Traditional Nyonya cuisine served in relaxed open-air setting- and complemented with delicious cocktails
August 21st, 2013
Update 2016 – Baba’s has closed
Introducing a new dining concept for the restaurant at Hu’u Bar in Bali, Singaporean owner Sean Lee drew inspiration from his family heritage of Peranakan descent, naming the new venue BABA’S. Serving the distinctive Nyonya cuisine of the Peranakan in the laid-back open-air garden setting at the famous Hu’u Bar in the upmarket Seminyak township of Bali, BABA’S launched in April 2013. The unique Nyonya cuisine is notable for it’s melding of regional influences- Malay and Indonesian- with a mostly Chinese-based cuisine, creating a cuisine of bold, spicy flavours, generous serving portions designed for sharing, and often colorful combinations of ingredients.
The Pernanakan communities in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (also referred to as Straits Chinese) trace their lineage to the inter-marriage of Chinese immigrants in the 15th and 16th century who married Malays and Indonesians and developed a strong cultural identity of their own. Within the communities men were termed “baba”, and the women as “nyonya”. With their mixed heritage and multi-lingual abilities, the Babas were recruited by the British colonial companies to assist in building regional trading empires, and in the process, gained a privileged, urbane status- and with it their own cultural style.
Operating within the renowned Hu’u Bar – one of Bali’s most popular nightclubs since its opening back in 2001- BABA’S is an expansive, mostly open-air, casual dining and lounge space, adjacent to the main Hu’u Bar pavilion. Generously spaced tables are arranged around the outdoor garden setting- under timber-framed extensions from the main building and with fold-out awnings to protect from rain- creating a laid-back atmosphere for dining and lounging. The decor is influenced by the Peranakan culture which adopts pastel shades into their architecture, furnishings and fabrics. A handsome cocktail bar and lounge area are located under cover adjacent to the kitchen- providing a relaxed option for sharing some refreshing drinks together with some of the substantial platters from the kitchen.
Singaporean-born chef de cuisine Alfie Jerome heads up the kitchen team at BABA’S- working closely with owner Sean Lee to recreate and preserve Sean’s heirloom recipes- cooking an enticing assemblage of traditional nyonya recipes, interspersed with a selection of modern interpretations of classic nyonya dishes, plus a selection of grills. The variety of dishes represent well executed examples of authentic South-East Asian street food- in particular the boldly spiced Nyonya dishes. The signature dishes at BABA’S exemplify Nyonya cuisine- especially the LAKSA NOODLES SINGAPURA- a delicious combination of shrimp, fish cake, tofu, lightly spiced coconut gravy. Other standout dishes include BABA’S NASI AYAM SINGAPURA- Hainanese chicken rice served with grilled chicken leg, cabbage in oyster sauce, wanton, soup, ginger sauce, chilli sauce & kecap manis; and TOK PANJANG STEAK PLATTER (2 persons)- Wagyu rib eye (200g), wagyu tenderloin (200g), prata, mango salad, curry mayonaise & curry dip. Separate menus include a lunch menu, small bites menu and dinner.
In conjunction with the new cuisine concept at BABA’S, a completely new cocktail list has been crafted- combining both classic and creative drinks that have been designed to pair with the bold and spicy flavours of the nyonya cuisine. Popular cocktails on the list include The Original Lychee Martini- gin, martini blanco & lychee juice served with fresh lychee; Marshmallow Dreams- vodka, berry compote, berry syrup, vanilla syrup, lemon juice, milk, marshmallow; and Liquid Hi Tea- gin, orange marmalade, earl grey tea, lemon. In addition, the bar at BABA’S has a comprehensive list of refreshing drinks- beers, spirits, wines; and non-alcoholic options include cocktails, fruit juices, teas and coffee.
BABA’S opens daily from 11 am to 11 pm, serving lunch and dinner, with the small bites menu served all-day.
Refer to the BABA’S Facebook Page for details on special events and menu promotions.
Dining at BABA’S is primarily at tables generously spaced around an open-air terrace garden- with a decorative pool at its centre.
A timber-decked dining terrace on one side of the pool- at the rear, full height glass doors access the interior of the Hu’u Bar pavilion.
A partially under-cover section to one the side holds the open kitchen, cocktail bar and lounge area.
The mirrored facade of the BABA’S kitchen is decorated with an attractive mural of butterflies and flowers.
The sleek cocktail bar is attractively faced with patterned pressed metal.
Lychee Martini- Gin, Martini Bianco and lychee essence.
Lord Earl Grey- Gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Earl Grey gomme and egg white.
Antique nyonya porcelain tiffin carrier set- with characteristic floral patterns on pastel background.
Baba says…Jahe- Vodka, homemade ginger brandy, freshly squeezed lemon juice, gomme and egg white
Selections from BABA’S menu
BABA’S TOK PANJANG APPETIZER PLATTER- The ‘all-in’ platter (3-4 people)- Golden wanton ingots, Indonesian spring rolls, tempe goreng, mixed satay seminyak, ‘begadil jagung’ corn cakes, the soi petitenget salad, mango salad . (Tok Panjang translates as ‘long table, a feast’)
LAKSA NOODLES SINGAPURA – Shrimp, fishcake, tofu, lightly spiced coconut gravy. (Signature dish) Perfectly paired with a glass of chilled La Soif French wine.
BABI GULING BABA’S- Crispy pork belly, baby back ribs, lawar salad, pork broth, condiments platter, brown rice.
BABA’S NASI AYAM SINGAPURA- Hainanese chicken rice served with grilled chicken leg,
cabbage in oyster sauce, wanton, soup, ginger sauce, chilli sauce & kecap manis. (Signature dish)
DADAR GULING- Balinese crepe, roasted coconut filling, coffee liquor, vanilla ice cream.
BABA’S- Peranakan restaurant at Hu’u Bar – Seminyak, Bali
Address: Jl Petitenget , Seminyak -Bali, Indonesia 80361
Reservations: +62. 361. 4736 576
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/babas.huubali
Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Lunch from 11 am to 4 pm. Dinner 6 pm to 11 pm. Light bites all-day.
Dress Code: Smart casual