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Unique Spirits

Vodka, whisky, tequila, gin, rum, and saké are the spirits people are familiar with—they are most used for cocktail mixing and many signature cocktails have been created around them. But only a few, on the other hand, have heard about Balinese Arak of which the small island is one of the oldest and largest producers in all of Indonesia.

In Bali, Arak is not only drunk privately or at social gatherings but also offered during ceremonies—for example as the required offering for Butha Kala (Evil Spirit). The spirits used are commonly called tetabuhan and Arak, Brem, or Tuak can be used as such. The Balinese believe that by offering tetabuhan along with five-coloured-rice (segehan), Butha Kala will not interfere with humans and cause them to do negative things.

During your visit—or if you are on the island already—you might want to try some of the spirits listed below. But remember to make sure that you buy the labeled products only like the ones we offer in our retail wine shop, do not take any unnecessary chances.

  • Tuak
    Tuak or Balinese sweet wine is an undistilled form of Arak and usually made from sap/nira that is tapped from sugar palm. Most people enjoy plain Tuak at room temperature to warm and refresh the body. The alcohol content of Tuak is quite similar to wine, around 8% to 10%.
  • Brem
    Balinese Brem is produced by fermenting half-cooked black rice. The half-cooked black rice is fermented for about a week and then pressed, resulting in liquid. Balinese Brem is best served chilled. It has a bit higher alcohol content (about 12%).
  • Arak
    Arak is probably the best-liked spirit by the Balinese—it tastes good and can be drunk straight or mixed with other natural ingredients such as honey. Distilled from rice or palm flowers, good Arak can have up to 50% alcohol content.

Are you feeling tempted? Then just visit the DIVINE wine and cocktail bar and sample various Arak-Based cocktails that our bar team has crafted to perfection. You can also discover what foods go well with Arak. And if you want to try your hand at home, just ask the team for the recipe. Cheers!

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The Timeless and Versatile Tempeh

Tempe—or tempeh—is a traditional Indonesian food that has its origins in the 12th or 13th century. Who invented this great dish is unknown but the story goes that it was accidentally discovered by a tofu manufacturer. Today, tempe is popular internationally and its claim to fame is mainly due to the nutrient richness and unique taste. Because it contains a lot of proteins, it is in high regard as a meat substitute among vegetarians.

Tempe is made by fermenting soybeans and injecting them with Rhizopus oligosporus (fungus) molds. The beans are usually spread into a thin layer and left to ferment for one or two days in warm temperature ranging between 25 to 30° celsius.

The health benefits are manifold—it is high in protein, in prebiotics and a myriad of vitamins and minerals. It is great for your digestive system thanks to its high fiber content. The fungi as a starting agent produce natural antibiotic substances which protect against harmful organisms.

Tempe is versatile and can be cooked, fried, steamed, seared, grilled, sautéed, just to mention a few methods. However, it should never be consumed raw. Fried tempe is the preferred cooking method in Indonesia where every province has its own fried tempe variety. Central Java, for instance, has Tempeh Mendoan—thinly sliced tempe that is coated with rice flour and a mixture of spices, served warm with its signature chewy texture, savory but with a hint of mild sweet taste. Recently, people have also started to grill cubed tempe as a substitute for chicken in Caesar Salad. Ground tempe can be used as a basic ingredient for meatless meatballs or patties for sandwiches. You see, the possibilities are many!

Our favourite is the tempeh manis that is also served in our Rijsttafel over lunch.
Here is the recipe for this delicious dish, we hope you will try it at home!

