Penang sees a great amount of pop-up dining events happening for the past few years and it's fun and exciting to see food being served in creative and intriguing ways in unexpected environment and over a limited period of time. Hailed from Bali, Indonesia and helmed by Michelin-trained Chef Kevin, Cuca is a casual dining space that marries locally sourced ingredients with modern culinary techniques. For the first time ever and in collaboration with Macalister Mansion, they did a pop-up dining event in Penang last weekend from 2 March to 4 March 2018. Set in a casual, comfortable dining atmosphere accompanied with live song performance, diners were presented a series of tasty, specially-crafted coursed meals.
Many Thanks to Cuca Flavor and Macalister Mansion for hosting us.
[Amuse Bouche] Sambal Lolipop
Honey Baked Pumpkin Salad- country Granola, creamy Green Beans and Tarragon
Charred Octopus- Asian Gazpacho, fresh Apple, caramelized Cauliflower and Coriander
Chef Kevin surprised us with an aesthetically pleasing Lolipop-like cracker... with Sundried Tomatoes and Sunflower Seeds scattered. It has a sleek spiciness but strangely with a suspiciously cheesy-savory flavor.
The next dish- Honey Baked Pumpkin Salad may sound like an ordinary Salad but it was in fact, unique enough to catch us by surprise. The Honey Baked Pumpkin carried an indelible sweetness but it was counter-balanced by the creamy, acidic Yogurt. The texture becomes more interesting with Granola; just we thought things may turn monotonous, the herbaceous bittersweet Tarragon was there to cut through the dimension.
Equally great was the Charred Octopus, served with a lake of green Asian Gazpacho and a refreshing mix of Apple, Cauliflower and Coriander. The texture of the Octopus was most fascinating, it was resilient but not hard to the bite while the charred surface offered an alluring smokiness. The magical mix of Apple and Coriander (perhaps the Gazpacho too) did its wonder as well, the entire combination was unusual but in a good way.
Rice Tempura Soft Shell Crab served with Garlic Aioli, poached Pineapple and Curry Leaves
BBQ Beef served with roasted Onions, Soft Boiled Egg and Crispy Potato Strings
Bali Breakfast- runny Sweet Mango, frozen Passion Fruit, whipped Coconut and Lime Sorbet
It's always fun to see people pair food with fresh fruits. Chef Kevin paired Pineapple with Rice Tempura Soft Shell Crab but he did not serve them raw. Poached Pineapple was used, probably to ton down its acidity but the crunch remains there. The Rice Tempura Soft Shell Crab was great but it did not really hit me, in fact, the use of poached Pineapple did. Likewise, the main course- BBQ Beef served with roasted Onions, Soft Boiled Egg and Crispy Potato Strings did not come as a surprise. Though we must applaud the creativity of using crispy Potato Strings and Soft Boiled Egg in this dish; the flavor combo did not really strike us. We concluded the meal with a refreshing serving of Bali Breakfast... beautifully presented in the form of Sunny Side Up... though it was actually Mango, Passion Fruit, whipped Coconut and Lime Sorbet.
Welcoming drinks and Cocktails
Live Song Performance
Additional Information- Cuca Bali:
Address:Jl. Yoga Perkanthi, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia.
Contact Number: +62 361 708066