February 2022, Bali, Indonesia - Just footsteps from the ash- coloured sands of Bali’s Batu Bolong Beach is YUKI - a casual yet elegant Japanese restaurant that offers a modern take on a traditional izakaya. Curated by a team of up-and-coming hospitality maestros, this brand new oceanfront destination is raising the bar for Bali’s wining and dining scene with its boundary-pushing fusion menu and prime coastal address.
YUKI is an ideal sunset dinner venue on the seafront of Canggu, Bali. With its relaxed, open-air setting, it’s a place to settle in for a late afternoon cocktail, before gathering with friends over multiple plates of tuna truffle maki roll, nori ahi tacos or even vegan yakitori. Graze until late amidst the sleek Japanese aesthetics, prop up the long bar for a medley of cocktails, and finish it all off with a hot sake or ice-cold craft beer.
Meaning ‘snow’ in Japanese, the name YUKI is quite the contrast to the restaurant’s sun-soaked tropical surroundings. But surprise and juxtaposition are all part of the YUKI experience. From the superlative yet minimalist interiors, to the menu that features wood-fired meats alongside innovative plant-based sushi - YUKI brings the best of both worlds to Bali’s beachfront.
The focus of YUKI is simple. Driven by both flavour and guest experience, the restaurant is designed to deliver a casual and accessible dining destination that fits in with the laidback lifestyle, landscapes and subcultures of the place it calls home: Canggu, Bali’s coastal social hub and surfing capital.
YUKI’s menu is a far cry from your traditional Japanese feast. With boundary-pushing plates like truffle tuna tartare and nori ahi tacos made with ponzu watermelon, the restaurant’s culinary cues extend far beyond Japan. And yet, despite its play on flavours and fusion cuisine, YUKI pays homage to the traditional techniques, flavours and quality produce that are so pivotal in Japanese cooking.
Every ingredient used is of the highest quality, most of which is locally and sustainably sourced from Bali’s bountiful farmers and fishermen. Chef Yudha takes these high quality ingredients and forges his dishes over a wood fire or charcoal grill, while Chef Dom experiments with texture and native Japanese flavours to recreate crowd favourites in a plant-based form.
Bites-wise, menu highlights include the wagyu beef sando, the torched salmon maki roll and the oyster mushroom yakitori - all designed to swap, share and sample. Or the charcoal-grilled yakimono octopus with black vinegar, shiso oil and heirloom tomatoes, best enjoyed alongside charred green veggies with crispy garlic. A favourite for both chef and patrons is the tsukune yakitori: an oversized juicy pork meatball paired boldly with a marinated egg yolk.
Much like the food, YUKI’s cocktail menu has been tweaked and concocted to seamlessly suit the surrounding environment. With the ocean mere footsteps away, every drink at YUKI takes into consideration the seaside setting, the relaxed coastal vibes, and of course, the restaurant’s contemporary culinary offerings.
The result is a collection of cocktails that are light and easy to drink. They’re playful and uncomplicated, yet beneath their humble exterior is a careful orchestration of both balance and flavour. You won’t find any overly bold flavours or pretentious techniques that try to push the boundaries of mixology for needless showmanship, but instead, a no-nonsense interpretation of timeless classics that work in perfect harmony with the entire YUKI experience.
The standouts are YUKI’s signatures, like the Yukies 2.0 made using Four Pillars Shiraz Gin, goji berry, banana, calama, lime and yuzi.
.Or the Off To Tokyo spiked with sesame oil- washed gin, cucumber, celery and wasabi, finished with a sprinkling of furikake.