We’d be lying if we said we’ve never heard of Parachute before. The restaurant’s striking, repurposed cargo parachute-turned-giant parasol has made its way onto the latest social media round-up of hip places in Bali, and that in itself initially piqued our interest.
When Coconuts Bali was recently invited to attend a media dinner, however, we didn’t really know what to expect. This happens quite often these days; a place gets Instagram hype, but not much is known about their food and drinks. And though we’ve passed by the restaurant on Jl. Subak Sari, Canggu a couple of times, not much is revealed from the outside either. So we came in with very little knowledge, so to speak.
Truth be told, as we entered the premises it was hard not to be pleasantly awed by the grand, light olive parachute hovering over the dining terrace. The lawn at the back of the property is spacious, allowing ample room for you to scope out their ducks, chickens and plants or simply sit on the swings to watch the calming view of the rice paddies.
Parachute, which first opened its doors to the public last year, recently welcomed Aditya Muskita as its new Executive Chef — whose career included stints at the Potato Head Family and Ubud’s Room4Dessert. With Aditya’s arrival comes a number of new dishes that we also got to try during our visit (on top of their already popular options), which we think might be worth your sampling as well, Coconauts.
First off, we tried their Tomato and Burrata Salad (IDR75K/US$5.36), which also comes with slices of strawberry, garden herbs and sourdough. If you are planning to have the meal we’re laying out in this review, this is a pretty great way to kick off your culinary journey.
One of their latest additions to the menu, Mushrooms and Fresh Cheese Matzah (IDR60K/US$4.29), is definitely one for all the mushroom lovers out there. Marinated koji mushrooms, garlic and fresh stracciatella layered on top of a crispy matzah is a sharing option for sure — do note that it’s a little hard to grab a portion without making a bit of a mess.
Now, Parachute’s ‘Fish of the Day’ Crudo (IDR75K/US$5.36) during Coconuts Bali’s visit was mackerel served with coconut milk, citrus and lovage. Raw fish dishes are not exactly our thing, but even for us this dish was pretty hard not to like. The mackerel was fresh, for starters, and the coconut milk dressing brought that Indonesian flavor (coconut milk being a distinct ingredient in many local dishes) to this traditionally Italian meal.
Chicken Liver Toast (IDR90K/US$6.43) was next, served with pickled mustard seeds, Balinese ‘brem’ and bread. For us who first had their nose wrinkled upon learning about the dish, we’re glad to report that it didn’t turn out as horrible. It wasn’t exactly amazing, but if you’re in the mood to try something new, “why not?” is pretty much our motto.
Parachute also offers Bread and ‘butter’ (IDR45K/US$3.22) as sides, and it’s one you can’t miss as long as they serve their honey butter for this one. Parachute’s Head Pastry Chef, Ermi Vergiawati, did a swell job with the bread offerings, and the pairing of honey butter makes this a superstar option in our books.
As raw dishes are not exactly our forte, we have got to give it to Parachute for allowing us to taste tartare in a way that might have turned us into a fan. Their Wagyu Beef Tartare (IDR95K/US$6.79), comprised of local wagyu beef, tempe (yes, you read that right), lemon basil and soy sauce, is a thing of dreams. It tasted just right, and maybe it’s the tempe that made everything much more bearable, but we found ourselves wishing for seconds after those first few bites.
Believe it or not, every dish we’ve mentioned up to this point were merely starters. The accompaniment of their house cocktails, Shiso Pitahaya (IDR100K/US$7.14) and Juniper Jerry (IDR100K/US$7.14), made for excellent early evening drinks, especially as the sun was setting that afternoon.
If you’re in for something sweet and not too strong, Shiso’s mix of light rum, butterfly pea syrup, lime juice, raspberry puree, dragon fruit, shiso leaf and egg white is a good choice. On the other hand, Juniper’s mix of gin, passion fruit, mint leaf, butterfly pea syrup, topped with calamansi rosella foam, is a pretty decent alternative, though we do prefer the first.
For the mains, we sampled the Wood-fire Roasted Baby Chicken (IDR135K/US$9.65), served with garden vegetables, ‘hoisin’ sauce, and barley cooked in carrot juice. The barley itself is pretty intriguing (enough that we want more of it) and as fans of any dish featuring chicken, we think they did this one just right.
The Grilled Octopus (IDR115K/US$8.22), which consists of black rice, tofu-chili aioli and sweet potato, was more for the “okay” category for us. The black rice was a little too dry and tasted somewhat bland, and compared to the other dishes we sampled that night, it ended up being underwhelming.
However, the grilled ‘Fish of the Day’ Fillet (IDR120K/US$8.57), comprising of laksa, spring garlic and clams, offers yet another twist of Indonesian flavors that we previously enjoyed. And yes, it’s definitely thanks to that laksa sauce satisfying our Southeast Asian taste buds.
Some might say a meal is incomplete without dessert, and so we argue that even those with very little room to spare after that big meal would still be able to enjoy the Camembert and Passion Fruit (IDR80K/US$5.72). Served on top of a thin sourdough crisp, the camembert mousse and passion fruit gel is light enough to fulfill your cravings for a sweet aftertaste.
Parachute’s Pumpkin and Jackfruit (IDR80K/US$5.72), comprised of pumpkin cake served with jackfruit and coconut yoghurt salad, pineapple redux and pumpkin seed meringue, is decidedly not the night’s best performer, and we find it somewhat forgettable even with jackfruit in the mix. Their Baked Cheese Tart (IDR45K/US$3.22), on the other hand, is a winner for a different occasion. We would’ve savored the whole portion if we weren’t so full. We’ll probably pair it with unsweetened hot coffee or tea for another time.
We can’t speak for or compare Parachute to when it first opened to the public last year, but presently, food offerings at this establishment are simple with a touch of the experimental, offering heaps of Indonesian twists and flavors that we hope to see more across the island. Bonus points for enjoying all that in style under one big parachute? We think so.
Parachute Bali is at Jl. Subak Sari 13 No. 8-4
+62 813 3742 3010