WEBSITE PREVIEW – LAUNCHING AUGUST 2021

FEATURES • DESTINATIONS

Lulu Bistrot: An Unforgettable
Dining Experience Empowering
Local Talents

Lulu Bistrot:
An Unforgettable Dining Experience Empowering Local Talents

With a commitment to simplicity and a deep reverence for the culinary traditions of France, Lulu Bistrot crafts an unforgettable dining experience that pays homage to the grand cafés of Paris. Step inside and you’ll be transported to timeless elegance, where the flavors of carefully curated dishes fill the air. Lulu Bistrot culinary philosophy is refreshingly uncomplicated – to serve French food that is not just delicious but thoughtfully prepared with no fuss.

What truly sets Lulu apart is its dedication to celebrating local and seasonal ingredients. Each dish and cocktail on the menu are a masterpiece of culinary creativity. The interior design is an ode to both New York’s brasserie culture and the elegance of modern French Style, with creative energy and relaxed atmosphere, it manages to feel old school and contemporary, refined and rowdy at once. The space is airy with an open kitchen, cozy fabric banquettes, marble tables and bar-to-ceiling shelves stacked neatly with liquor and fine bottles of wine. 

April 2024 • Words by The Punch • Photography by Lulu Bistrot

INTERVIEW

Meet Rafael Nardo -
Co-Founder of Lulu Bistrot

CAN YOU SHARE YOUR JOURNEY FROM BRAZIL TO BECOMING ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF LULU BISTROT?

“My journey into the world of hospitality began in Brazil, where I pursued my studies in this field. It was there that I first developed a passion for hospitality. My journey then took me to London, where I had my initial taste of the industry.

After London, I moved to Perth for a few years before arriving in Bali. Here I had the privilege of honing my skills by managing renown establishments. It was during this time that I began to envision Lulu Bistrot, a restaurant that would blend my love for French cuisine with my commitment to empowering local talents.“

COULD YOU SHARE MORE ABOUT THE CONCEPT AND INSPIRATION BEHIND LULU?

“Lulu Bistrot is more than just a restaurant; it’s a fusion of cultures and flavors that have shaped my journey. It all began with my fascination for the grand cafés of Paris, where I found inspiration in their timeless elegance and culinary traditions. I was also inspired by the bustling and diverse energy of New York City, particularly its French brasseries. I wanted to capture that enchanting atmosphere and infuse it into Lulu.

At the same time, I wanted to pay homage to my own heritage and my half-French Caribbean son. This led me to explore the rich and diverse traditions of the French colonies, particularly those in the West Indies. So, when you dine at Lulu Bistrot, you’re not only savouring authentic French cuisine but also experiencing the vibrant and flavorful journey of the French colonies. It’s a celebration of my personal connection to these cultures and a way to share their culinary treasures with our guests. “

HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED ANY SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES DURING THE ESTABLISHMENT AND GROWTH OF THE RESTAURANT?

“Absolutely, starting and running Lulu has not been without its challenges. When I envisioned Lulu Bistrot, I held a clear and specific vision for the atmosphere, ambiance, and overall aesthetic. It was important to me that the restaurant’s design captured the essence of a Parisian Grand Café while also maintaining a welcoming and comfortable environment here in Bali. Transforming this vision into reality necessitated close collaboration with the building and design team. It wasn’t just about constructing a physical space; it was about bringing a particular feeling and mood to life. This involved numerous discussions, revisions, and fine-tuning to ensure that every detail, from the color scheme and lighting to the furniture and décor, harmonized with my original concept.

Balancing functionality and aesthetics while adhering to budget constraints and practical considerations was a complex endeavor. But through dedication and a shared commitment to realizing the vision, we successfully transformed the concept into the charming and inviting space that Lulu represents today. Throughout the years of managing two businesses, I am often asked about the most fulfilling moment or achievement. I would say that seeing Lulu come to life, with all its intricate details and the warm ambiance we envisioned, is a moment I will always cherish.”

WHAT ARE SOME RESPONSIBLE PRACTICES THAT YOU HAVE IMPLEMENTED AT LULU?

"We understand the importance of running a responsible business at Lulu, and we are taking steps to not only deliver a great dining experience but also to minimize our impact, support our local community and nurture the talent within our team."

Local sourcing: We prioritize sourcing most of our ingredients locally, supporting regional farmers and producers. This not only ensures the freshness and quality of our dishes, but also reduces our carbon footprint.

Employing exclusively local staff: We are dedicated to empowering our local community by employing exclusively local staff in both the kitchen and on the restaurant floor. This not only creates job opportunities but also strengthens our connection to the community.

Waste management: We have implemented responsible waste management practices to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills.

Minimizing laundry: We’ve taking steps to minimize laundry and water consumption.

Supporting the local community: Beyond our commitment to local sourcing, we actively engage with and support the local community through partnerships and initiatives.

HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT LULU BISTROT CONTINUES TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONAL FOOD WHILE USING LOCALLY SOURCED INGREDIENTS?

“Our approach to exceptional food starts with the ingredients themselves. We are meticulous in selecting the finest local produces whenever possible, especially vegetables and seafood. Once we have these top quality-ingredients, our chefs work their magic by respecting French culinary traditions while infusing creativity to create dishes that highlight the flavors of these local ingredients. It’s all about preserving the essence of both French cuisine and our region’s offerings in every bite.”

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT NURTURING AND DEVELOPING THE SKILLS OF LOCAL CHEFS & STAFF RATHER THAN RELYING ON EXPAT TALENTS?

“We believe in giving local talents the opportunity to grow and excel within our team. We were fortunate to have an award-winning chef from Australia collaborate with us. This chef worked closely with our team, sharing valuable expertise and insights from her culinary journey. This not only elevated the skills of our local chefs, but also enriched the overall culinary culture at Lulu Bistrot.

We encourage creativity and collaboration, allowing our local team to bring their unique perspective to our French-inspired menu. It’s about investing in our local talent and ensuring they have the support and resources they need to thrive in the culinary world.”

WHAT DO YOU ENVISION FOR THE FUTURE OF LULU BISTROT?

“The future of Lulu holds a continuation of our core values – celebrating French cuisine, empowering local talents, and doing what we can to minimize our impact. We’re constantly exploring ways to innovate and delight our guests while staying true to our values. Our goal is to continue serving exceptional food and drinks while making a positive influence in the lives of those around us.“