Epicure Magazine|April 2020
The ambassador of Indonesia’s cool
Championing local art has always been Ronald Akili’s passion, as seen in the first Potato Head which opened in Jakarta in 2009. However, it was Bali’s Potato Head Beach Club that catapulted the brand into the global limelight due to its design cred, architect Andra Matin’s iconic Javanese window shutters facade, tropical lifestyle experience, F&B offerings, and incredible sunset. Together with the adjacent Katamama, a boutique hotel which was made from 1.5 million red bricks as a tribute to local craftsmanship, it is now a bonafide destination that must not be missed when one visits Bali.
Winning the inaugural Sustainable Bar Award and ranked 36 in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018, Potato Head Beach Club now offers three distinct restaurant concepts and one bar: Ijen (zero-waste and sustainably sourced seafood outlet), Kaum (modern Indonesian cuisine), Pizza Garden (locally sourced, Italian-inspired rooftop eatery), and Akademi (root-to-flower cocktails bar). Potato Head has also successfully expanded to Singapore and Hong Kong, offering the cosmopolitan’s cities a taste of the island-inspired F&B concepts.
The group constantly pushes the envelope in design and sustainability. Akili’s latest brainchild is Potato Head Studios. Located in the same complex with the beach club and Katamama, the 168-room beachfront hotel complex is designed by Rem Koolhaas’s OMA Studio as part of the completion of Desa Potato Head. The building is constructed from sand, stone, recycled brick and pink-pigmented concrete cast from reclaimed driftwood and crates. By this May, the Desa (meaning village in Indonesian), will feature a gallery, a library, a music recording studio, and an environmentally-driven kids club – just to name a few.
Set to be Indonesia’s first experiential village, the entire complex commits to encourage creative living as well as sustainability and zero-waste philosophy, complete with onsite recycling and composting facilities. From Tanaman, an Indonesian plant-based restaurant to the soon-to-be-opened DJ Harvey-designed underground dance club, the village is all about progressive design and future living. “The aspiration for Potato Head has always been to go from a hospitality brand to a lifestyle brand. This has been a plan 10 years in the making. Our goal is to make sustainability and social consciousness part of our lifestyle and what we provide our guests. We believe we can make beautiful products and offer genuine services, and at the same time inspire others to make a real impact in protecting Mother nature for our next generation. Our mission is to be the best provider of good times and to do good at the same time,” states Ronald Akili.
Grapes from the Gods
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