History is about to be made in Indonesia with the grand opening of Syrco BASÈ in Ubud, Bali on 21 January, 2024. The pioneering culinary hub was created by two Michelin-starred chef Syrco Bakker and his culturally diverse team of culinary professionals, sommeliers, mixologists, architects, artists and designers. Although the Michelin Guide is yet to enter Indonesia, this is the first time a two-starred chef has established a restaurant in the country, and the archipelago’s extraordinary produce, culinary traditions, artisans, farmers and fishers — along with Chef Syrco’s Indonesian roots — are celebrated throughout the five distinct areas of the culinary hub.

Standing regally at the entrance is a banyan fig tree, considered sacred by Balinese Hindus. It is enfolded by a towering mosaic depicting the diamond motif rangrang, a ceremonial cloth from the island of Nusa Penida off Bali’s southeast coast. Reverence for the tree and Bali’s unique living heritage seamlessly continues in the tranquil expanse of Syrco BASÈ‘s garden. Flush with native vegetables, herbs, aromatics and edible flowers used in the kitchens and bar, the garden serves an educational purpose for both guests and the culinary team. While one garden bed is meandering the other is geometric; a testament to Chef Syrco’s meticulous precision and passion for experimentation.

With its terracotta walls, wood paneling, and locally woven soft furnishings, Syrco BASÈ Restaurant is a two-floor sanctum thoughtfully blending nature with culinary artistry. Elegant yet warm and welcoming with seating capacity for 50, its generously spaced tables ensure intimacy and atmosphere while the adjacent servers’ stations encourage closer connection with guests. The role of the servers in communicating details about each dish and beverage cannot be underestimated, as each creation — or ‘moment’ as the culinary team calls them — encapsulates Chef Syrco’s guiding principles of Traceability, Nature, and Transparency.

Rather than simply focusing on sustainability, Chef Syrco and his team engage in constant dialogue with each ingredient’s supplier to ensure that every step in the supply chain is one of fairness, integrity and respect. In the restaurant, three unique concepts are presented in menus whose moments will vary based on seasonality, and comprehensively every three months. Both alcoholic and 0% pairing has been carefully formulated for each menu to highlight the region’s most exceptional beverages, while fine wine pairing is under the expert guidance of sommelier Noa Tanghe, who was part of Chef Syrco’s team at his previous restaurant Pure C in the Netherlands.

The PURE LOCAL menu transforms Bali’s finest ingredients into eight culinary symphonies of color, structure, flavor and texture. Here guests will likely grow to understand why Chef Syrco garnered a second Michelin star for Pure C, where he was head chef for 13 years: his remarkable aptitude for unexpected compositions that are as delicious as they are exquisite and intriguing. One example is the menu’s third moment, FLAMETAIL, which resembles a gleaming coral garden. Flametail snapper tataki is adorned with jewel-like seaweed fronds, algae and fuschia segments of radish, with a surprising passion fruit-infused shoyu providing a wave of sweetness and umami.

The HERITAGE menu places the remarkable diversity of Indonesia’s native ingredients, regional cuisines and beloved dishes proudly in the spotlight during eight moments equally imbued with innovation and nostalgia. Those who enjoy the satisfying crunch of urap, the lightly steamed vegetable salad with spiced coconut dressing, will relish the menu’s third moment, BALI SALAD, a reimagination of its refreshing piquancy and perfectly balanced seasoning. Indonesians especially will smile at the fifth moment, FINALLY NASI GORENG!, a playful tribute to the Asian trait of needing to eat rice for every meal.

The Plant BASÈ menu explores the richness and diversity of Bali’s produce. Over millions of years, ash from the island’s volcanoes has created some of the world’s most fertile soils that help farmers grow a wide variety of crops, from rice and cassava to cocoa and cloves. Hidden among these verdant landscapes are medicinal plants that have been used by Balinese people for centuries to cure ailments, boost the immune system and give thanks to the gods. Chef Syrco and his team transform these gifts from the soil into nine plant-based moments.

For each menu’s final moments, guests will move to the upstairs lounge, a graceful expanse featuring classic rotan flourishes beneath a high ceiling whose exposed wooden beams evoke the growth rings in the trunk of an ancient tree. The metaphor of the life-giving tree extends to Syrco BASÈ Ku. Overlooking the softly illuminated garden, in an intimate space symbolizing the leaves of the tree, Chef Syrco creates an unforgettable culinary journey across 16 moments for a maximum of 14 guests.

“Ku is our flagship in a way, it’s our special space, it’s like a playground for me,” he says. “The smaller number of guests allows me to have direct contact with them, showcasing the products and sharing their stories. By preparing each moment right in front of guests, we build up a close connection to the essence of what we do. At Ku, we can share our thoughts and intentions, and the stories of the people and the places behind each element. Here, people will be able to understand what we’re aiming for.”

The roots of the tree are embodied in the BAR at Syrco BASÈ and beneath it, The Shop. Looking out over an emerald rice field, seating for 20 guests encircles a central bar and live kitchen where mixologists and chefs create a captivating theater of flavors, masterful skills, and ingenuity. Offering products, ceramics, soft furnishings and artworks used throughout the venues, The Shop is a tribute to Syrco BASÈ’s vital connection with dozens of local communities, spanning artisans to growers across the island and beyond.

“Syrco BASÈ is not just a restaurant; it’s a journey into the heart of Bali’s agricultural and culinary soul,” says Chef Syrco. “By weaving both tradition and innovation into every dish, we are demonstrating our commitment to traceability, nature, and transparency. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Syrco BASÈ, and proving that Indonesia’s gastronomy scene can be truly world class.”

Images: Syrco BASÈ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.