Sardine Shines On

Pika and Pascal Chevillot have built Sardine into Bali’s foremost fish restaurant. Bravo.

Pascal and Pika, it’s been a while since we last caught up with you. How’s life?
Pika: Life is great, except maybe we work a bit too much.
Pascal: It’s all about having fun.

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Your restaurant, Sardine, has quietly established itself as one of our foremost restaurants in Bali … congratulations.
Pika: Thank you. We always knew what we wanted Sardine to be, the question was if other people would like it too.
Pascal: Thanks, I’ll pass your compliments to our team. They are a big part of our success.

The business seems to be round-the-clock, round-the-year …
Pika: Pretty much. Every year is better and I guess we are getting better too …
Pascal: You’re right, it’s getting harder and harder to pick a time to go on vacation.


What’s your most popular dish on the menu at the moment?
Pika: Depends on what is on the menu that day … Our menu changes slightly every day, according to what we find in the market or what is in season. For appetizers it would be Papua Crab Tower and Opaka-Paka Sashimi; for mains, Pan Seared Scallops with Mushroom Ravioli and Bouillabaisse; desserts Ginger Crème Brulee and Black Pepper Ice Cream.
Pascal: Beef Tenderloin … Oh wait, do we have that on the menu?

Have you been tempted to open another Sardine, somewhere else on the island?
Pika: We did play with the idea, but we decided we didn’t want to work that hard!
Pascal: Yes, no, yes, no …


Are you still primarily a fish restaurant?
Pika: Yes, but we always have something for meat eaters and vegetarians.
Pascal: Definitely … Fish, Octopus, Jumbo Prawns, Crab, Calamari, Clams, Mussels and Oysters.

Pascal, do you still go to the fish market every morning?
Pascal: I do, I love this part of my day.
Pika: … great cure for a hangover.


When you first opened, there wasn’t much going on in your street … now it seems the world has moved to Petitenget and Canggu.
Pika: I know, isn’t it incredible! When we first took that land four years ago everybody was saying we were crazy, that nobody would go that far. We chose this land because we wanted the rice field view and the feeling that we are in Bali.
Pascal: You’re right, I think that our rice paddy will soon become a national heritage landmark.

One of the most distinctive things about Sardine is the quality of service. You seem to have built a great team. What’s your secret on that?
Pika: Yes, they are great, people here are wonderful to work with. I guess the secret is patience and repetition.
Pascal: Going in the same direction and keeping a sense of humor.


How are the ducks? Your gardens are so beautiful …
Pascal: Getting fat, I think they will be ready soon and I might be able to sell the foie gras to Doudou.
Pika: No way, they are meant to work in the rice paddies! I keep naming them after our customers. We even have a good looking one called Nigel.

Naturally. Any fears for the future of our beautiful Bali?
Pika: That it’s growing too fast, without a defined master plan. I think the progress is great but hope that the soul of Bali won’t get affected.
Pascal: Bali is wonderful, even if it is going through growing pains. I think it will remain the magic place it has always been.

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