After spending most childhood passionately helping out in his family’s garden, Nicholas Phillip discover deep interest in the world of cooking, and he embarks on a journey to provide delectable dishes in several prominent restaurant; which eventually brought him to Bali. After years of experience, innovation and creativity in fine-dining establishments around the island, Chef Nic is now the head of his own restaurant, SAMIK, and to Hellobali, the Australian-born lad discuss about his current career, wildest dream and more…
- Can you tell us about your childhood, and what sparks your interest in the world of cooking? Did you remember the first-ever meal you made? Share about it for our readers!
The family veggie garden was loaded with produce, we had chickens providing us with amazing organic free range eggs (Gee I miss cracking those double yolkers!)
Meals were simple but with heaps of fresh herbs, there was always nuts and dates in jars, tahini in the fridge.
First ever meal was something simple like French toast with our own harvested honey and eggs, I was probably about 11 or 12 years of age.
- Congratulations in establishing SAMIK as your flagship restaurant. What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome?
We are still going it’s a process, day by day, week by week, we are starting to gain more interest particularly over the past 2 weeks I feel we may be starting to generate some good word of mouth.
Challenges appear as often as they do in any restaurant although one of the toughest has been the transition for guests and previous patrons of what stood here before SAMIK, Warung Ocha held the iconic corner location for 18 years. When we first opened up until now we are still trying to win over the good will of Warung ocha. Being a different venue with a totally different offering has been a challenge in voicing across.
- What is the main concept of SAMIK; what do you wish to convey to your customer through your creations here?
Its every day eating, forget the smoke and mirrors think tasty and comforting, no fuss food, fire and spice.
We also offer a Nasi Campur from 11:30 am until 5pm (normally its finished before that) this has some of my favorite Indonesian dishes as well as clean eating salads and vegan dishes. All the local spice pastes we make do not use any MSG and minimal oil, generally being coconut.
- You are known as a passionate traveler. Could you share to us about one of the most memorable trip you’ve done in recent years?
Last trip was to Melbourne just before I opened SAMIK, it was a bit of a city food tour trip before that was Penang; it is one of my favorite food destinations in Asia! Each time I visit I always found new inspiration there
- What is the wildest dream you have yet to achieve?
Go on Indonesian Master Chef (Any excuse for a trip to Jakarta right? Haha ;D)
- If you only have three ingredients to cook, what would you choose, and what dish would you create out of it?
Depends who it was for and what time of day…If for me, late at night, anything fresh from the ocean + garlic + butter
- We heard you are quite fluent in local (Balinese) language. Could you share us two Balinese words you like the most?
Balinese I’m not too fluent, kalo Bahasa Indonesia bisa donk wkwkwkwkw
- What’s next for Nic Phillip and SAMIK; any future project that we should anticipate?
We have a few exciting collaborations coming up this month and next including a special Valentines Dinner on the 14th where we are teaming up with Beervina Indonesia, we have some yummy beer cocktails that have been curated on craft beers, there’s a set menu available with or without the beer cocktails.
We are heading out to Ubud to take over the amazing award winning Api Jiwa restaurant for one special night, Api Jiwa is located inside the magical Capella Ubud.
Then March we head back to Ubud for another very special collaboration in one of Ubud’s best restaurants with a handful of the best chefs on the island, more on that one soon!