As you walk up the steps of the Katamama Hotel in Seminyak, you won’t be greeted by a typical reception desk. Instead, to your left, you will find a bar built of marble to welcome you. It is here at Akademi Bar, you will find bar manager Hary Wahyudi ready to greet you with the famous Balinese hospitality paired with an innovative cocktail menu. A unique concept for a bar, Akademi also provides a special cocktail program to teach customers how to make any of the cocktails from the menu. Interactive and experiential, the bar is manned by a group of creative bartenders.
A Balinese local from Tabanan, I Gede Hary Wahyudi began working behind a bar as early as 2011. Following a friend, he first started as a bar back at the Ocean 27 Beach Club & Grill in Kuta. A year later, looking for a new challenge, he moved to Potato Head Beach Club. Working under several mentors at Potato Head, Hary quickly learned more intricate and advanced techniques in mixology. Working on infusions and creating bar essentials from scratch, he was forced to quickly overcome the steep learning curves of working at the beach club.
In 2013, Hary participated in his first ever competition, the 2013 Diageo World Class Competition. He continued to participate in the competition the following year and even scored a place in the final round in 2016. It was after these competitions and returning back from Hong Kong as part of the opening team for the new Potato Head outlet there that he began at Akademi Bar, which was then newly opened. Focused around showcasing local ingredients and flavors and building a bartending practice around sustainability, the bar acts as the innovation hub of the entire restaurant group. Hary and his team are always hard at work to develop the new and exciting cocktails.
A cocktail designed around nostalgia, Hary created the Curcuma based on Temulawak, a locally made Javanese ginger soda. At your first sip, you will taste the light bite of the Java-nese ginger paired with the tropical flavors of the pine-apple arak. This refreshing cocktail brings you back to your childhood memories.
Read the original article in Foodies Magazine Issue 02 August/September 2018