Thu 07th Sep, 2017
Case Study #015: Salak - with Melvern
Salak, known as snake fruit due to its scaly, reddish-brown skin, is harvested from a species of palm tree indigenous to Indonesia. Fig-sized fruits grow in clusters at the base of the palms, which have short stems and six-metre long leaves. While the texture and taste of salak fruit can vary depending on the region, it is generally sweet and acidic with a crunchy, apple-like texture. Rich in fibre, vitamin C, antioxidants and tannins, salak has various medicinal benefits, from easing diarrhea and aiding dieting to preventing cancer growths.
Taking the lead in this month’s salak study and master class is 23-year old resident mixologist Melvern Nathaniel. Learning the industry ropes while studying for a degree in Hospitality Management, Melvern’s fascination with mixology has spurred him on to compete in a number of nationwide cocktail competitions. Just this year, he picked up second place in the Indonesia finals of Diageo World Class Competition and represented his country at the Asia World Class Boot Camp in Thailand.
With such curiosity about indigenous flavours and techniques, moving to Akademi from his previous position at The Ritz Carlton in Nusa Dua seemed like a natural choice for Melvern. Most evenings, you can find him crafting root-to-flower creations or talking Katamama guests through Akademi’s vast arak offerings.
30 ml salak-infused arak
15 ml homemade salak amaretto
10 ml sesame oil fat washed vodka
15 ml honey beetroot gastrique
1 bar spoon of salak purée
15 ml citrus juice
3 dashes homemade almond bitters
2 drops of saline solution
Egg white (optional)
Sesame cracker & spiced pickled salak fruit
Shaken & served straight up
100k net, per cocktail