor of the famous Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak. Chef Wayan Kresna Yasa is following a zero-waste philosophy and uses only fresh locally line-caught fish/seafood to prepare his wood-fired dishes. Although these facts should be reason enough to visit this restaurant, the food is also delicious!

The whole building and specifically the Ijen are beautifully designed and furnished. Ceiling, inner walls and furniture are made out of recycled wood and foam offcuts, the floor is a mixture of broken plates, glass and cement. Standing in front of the building, you will notice hundreds of used flip-flops covering the outer walls. The concept of the building is really focused on reusing the waste that humans have produced.

Furthermore, the Ijen uses only local food, i.e. neither imported ingredients nor foreign spirits may be found on the menu. Accordingly, next to the amazing food, the Ijen offers very exciting drinks: I had the “Elixir #2” made out of regionally distilled spiced rum, galangal, tamarind cordial, lemongrass syrup and spiced lime. What a combination! Fresh and powerful, served in a nice bamboo stalk with a matching straw. And to make the experience even better, along with the drink, our charming waiter served delicious crackers made out of left-over fish scales.

As a starter, we ordered aromatic honey glazed Kerang Bakar mussels that were decorated with chives and kemangi (the Indonesian version of lime basil). The chef put the mussels just for a couple of seconds into the wood-fired oven to cook the meat and add a slight taste of wood and smoke to it. Combined with a drizzle of lime, we finally had this nicely balanced, sweet, sour and smokey dish in front of us – which was just great!

The other starter we ordered was grilled octopus covered in seed crumbs served on a chayote puree (which is a vegetable of the gourd family tasting like a mix of potato and cucumber). Honestly, I cannot say more than this: The octopus was amazing! Really tasty and cooked to perfection.

The highlight though was definitely our main dish: A whole snapper with a Jimbaran glaze, sourced from “Bali Sustainable Seafood”. Next to the tasty glaze, the fish was stuffed with aromatic herbs, garlic and lemongrass. As a side dish, we had wood-fired cauliflower combined with a kluwak-nut tahini and chopped cashews. And what definitely shouldn’t be forgotten: The Ijen produces a variety of beautiful Sambals to be eaten along with the fish. We tried one made out of green mango and torch flowers, one mixed with spicy strawberries, one hot chili based version (quite spicy) as well as a very nice interpretation of the classic Sambal Matah (which was our favourite). The whole combination is absolutely recommendable!

The food was so good, we ate every last piece of it!

We warmly recommend this restaurant not just because of it’s philosophy but also because it’s serving ultra fresh and locally sourced food cooked to perfection.

Potato Head Beach Club
Jalan Petitenget No. 51B, Seminyak
Bali 80361, Indonesia
T: +623614737979

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