Once faced with a though choice between a pilot and a chef, Joel Lim Si Jin picks up the latter, and he never look back ever since. Honing his cooking skills under the critically-acclaimed Chef Wolfgang Puck of Michelin-Starred CUT Restaurant Singapore, Chef Joel discover his muse and deep appreciation in meat, and bring all of his passion and experience to establish SI JIN Steakhouse in the island of Bali. Hellobali get a rare chance to talk with the South-Korean lad himself and compile slab after slab of his insightful thinking. Here goes…
- Can you explain further about how you implement Korean Flair in SI JIN in terms of food and service?
Our starters and sides are infused with Japanese and Korean techniques with premium application based on my experience in various renowned restaurants. Our menu We also strive to provide a variety of non-meat selections for guests who don’t eat meat but still want to experience dining at SI JIN. With a main focus being a steakhouse, our non-meat dishes focus on bringing simplicity yet packed with punchy flavours with delicate balance in each dish.
- Tell us a bit about your background. When did you first decide you would like to become a full-time professional chef; who or what inspires you?
First decided at a ripe age of 16 on a choice between a pilot which I’m always fascinated by aviation or a being a cook – and the decision was the latter. Since it was something that always have intrigue me and some form of connection with the dishes that its based purely on one’s experience and creativity.
- You once stated that meat is ‘like a religion’ for you. Care to elaborate more about this interesting statement?
Religion to me is a Teaching. A way how you perceive things in life and how you think differently with a set of fundamental beliefs. First things first, I’m always feeling very privileged and humbled to be working together with some of the best meats available and being able to showcase its pure beauty with my guest. Meat is a produce that I have high respect of, something that I don’t take it for granted and since its entrusted to me, I will have to show it’s purity by serving it at its best without wasting. It’s a way of life from the hard work of the farmers whom dedicated their life all the way to the soil from the ground that grows perfect grains and grass for the nourishment for the beautiful cattle.
- Could you share some of your knowledge about the grade of meat? What defines ‘premium’ meat for you?
All kinds of meat are considered to be premium to me personally but professionally I would have to think of how I can show to my guest by using my platform as a cook to utilize each and every cut. So, to be honest, I accept cattle in all shapes and sizes 🙂
- We know that this might be difficult for you (as a meat-lover), but could you share to us one of your most favorite vegetable (and why)
Without a second thought, Kimchi as the Korean staple in every Korea household with over 200 different types. Probably more but we shall keep as that. Now, who doesn’t love Kimchi!
- What do you wish to convey to your customers through Si Jin Bali? Can you tell us about your signature cooking style?
Heartfelt dishes, pure excitement and warm hugs – that’s what I would love to convey to each and every single guest that steps into SI JIN, you know that you will be taken care of. Our Signature cooking style would be grilling gorgeous mouth-watering irresistible steaks before your very eyes on our smokeless charcoal grills (unfortunately you will not be walking out with the glorious Korean BBQ perfume)
- Could you tell us one of the best moments you have lived in your career?
Every single moment after deciding to be a cook, never once looked back. From washing dishes to discarding and recycling dispose. Best times.
- You have been working with some of the best chef in the industry; including the world-acclaimed Wolfgang Puck of CUT Restaurant. What is the biggest lesson that you learned from him?
Wolfgang Puck is a genius. I’ve learnt a lot from him in ways that I could never thought someone like him exist. His wisdom and humbleness, not forgetting one’s roots at all times.
- Where would you see yourself five years from now?
Five years onward, I will be continuing to inspire and teach 1 or 2 things about meats and show that there’s more than just Ribeyes and Tenderloins.