Tanaman at the all-new Desa Potato Head melds plant-based Indonesian cooking with design worthy of a sci-fi set in a dining experience that’s good for the body and the planet.
Tanaman has the kind of decor that starts conversations. Stepping inside the new eatery is like entering an underground grotto, or boarding some kind of space vessel.
The electric blue walls, reflective floor, and dome-shaped dining room are the work of OMA, Rem Koolhaas’ renowned architecture firm from the Netherlands. Neon light pillars add to the futuristic ambience, which stands in stark contrast with the restaurant’s familial menu, a plant-based take on Indonesian comfort food.
Snuggled cave-like on the ground floor of the new Potato Head Studios, Tanaman is open for dinner only. And aside from the out-there interiors, eating there is akin to sitting down for a family meal. In lieu of an à la carte menu is a set shared-plate spread of snacks, soups and satays, mains, and dessert (IDR 350,000 per person).
Culinary inspiration for the dishes came from the native plants—or ‘tanaman’—of Indonesia with unusual island ingredients like banana blossom, candlenuts, and suji leaves shining through in the all-vegan menu.
Bajagor, a vegetable version of the West Java street food staple batagor, are among the tastiest small bites. Tanaman’s dumplings are stuffed with local field mushrooms rather than the usual mackerel. Lumpiah basah (fresh spring rolls) are another iconic Bandung dish that Chef Wayan Kresna Yasa has reimagined, replacing the traditional sosis (processed sausage) with umami hits of wood ear mushroom, spiced coconut, and seasonal vegetables.
Speaking of mushroom, the kitchen presents an all-time favourite Indonesian delicacy of sate, but instead features oyster mushrooms or tempe for its vegan twist.
But the best still awaits. Tanaman’s hero dish is the Rendang nangka, a slow braised jackfruit curry that spends 16 hours simmering in hand-pressed coconut milk. Earthy and complex, the jackfruit is similar in consistency to pulled beef, and just as flavourful as the spicy sensation from West Sumatra.
Nasi hijau (green rice spiked with local herbs) is a wonderfully aromatic pairing, and the trio of chilli relishes (sambal) is a nice touch too. Flecked with sweet-smelling pandan, creamy bubur sumsum—an elevated version of the coconut milk porridge that Chef Wayan grew up eating—finishes off the feast.
Native roots, fruits, and spices influence Tanaman’s cocktail and mocktail list, too. And delicious though they are, it’s the range of classic and contemporary djamu (traditional health tonics) that pique the most interest. Mixed by Pak Sofyan, the desa’s own Djamu Master, the potent brews pack a medicinal punch. Metabolism boosting and skin beautifying are among the benefits of daily djamu drinking, or so the locals swear. What’s more, everything is made with organic ingredients from a small handful of spray-free Bali farms (the same goes for the food).
But it’s not just the edibles that pay heed to health and environment. Many of Tanaman’s table accessories, including the speckled napkin rings, coasters, and menu boards, are fashioned from recycled plastics. The candles, made from upcycled vegetable oil and recycled glass, are a nod to the group’s pledge to ‘do good’ for the planet, too.
Potato Head says that Tanaman
marks the first step towards a plant-based philosophy for the whole group and
they’ve made the statement in trademark style, clashing the recipes of the past
with the interiors of the future.
Open daily, 6pm — midnight.
Jalan Petitenget No.51B Seminyak
+62 361 4737979