Villa Pangi Gita sits in the heart of Canggu but might as well be nestled in the middle of the jungle. That’s what it feels like in the verdant areas filled with little houses designed to look like Balinese huts.
Each space – including the open-sided living room, the study and the bedrooms – is topped by iron-wood shingle roofs. In tandem with water features scattered throughout, you feel the traditional Bali vibe.
The food in this 3-bedroom villa complements its decor and architecture. Scrumptious with a clean flavor, it’s cooked up by Chef Gus, who’s skilled in Asian and European cuisine.
Elite Havens: Chef, please tell me your name and what you do in the villa.
Chef Gus: My name is Ida Bagus Adhi Kusuma. People call me Gus. I’ve been working in Pangi Gita since 2012. I started around 2005.
EH: What do you cook? Did you study cooking before?
CG: Actually, I graduated from a tourism hospitality university. Diploma 1. And then I worked in a big hotel.
EH: What is Diploma 1?
CG: Diploma 1 is the one year program to go in University after senior year of high school. So I took a one-year program in the hospitality industry in food and beverage products. Then I worked in one of the biggest hotels in Bali. And then in the airport, in a catering company, and then some other villas. The latest is here. I’ve been here for about 9 years.
EH: What kind of cuisine do you make?
CG: I am able to cook Balinese food, Indonesian food and even European food. I can also make cakes. I used to work as a pastry chef in a hotel. We had a special request for carrot cake for one of our retreat guests and I made a special one.
EH: How would you describe what you cook?
CG: Cooking is an art. Cooking is also an hobby. So if you have patience in cooking, you’ll able to deliver an excellent dish to your guests.
EH: What are you making us tonight? What are you cooking tonight?
CG: For starters, we will serve a salad, the prawn tuna salad. But it’s combined with our Balinese spices. You can see over there is ginger flower. We will serve the tuna salad served with ginger flower. And for soup we will serve Balinese-style corn soup. For the main course, it will be grouper fish wrapped in banana leaves. The dessert is Balinese-style crepes filled with coconut and palm sugar.
EH: Why did you choose these dishes for us?
CG: I want you to taste authentic Balinese food. It also matches the atmosphere of the villa.
EH: What is your favorite thing to cook?
CG: I love to cook seafood.
EH: Any advice for those who want to be a villa chef?
CG: Get more experience from others. You also have to be patient and eager to learn the new things. Food and beverages is a dynamic industry.
EH: What else is needed?
CG: Cook from the heart.
Gulung (Balinese crepes)
- 250 gr of all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp Vanilla powder
- ½ tsp Baking powder
- 1 eggs
- 300 ml pandan leaves juice
- Margarine for skillet
- 400 gr Grated fresh coconut
- 200 gr Palm sugar
1. Make the batter
Place the flour, baking powder, vanilla powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix. Made a well in the center and crack in the eggs. Use a rubber spatula to break the eggs and start to incorporate the flour from the side while gradually add in some water. Mix until the batter is smooth and add pandan juice. Strain the batter if necessary to get rid of lumps. Cover and let the batter rest for 1 hour. You can keep the batter in the fridge up to 48 hours.
2. Make the crepes
Add the margarine. Spoon in about less than 1/4 cup of the batter and swirl the pan to cover the pan quickly to make a thin pancake about 8 inches in diameter. Cook for about 30 seconds and then flip over and cook for another 10 seconds. Remove and set aside. Make pancakes with the remaining batter in the same manner.
3. Make the filling
Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan, cook it until the brown sugar is melted. Set aside to cool down.
4. Compose the crepe
Place about 1-2 tbsp. of the filling near the edge of the lower half of the pancake you prepared earlier. Fold the bottom over once, then fold the right side and left side to the middle and over once more to make a cylinder shape. Repeat with the rest of the crepes and filling. Serve at room temperature.