Home-style Italian food in the centre of Seminyak
Executive chef Luigi Calcagno tempts diners with a delicious regional menu in a traditional, if not quirky, home environment.
Back in 2012, Luigi Calcagno presented his vision of home-style Italian dining to an eager audience when he opened the intriguing Kebun Zibiru in Seminyak, Bali; a restaurant where he now, as executive chef, tempts diners with a delicious regional menu in a traditional, if not quirky, home environment.
Chef Luigi has an impressive background, including a stint as Chef de Partie at the renowned Antica Bottega del Vino in the heart of Manhattan, USA, and four years as Executive Chef at Ifiori Bali and Papa’s Limoncello in Tuban, Bali – one of the island’s most popular Italian restaurants.
Kebun means 'garden' in the Indonesian language, which is most appropriate since two of the three dining spaces are outside, one set amidst the wonderful greenery and the other perched on the romantic rooftop terrace. But if you don’t fancy being outdoors, then try dining indoors, near to the bar, where the homely feel continues.
The garden theme runs beyond the restaurant, with Kebun Zibiru’s farm-to-table experience. This is more than just a tag line as they are keen to point out since all their fruits and vegetables are cultivated on their own private, environmentally friendly farm in Bedugul, north Bali, ensuring availability, quality and freshness.
Step inside the quaint restaurant and the décor, clever use of art and general layout, certainly promote the comfortable home-dining theme, and with three distinctly different choices finding the right area to suit your mood is easy. For a small restaurant there is an inspiring wine list too, with a natural emphasis on Italian vineyards that will perfectly complement the food.
For a small restaurant, there is an inspiring wine list featuring a selection of good quality wines, with a natural emphasis on Italian vineyards, that perfectly complements the food
The menu is not overly large, but big enough and sufficiently tempting to make choosing quite difficult. Taking the advice of General Manager Mauro Piludu, I opted for the scrumptious and appealing Burrata and the Tartare di Tonno, a delightful yellowfin tuna tartar with mango, cucumber, avocado, tomatoes and chives topped with frisée salad and sesame seeds.
From the pasta range, the Gnocchi Norcina is something of a house special. This potato pasta with Italian sausage and black pepper served with in a rich cream sauce and topped with parmigiano reggiano cheese tasted every bit as good as it looked. To round off a most enjoyable dinner, Mauro suggested the light and fluffy Mousse al Cioccolato, richer than it looked, served with a delicious Italian coffee it was just ideal.
Seminyak is gaining a reputation for great restaurants and Kebun Zibiru is another special place that adds to the growing kudos that certainly won’t disappoint lovers of good traditional food or those looking for a hidden romantic spot. The general ambience is excellent and is boosted on Wednesday and Saturday nights by live jazz and soul performances.