A place to just be: Santanera’s food and beverages is a love letter to everyone from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
The coastal village of Canggu currently represents Bali’s cross-cultural lifestyle with fast-growing community of people from different nationalities and background. New restaurants, bars, and clubs are opening here and there and many people have chosen the exciting neighborhood as a place to live their life to the fullest.
Newly opened Santanera, situated in the heart of Canggu, strive to celebrate the island’s latest melting pot hub. Having been established since Nov. 18 last year, the three-story building is a mixture of cultural representations from their pendant lights with Persian influence, murals of goddesses and other symbols, an iron spiral stairwell leading to a rooftop garden, and, naturally, their food and beverages.
The brainchild of Andres Becerra and German Rincon, two culinary connoisseurs from Colombia, Santanera’s cuisine is essentially a love letter that celebrates Latin American flavors, European influences, and local ingredients.
The name “Santanera” itself derived from the saint of the gypsies—or in modern world nomads with mixed nationalities and cultural backgrounds. Simply put, Santanera is calling everyone to not just taking pleasures in eating and drinking, but also enjoying the ambience that the place had to offer.
Santanera’s Gabriel Steinberger, who is in charge of the restaurant’s bar and drinks, said the place’s cocktails were carefully chosen by being mindful about the ingredients’ country of origins.
As a seasoned traveler who has explored Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and Australia, Gabriel, who first started his career in hospitality as a waiter back in Paris when he was 19, appreciates the importance of celebrating inter-cultural connections–even through drinks.
“We’re trying to come up with cocktails that would remind people of certain countries. This also includes travelers who miss something from back home,” Gabriel said.
Some cocktails, as Gabriel put it, represent certain memories and imagination that bring together dreams and reality with lifestyle and art. He picked off the restaurant’s best-selling cocktail Ambrosia (dry gin and absinthe liqueur-based, as an example).
“When I think about this drink, what comes to my mind is a foggy day in London back in the days where a poet was writing and looking through his window,” he remarked, referencing the literature’s drink that is absinthe.