The Suku Bali is officially opening its doors to the public last week. The new farm-to-table concept will offer a menu centered around locally sourced ingredients while operating in line with its mission of environmental sustainability and community empowerment.
Located at Jalan Raya Pengosekan, The Suku features an open-plan restaurant, cafe, and event space bordered by a garden growing fresh spices and produce for the kitchen. The 1.300 sqm venue has a capacity of 25 indoor seats and 35 outdoor seats, as well as an outdoor garden space with a comfortable maximum capacity of 500. The impeccable interior is equipped with furniture carved by local artisans from Balinese timber.
Menu offerings will include an international selection of dishes and drinks crafted from locally sourced and organic ingredients. By upcycling surplus ingredients into new recipes and processing kitchen scraps into agricultural supplies, all Suku dishes are prepared to minimize food waste. According to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Indonesia produces 300kg of food waste per person per year, making it the second-largest food waste contributor in the world behind Saudi Arabia. The Suku Bali is proudly committed to reducing this figure through direct purchasing from partner farms in Bali and Java, which also ensures quality and freshness of produce.
Further efforts towards social empowerment include career workshops and a barista training program for underprivileged youth; led by staff certified by Suku Partner, So So Good Coffee Company founder, and 2019 Indonesian Barista Champion Mikael Jasin. The Suku will also be serving local twists on classic cocktails via a menu curated by Head Mixologist and 2016 Diageo World Class Competition finalist Herry Kurniawan.
Apart from respectable and delicious food, one thing that caught us almost immediately is the industry standard audio equipment to hold a range of live performances and events. Project Suku, an art program by Project Mei for Suku Bali, will feature a series of art exhibitions showcasing works by emerging and established artists that will rotate once every three months.
The team behind The Suku Bali will be headed by senior staff with 8-10 years of experience at landmark luxury establishments. Through a focus on community engagement and humanitarian efforts, The Suku Bali seeks to be an accessible third space for all who walk through its doors.
“For us at Suku, looking after the community means empowering people on an economic, cultural, social, educational, and occupational level,” stated Co-founder and Partner Russell Cameron. “We reserve 30% of our staff positions for the surrounding community, and a total of 60% for Balinese. We wanted a strong local team, the best of the best in their field. This provides a balance of experienced mentors for the educational programs we want to run.” he added.
Cameron is clear on the mission behind the concept. “Suku is essentially a platform for local communities to showcase their produce, products, and talents, and hopefully a stepping stone onto bigger things.”