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Sardine Sisters

Camilla and Nikai Chevillot are the scions of a family business that’s become a celebrated staple of Bali’s restaurant scene – Sardine. They spoke to Tony Stanton. Image: Lucky 8.

Morning ladies. Can you let us know first off how did you both grow up, and what’s the age difference?

Camilla: We are four years apart. We were both born in the Caribbean then lived in Los Angeles for a bit and grew up mostly in Canada. It was a great preparation for living in multicultural Bali.

Has there ever been any rivalry between you?

Camilla: No, we always got along really well.

Nikaia: Not that I can think of!

Is Sardine the first restaurant you ever worked in?

C: No, I worked in other restaurants in Vancouver and the Caribbean.

N: No. My first job 10 years ago was as a dishwasher, then I worked in a few other restaurants front of house.

What’s it like having a father as your boss?

C: It’s good! It definitely has it perks. It’s also important to keep things separate. If we have to deal with something work related it’s important not to take things personally. Work is work, family is family.

N: Good! Before working for my father, I worked with my mom in Vancouver so I’m used to working with family. We get along, so that’s all that matters!

What was the first thing you ever did at Sardine?

C: I shadowed Pika to see how she runs the dining room, eventually going to the tables myself to talk to customers about the menu.

N: Bartending!

How are you different people?

C: I think my sister is more naturally outgoing than I am.

N: My sister is a lot more settled in her life. I’m still trying to figure out what I am doing with mine – not ready to settle down quite yet.

What makes Sardine restaurant so special?

C: It’s a family business! Our hearts are in it. It’s a unique setting with delicious food.

N: It’s a family run business. The menu changes a little every day and our fish is fresh from the market.

If there was one thing you could change about Bali, what would it be?

C: Is it cliché to say traffic? Seriously though! Fix that and I can’t think of anything to change.

N: Besides the obvious answer being traffic … I would like it if it were easier to meet people here. I can’t keep up with all the partying you have to go to to make friends!

What’s the most important thing about the restaurant business?

C: Happy customers.

N: Impeccable service, ambiance, food and of course, great cocktails!

Where do you see yourselves in 10 years’ time?

C: I really don’t know. So much changes so fast, 10 years feels like anything is possible. I’d rather focus on being happy in the present.

N: If I can have everything I want in 10 years’ time I would like to have a significant other and maybe be starting a family, with a big house with an even bigger garage to fit all of my cars in.

Which country do you most associate yourself with?

C: Canada.

N: Canada.

Which other restaurants in Bali do you rate?

C: Sangsaka and Merah Putih are usually the go to for a dinner date night. Also love Take for Japanese.

N: Take. I could eat sushi every day. I really enjoy the food at Sangsaka.

If you’re not at work where will we find you?

C: Usually out and about with Nikko and our daughter. Either at the beach or somewhere fun for her.

N: Probably hanging out with my niece. I’m completely obsessed with her! If I have a few days’ vacation, then you’ll find me on the beach.

What’s your favourite App on your phone?

C: I probably use Snapchat the most. I like seeing and sharing day to day life with my closest friends and family.

N: Tinder… still single guys! Just kidding! I would say Snapchat. Sharing videos of where I am at the time, my niece doing something silly or my dogs. Trying to make everyone that’s back in Canada jealous of this warm and beautiful place.

Do you have nicknames for each other?

C: So many! Poose, Boo-Boo, Mateo (to name but a few). I don’t even remember where they came from but they’ve stuck. All of them.

N: She is Poopoose head. She’ll probably say the same thing about me . . . but she is the true, one and only Poopoose!

Favourite footwear?

C: Havaianas. They’re easy and comfortable.

N: No shoes! Worn at the beach, near the ocean.