Since 2013, Locavore has delighted foodies with its progressive culinary style and environmentally conscious approach from their home in Ubud. So, unsurprisingly, when the team finally opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant in the capital with Peggy’s Brass Knuckles at Shophaus Mahakam, it made an instant splash.
Less than a month since its opening, it’s already quite a challenge to get a seat during dinner servings at one of the white-tableclothed tables at Peggy’s. “We want to consistently deliver the best that we can to the customers, so we do need to limit the number of diners each day,” shared executive chef Aga Alvian, who some may recognise for his previous stint as head chef at Meatsmith.
Understandably, such a move is necessary to stick with Locavore’s mission of using only locally sourced ingredients, many of which come from small independent producers (a case in point, their mango-fed chicken is sourced from a poultry farmer in Bali, one of Locavore’s longtime suppliers). And while Peggy’s is more about comforting, homey food rather than experimental recipes—a slight deviation from Locavore’s norm—their offerings still pack a punch through meticulous cooking processes.
Take the restaurant’s best-seller: beef tongue doused in bone marrow jus and topped with chimichurri, for which the beef is brined for seven days and then cooked for three to four hours for optimum tenderness. A tip is to dip the welcome bread (a fluffy and buttery brioche) into the jus and savour the two dishes together or come up with your own combinations—which the chef recommends for any dish at the restaurant to get the best experience. For a proper finalé, don’t skip the dessert and go with a slice of the rich chocolate ganache tart, crowned with whipped crème fraîche and tangy passion fruit jam; a tasty marriage of flavours and textures that evolves with every bite.
If the dining area is full though, one can take comfort in the fact that Peggy’s Grocery is just across the bridge. Taking on the concept of a deli, here, visitors can dig into sandwiches, coffee and craft beer while browsing through a selection of baked goods as well as local ingredients. The latter range from chocolate, honey and cheese to seasonings from the restaurant’s R&D lab as well as cold cuts that further exemplify the nose-to-tail and farm-to-butcher approach that Peggy’s has inherited from Locavore.
At Peggy’s, the idea of doing things ‘proper’ anchors their approach, and it’s clearly displayed in their loyalty to Locavore’s idealism—much to the delight of the metropole’s diners. “It’s a fun kind of stressful. We’ve received a lot of good feedback, and that keeps us motivated to stick to our roots and educate more people in what we do. I think that’s the most important thing,” closed Chef Aga.