Gourmet Bali – Barbacoa


By Louise Newsham

There really is nothing quite like a traditional barbecue. When else do friends gather around a smoking flame, cooking juicy cuts of  meat and seafood over a smouldering, charcoal fire? Knives and forks are traded in for sticky fingers, and charred, smokedfinishes are encouraged not shunned. Although Australia may be the most famous nation for sticking another shrimp on the barbie, it is in  South America where this casual feasting tradition has been truly honed. And that’s where Barbacoa comes in. Barbacoa is Bali’s fiery new restaurant that recently popped up in the potpourri of restaurants along Petitenget. As its name suggests (it means “barbecue” in Spanish) Barbacoa is dedicated to wood fires, charcoal grills and loads of smoke. It brings together the sights, smells and flavours of rural Latin America, then serves it all up in a huge rustic-chic warehouse, retrofitted in a style that Melbourne’s trendiest hipsters would be proud of. The 120-seat restaurant has all the elements you expect from a grill, like a giant open fire crisping the skin of a whole pig (head and all), to decorative cow skins framing the red brick walls and wrought iron accents. But
ladies, don’t be put off by this rugged, masculine description, because actually, there is a very chic feel to Barbacoa too. Think vintage leather banquettes, colourful Mediterranean-style floor tiles and flickering candles made from cute, recycled jars. It is urban, it is stylish and we are totally hooked.