Kuta’s latest hot spot
We had the opportunity to interview the talented team behind Kuta’s newest restaurant, Knalpot.
This hip spot opened in January 2023 and has already become a favourite among locals and tourists alike.
I sat down with the two head chefs, Anne and Koen, and restaurant manager, Jelle, to learn more about their unique approach to food and drinks.
RPL: Tell us a bit about yourselves.
Anne: Koen and I met while working in the kitchen of Restaurant Wilde Zwijnen in 2012, and we bonded over our love for food. We travelled all over Asia, seeking out the most delicious and flavorful dishes we could find.
Koen: I have worked as a head chef at two 1-star Michelin restaurants and have opened three restaurants in the past four to five years, including one in Singapore and two in Amsterdam.
Anne: We wanted to bring the memories of amazing food from all over Asia to Knalpot.
RPL: Knalpot is the only restaurant with beers on tap in Kuta. What kind of beer do you offer?
Jelle: We serve craft brews from Island Brewing and Balcksand Brewery in Bali. They send us new brews and seasonal beers to serve, and we do food pairings for all of them.
RPL: What makes the drinks at Knalpot so unique?
Jelle: We try to work with Indonesian ingredients and flavours as much as possible throughout the menu. We make the most of the produce by starting from scratch and using different techniques to extract as much flavour as possible.
Anne: We infused spirits with different ingredients like peanut butter, cashew nuts, and toasted rice. We also start developing our own soda programme, like Bitter Lemon and Local Grapefruit Tonic Water.
RPL: Your dishes are receiving a lot of praise. What makes them so exceptional?
Koen: We love food and only create dishes that we would want to eat ourselves. We don’t want to be restricted by a specific concept, so we’re free to create anything we want. Our cuisine is influenced by Indonesia and the spices and ingredients available in the region.
Anne: We blend together local herbs and spices to create dishes that are full of natural flavours. We source our ingredients as locally as possible and make everything we can from scratch.
RFP: Can you give us an example of one of your signature dishes?
Koen: An example would be our seafood curry, for instance. It blends French cooking techniques with local ingredients and flavours.
We are using locally sourced goat’s milk to make goat cheese. Furthermore, we are making our own bacon from swordfish belly.
Anne: We also love using locally sourced meat, like duck, chicken, and fish. We make our own chicken pate and source as much produce as possible from an organic farm in Tampa Hills.
RFP: What sets Knalpot apart from other restaurants in Kuta?
Anne: Our no-concept approach really sets us apart. We’re not restricted by any rules or boundaries, and we’re free to create anything we want. Our focus is on amazing food and a great atmosphere, rather than an exclusive or fancy feel.
Koen: We’re also committed to using local ingredients and supporting local farmers and producers. We want to showcase the incredible flavours and ingredients that are available in this region.
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