|I Nyoman Adnyana, Award Winning Sommelier, Chedi Sakala
The Yum List recently visited Bali and had a number of exquisite meals and drinks at Sakala Bali. Their award winning sommelier I Nyoman Adnyana took a few minutes to share with us some of his experiences and behind the scene stories.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
First of all thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity. It is my pleasure to introduce myself. My name is I Nyoman Adnyana and I’m from Petang, Badung-Bali. I’m assistant manager at Sakala Restaurant as well as resort sommelier of Chedi Sakala Tanjung Benoa.
During my early career I was a chef in one of the restaurants in Bali, and then tried my first challenge overseas with Ritz-Carlton Dubai and Ritz-Carlton Doha as a bartender for about five years. I then continued my journey for another six years with the Oceania Cruise Line as a sommelier.
I completed Intermediate sommelier training from USSA (United State Sommelier Association), and completed the W-set level 2 Intermediate sommelier training from London. I’m also certified from the Southbank institute of TAFE Australia in certificate II Hospitality (Food & Beverage).
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
As I mentioned, I started my career as a chef. It was challenging as you must be very creative and always willing to try something new. Chef always get compliments from customers but not everyone always likes what a chef prepares. Chefs don’t have much time to talk and share stories with guests and are not able to taste wine as a sommelier mostly does. That’s why I’m enjoying my job as sommelier and almost there is no room for complaint.
What’s your personal favourite meal/ drink?
I enjoy a simple and easy to prepare Chinese-Indonesian vegetable dish I call Spicy Prawn Cap Cay with extra fresh chopped chili. It’s cooked with oyster sauce and sweet soy sauce. I like to accompany it with a glass of fine white German Spätlese!!! The best food and wine pairing for a local like me…
Tell us a story about one of the dishes/cocktails you prepare…
One of my guest in the cruise line I worked before name Amanda, requested a drink based on Citron vodka served with a crust of lemongrass. Almost every afternoon she came to my bar and ordered the same drink. The next afternoon she came, I encouraged her with my creation based on those two ingredients that she likes. She was blown away with my drink creation and I could see her with a big smile. From that moment and until the cruise ended, she continuously ordered that drink and so I named it ‘Amanda’s Smile.’ It consists of Citron vodka, Cointreau, crusted Lemongrass, a squeeze of lemon, fresh ginger, a dash of orange juice and is topped with ginger ale.
The perfect day off would be…
Nothing but opening a bottle of great vintage wine to share with my brother and enjoy with my mother-in-laws cooking – heaven.
A life in the day of a sommelier is…
… feelings of pride, joy and fun in meeting new customers and talking with loyal customers about their dinner and what wine to go with it. Knowing what the guests like and what to recommend is so interesting, especially when I find something new for them. I enjoy tasting the wine together with them, giving opinion and listening to guests ideas too.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about the drinks prepared at Sakala Bali?
Every signature cocktail and mocktail drink that is out from our bar has been created by the champion mixologist of Bali 2014, Mr Ruben (our bar manager) and myself. Of course there is no way you will not enjoy them.
What’s your view on the Bali restaurant/ bar scene?
The restaurant business is booming and getting harder because the competitors are trying everything to get the guests in. The latest trend is using more local spices and roots, often marrying Indonesian regional dishes with international wine, and foreign chefs immersing themselves in their adopted culture.
What can guests look forward to in the upcoming months?
Peak season is coming and we are getting ready to introduce our best sommelier wine tasting Bali and our first food and wine pairing dinner at Sakala-Bali, something that other places in Bali don’t yet have.
See our sampling of food and drinks at Sakala Bali here: