Le Magnifique Ma Joly

French gastronomy hasn’t always been what it is today. The art form evolved from centuries of social and political changes in the European realm. From Haute Cuisine to Nouvelle Cuisine to Basque Cuisine in the southwest of France, the national preparation of food primarily developed in the city of Paris with the chefs retained by French royalty. It eventually spread throughout the country and proliferated overseas, all the way over here to the tiny island of Bali.

The tasteful combination of Ma Joly’s plum-coloured materials, dark chairs, lime greens and red cushion covers are a foil for the dusky scenery embellishing the horizon. Sunset is a delightful time to visit the newly renovated restaurant as lilacs and pinks absorb the sky’s afternoon blue. With the Ngurah Rai International Airport just two kilometres away, the sight of aeroplanes landing and taking off adds the appealing views of the Bali Strait.

A destructive tidal wave combined with the erosion of Tuban’s surrounding Segara Beach in February last year, quite ironically outlined the foundations of the restaurant’s impressive makeover. The recently appointed chef’s inventive French creations have already made a vast impression on the discerning food aficionado.

Dutch Executive Chef, Eelke Plasmeijer transformed Ma Joly’s ultimately French menu into a more perfected miscellany of ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’ with a touch of Moroccan zest. Recognising the importance of immaculate presentation and unscathed flavours, the 27-year-old chef has become a whiz in the combining and pairing the ingredients.

Initially, Chef Eelke aspired to become a culinary journalist in the Netherlands. He decided, however, to accept the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to nurture his gastronomic craft as Shy Restaurant in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he lingered for a good two years. Before long, his talent was spotted by Kupu Kupu Barong Beach Resort’s management and he was offered the position of Executive Chef at its evolving restaurant, Ma Joly.

The young chef’s infectious enthusiasm and passion for everything food is apparent in his affability and distinguishes each one of his beautifully garnished plates. Fresh herbs, eatable flowers and sweet cherry tomatoes produce colours that complement tangy flavours and aromas. With signature dishes such as the ‘Lobster Bisque infused with Kaffir Lime Soup’, ‘Pan Fried Sea Bass with Mussel Jus’ and ‘Milk Fed lamb’ served with potato mousseline with vanilla and caramelized fennel, Ma Joly has become synonymous to culinary magnificence. An absolute feast for those who enjoy five star cuisine… and let’s face it, who doesn’t?

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