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Cuca Bali, crossing borders without moving


Beef Bone & Marrow – Cuca’s memory of Taipei’s caramelized delicious meat oozing over perfect cooked rice.

Crossing borders without moving – Cuca Bali’s new menu in Jimbaran 

In my experience the phrase “…expect the unexpected” usually comes as a warning, advising of a possible unpleasant experience, thankfully, this is so very not so at Cuca! So very definitely not so! Here the unexpected is delicious, delightful and diverse!

Chef Kevin from Cuca, takes many ‘expected’ versions of comfort food and, culinarily and craft-fully, converts each dish into the totally unexpected and mind-blowingly delicious. Take a walk with my taste buds why don’t you, Kevin?

Chef Kevin Cherkas seems to be the most unexpected thing about Cuca, him and the way he zings up food, before planting masterpieces before your eyes. He remodels components, manipulates previously unheard of ingredients and has them masquerading as the real deal in one delicious swoop. What do I mean, you ask?

How about his Moussaka? Roasted golden yams; spiced Indonesian rendang gravy; crispy, bubbling béchamel made with hand-squeezed coconut cream! That is hardly giagia’s original Greek recipe, now is it?

The Steak Tartare – of Russia origin, I gather – abandons beef for fish. Fresh fish, shredded coconut, spicy local sambal and delicate scales of cucumber – locally sourced so a fabulously low carbon footprint!


Sticky Sushi – It is the result of Kevin’s obsession with succulent grilled caramel scented eel, the unagi.

In between courses, he suggests a unexpected take on a Campari Orange, and serves it with freshly squeezed tangerines and a home-made Campari – I gather its called Vitamin C. Maybe I should make mine a double?

This brand new menu crosses the globe and, since we are physically on a travel fast, it circumnavigates the world bringing flavors of the continents into one tasteful menu.

Next to Mexico, and the Nachos – which I cannot tell you about – which come with a classically ‘non-classic’ Margarita or, as they call it here, the Coconut Ice – this ‘margarita‘ is all about fresh coconut, using the meat to rim the glass and its water – frozen – is tweaked with lime and citrus to refresh. Their globe-hopping á la carte then takes us to Asia, to Japan – where a Sticky Sushi is brought to new vegan boundaries – and to where Taipei’s Beef Bone Marrow stays as carnivore as it should be, and is definitely something ’truly spectacular’. And on around the word we go… to sweets and America.

Desserts are not my thing, so when someone offers me ‘The Last Piece of Cake’  I’m quite happy to let them have it, however Chef Kevin’s sense of humor has the last laugh as, in typical Cuca fashion, “…what you see is not what you get!” LOL.

On Cuca Bali’s “globally inspired, locally sourced” menu there are many other well-loved items, so it really is not that difficult to travel – at least with your eyes, palate and spirit even if not actually physically.

So all we have to say is “Cheers, Cuca”, here’s to crossing borders without moving!!

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