Ingredients
6g hot chili
100g shallots
15g garlic
70g red chili
10g galangal
600g tempe
20g canola oil for sautéeing
2.5g bay leaves
15g lemongrass stalk
2g kaffir lime leaves
75ml tamarind juice
40g white sugar
5g salt

Cooking method

  • Grind the spices into a fine paste using mortar or electronic blender.
  • Julienne the tempe and fry until crisp.
  • Pour canola oil into a large pan and wait until smokey, then sauteé the ground spices over low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Add the bay leaves, lemongrass stalk, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind juice, and white sugar. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and almost caramelized.
  • Add tempe and salt, mix well.
  • Best served right out of the pan paired with hot steamed rice and a drizzle of crispy shallots. It is recommended to remove bay leaves and lemongrass stalk before serving.
  • Enjoy!

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Meet Anik Ariyanti

Our affection for a place and its happy associations is reflected in the care we show to the people around us. Ni Wayan Anik Ariyanti or Yanti, one of our senior staff, proves this by the exceptional service she offers our guests. Now in her 9th year working at bridges she states, “So far, so great!”

Born in Kedewatan on 29 August 1991, Yanti is very familiar with the hospitality industry since her father and mother both work in this field. Her father even had the opportunity to study in San Diego, California and left little Yanti for about six months while he was abroad. Her encounter with bridges began when a colleague told her that a new restaurant about to open in Campuhan was looking for a waitress. She applied and was accepted as a pre-opening waitress.

Asked what she loved so much about working at bridges, she replied while smiling warmly that the team was like a family and she also loved the view. During the night shift, after helping the team with closing procedures, she likes to gaze at the serene jungle and the old bridge that can be seen above the balcony area. She’s convinced that bridges’ relaxing ambiance is like nothing else in Ubud.

Yanti states that bridges is the best place to work since bridges’ management values its staff highly. All staff are given room for self-development and receive regular training for food, wine, product knowledge and customer service. She always feels up-to-date with hospitality knowledge which is one of the reasons that bridges is among Ubud’s most outstanding restaurants.

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Meet Our Newest Bartender

Made Beni Antara, or Beni, was born in Tampak Siring on 6 June 1996 and is the youngest of six siblings. He joined bridges in 2016 as a Day Cleaner; he worked in the mornings, and became a Bartending School student in the evenings.

He joined our Bartender team in order to obtain credit for the mandatory training programme at his school, while continuing to work as a Day Cleaner throughout the day. During the three month training period, Putra our Bar Manager saw that Beni had great potential. However, a Bartender position was not available at the time Beni finished his training period at bridges and he continued to work as a Cleaner.

In mid-2018 a Bartender position opened up, Beni applied for it and of course he was accepted due to his talent, perseverance and drive! Since then he has demonstrated his passion for Bartending, continuing to advance and improve himself.

When asked for his favourite cocktail at bridges, he without hesitation named the Apricot Sour. His favourite liquor is Baileys Irish Cream. During his spare time, he prefers thrilling and adrenaline-inducing activities such as trekking and rock-climbing. He enjoys working at bridges and loves the team-work and team-building as well as the leadership.

If you would like to meet him or try one of our cocktails made by him, Beni is available either at our main bar next to the wine shop or at our gorgeous DIVINE wine and cocktail bar. See you there!

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Golden Snow Cocktail Recipe

The Golden Snow is one of Putra’s unique cocktail creations, combining liquors with unexpected ingredients such as tea. Prepare your utensils and get ready to introduce the delightful Cocktail Wednesdays atmosphere into your own home.

Ingredients

  • 45 ml Earl Grey tea-infused gin
  • 10 ml Aperol
  • 10 ml peach syrup
  • 10 ml lemongrass juice
  • 15 ml lime juice
  • Dry sparkling wine
  • 1 slice of dehydrated orange wheel (optional)
  • 1 edible flower of your choice (optional)

Method

  • Prepare your shaker and pour in all ingredients except the dry sparkling wine
  • Shake briskly until the mixture is foamy
  • Pour the mixture into a chilled champagne coupe
  • Top it up with dry sparkling wine
  • Garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel and edible flower

Cheers!

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Unique Spirits
The Timeless and Versatile Tempeh
Meet Anik Ariyanti
Meet Our Newest Bartender
Golden Snow Cocktail Recipe