KUDUS HOUSE @ A Taste of Bold Indonesian Flavour

Savour the bold flavours of Indonesian cuisine while immersing yourself in a 
150-year-old former Javanese residence in Kudus House at COMO Shambhala Estate in Ubud. mylifestylenews writes.

A traditional Kudus house is ingeniously built as a potential tropical building designed for climate action and its impacts from the evaluation of the traditional Indonesian houses in helping mitigating climate change in the tropics. It takes conservation effort based on local wisdom to build such an iconic traditional house.

The century old intelligence concept was built primarily in the old city of Kudus, the province of Central Java by identified the design elements of the traditional houses to deal with climate problems that aids to minimize the need for air conditioning and energy uses in response to the hot tropical climate.

Kudus House at COMO Shambala Estate sits in the prime location on the hillside of the quieter part of Ubud, situated on one side of the estate on a steep precipice, with views across the forest canopy to the other side of the valley. This unique dining destination will instantly be noteworthy because of the location and views as well as its quintessential Javanese architecture with intricate wood carvings and creates an ambience that money can’t buy!

At the picturesque Kudus House in COMO Shambhala Estate, food and art come together to create a memorable dining experience while marveling the hand-carving of the architectural design that speaks to the creativity and skill of generations past in this intimate ambiance and forestry estate surrounds.

Kudus House showcases the diverse influences, flavours and spices of Indonesia’s regions, serving breakfast and dinner in a totally two different kinds of mood during bright day light and quiet with minimal lighting (almost silent and with dimmed lighting) evening dining experience especially when you are here during low season, so subsequently the atmosphere was rather still and lacking a certain vibe that is created by many other guests at one time, minus any live or piped in background music and the opposite of silent only came from the sound of nature. 

 We were in for a treat and started the culinary journey with some quintessential homemade sambals with three different levels of spice neatly presented on different bowls. These were accompanied with crackers, vegetables and pineapple. All three were equally delicious and piquant and got the taste buds going in anticipation of what was to follow.

<Kuah Be Pasih Lalah>
A traditional hot and sour seafood soup with baby corn, shitake mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and lemon basil in a different interpretation. It had a tasty, savoury flavour and good combination of seafood that was rather generous, with squid, fish and prawns. The soup is absolutely tasty and each ingredient has a voice, but melds together to create a complex flavour that is to be savoured. The clear broth may look watery but every ingredient was beautifully cooked in a light broth despite the presentation was very banquet like with the use of Chinaware in style, the soup was harmonious in flavour and left
a delicious impression.

<Selada Udang Bumbu Merica Hijan>
A wonderful combination of grilled prawn, green mango, cherry tomato, grated coconut salad, lemongrass and green peppercorn dressing. The tossed salad was incredibly refreshing and not too heavy on the citrusy dressing, so a good balance. The prawns were fresh, big and crunchy and so palatable with a colourful presentation. Truly appetizing!

<Terong Bakar>
The side order of grilled Japanese eggplant with sambal, tamarind and coriander is rather bland and dry. It had been oven-grilled to the point of bitterness, so not entirely successful in our estimation despite the accompanied sauce and condiments was quite tangy on the palate.

<Ikan Bakar>
A marinated red snapper with fresh tomato and lemongrass sambal with lemon basil. Once again, the flesh was tough and dry, but the similar combination of sambal and condiments was used on the egg plants that sits on top of the fish was quite delicious and the accompanying salad rather refreshing. A little disappointing, but tasty nonetheless.

<Rendang Sapi>
Braised organic beef short ribs in a rich Rendang curry sauce served with a bowl of steam rice on the side. It's got to be the house signature dish, if not, we claimed for its credit. This dish was everything you have come to expect from a great Rendang dish – rich, creamy coconut milk palate, unctuous and the quality of meat that was so tender and full of complex flavours served in a generous portion, so you can imagine the rich flavour this all imbues. A true homemade Rendang dish is a must order in Kudus House!

<Turmis Pakis>
Wok-fried fern tips with tomatoes, bean sprouts, chili, garlic in Tamari soy. The fern tips were crispy and not overly cooked with a hint of sweetness from the Tamari sauce. Be wary of the chili, as this added some heat that we loved, but may be a little intense for some. This light and easy dish is a perfect execution by delivering such a delight bite to pique the tastebuds. Delicious!

As the name suggest in Indonesia dialect, “Everything, everywhere, happens at the same time”. It may sound complex or un-matched on palate but the coconut ice cream, strawberry sorbet and dairy-free selection was so refreshing after so many rich dishes and it exuded redolent fruit flavours that were artisanal. A delightful mixed with the ingredients used!

<Jajan Rasa Jahe>
Fresh ginger and jackfruit pudding with banana, passion fruit sorbet and jackfruit syrup. This is a decadent dessert without the heaviness and so tasty and the plating presentation is quite attractive. The sponge of ginger and jackfruit was so delicious and all other ingredients were complimentary, giving a tropical flavour that was just perfect and so moreish!

Despite the service was surprisingly hit and miss - with different service staff came and gone and keep disappearing by leaving the entire dining area with no one standing by, the menu was self explanatory, yet the service team didn’t explain the menu or recommend anything, which is less than we expected; given we were savouring the local delights and the service team should have taken the lead and no assumptions can be made about our little knowledge of Balinese and Indonesian cuisine. The plate clearance was also slow and seemed to have no sequence, some plates were cleared but not the others. It was rather awkward.

The table setting is simple, but using cutlery that is akin to banquet utensils in a signature restaurant seemed counter-productive in such a beautiful setting. Kudus House needs to have more of an individual identity. Nevertheless, architecture and food played a big part in our enjoyment and it is obvious that the kitchen team have a love for ingredients and there were some outstanding dishes. Given it wasn’t a busy night during our visit, at least we enjoyed the peacefulness and sounds of the nature by the evening insects in the warm humid air.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 5/5
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverages: 4.5/5
Service: 4/5
Value For Money: 4.5/5
Experience: 4.5/5
Kudus House at COMO Shambhala Estate Wellness
 Banjar Begawan, Desa 
Melinggih Kelod, 
Payangan, Gianyar,
Bali, Indonesia
Tel: +62 3619 7888
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.

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