The Oyster Man

13 September 2017 - Every Sunday is an excitement to explore new ideas and we definitely know how to help you with that. Seasalt Coastal Munch gives brunch a new color by implementing fun and creativity without neglecting the concept of “fresh taste from the sea”. One of the creations include a bucket of fresh oysters delivered by the funny-yet-admirable-looking Oyster Man.

Adorned with blue-shade raglan t-shirt, baseball cap, and hip sunglasses, the Oyster Man passes around the once-called luxurious food to the guests in delightful manner. “Want some oysters?” is the hint of engagement he wants to entice.

"The idea of Oyster Man came from Chef Stefan Zjita. He already had this idea since the Seaside Rendezvouz with the costume, bucket of prawns, oysters, and everything. Then I said, ‘Why don’t we have this on Sunday?’ He answered, “Yeah, why not?”, because it’s very unique. I believe no other restaurants in Bali does this. When you’re waiting for your foods, you have this Oyster Man offering you the oysters. This is the entertainment. Like when you see a man with glasses with funny fancy bucket, you will take picture. So, it’s something that is very special and people will share the story with their family. That’s what we want to achieve at Seasalt,” explained Chef Vivian.

With wide smile, the Oyster Man points at the bucket and the guest’s eyes gleam of curiosity. The flesh of the bivalve mollusk looks fresh and succulent, perfectly melt to every seafood lover’s liking.

“Our oysters are locally sourced from Sumbawa. We received bunch of these little guys fresh from the supplier. The shell is hard and tightly closed which indicates that the oysters are alive. Otherwise, they are dead and it’s not safe to consume them,” continued the man who is well-known for his active and stay-positive personality.

At Seasalt Coastal Munch, the Oyster Man starts delivering oyster after he finishes with the chilled prawns. The shells have been cut in half while served, leaving the bottom part exposed on ice and a shrub of seaweed.

“We know that oyster is a bit fleshy and lumpy and few people like having shallot or red wine vinegar for the pairing. But, here in Seasalt, we want to keep it simple. We use only lemons for the pairing to balance the sea flavor,” said Chef Vivian.

Looking back at the kitchen, lies the most interesting process of pre-eating: opening the oyster which requires skill and patience. Referred to as “oyster shucking”, it is not easy to crack the shell with hands. A special knife called an oyster knife is needed. With short and thick blade about 2 inches long, oyster shucking can risk a hand if not done properly.

“After receiving 10-15 kilos of oysters from the suppliers, we take it to the butcher at the kitchen. He will do the shucking for 20-30 seconds. As for myself, I can do it for just 5 seconds, but we need to be extra careful with these Sumbawa oysters. The shell is a bit hard and there’s no point in doing it fast.” He showed his finger. “I had this scar that last for lifetime as a result of cutting my own (fingers). Long time ago, I had to shuck 600 oysters. It was a last-minute request for a standing canape party and there were VVIP people. Only two of us were responsible to be the oyster shuckers. We peeled it very fast with no safety. Normally, we would use steel glove but that time, we didn’t. So, if you do not know how to do it, just do it with care."

Done with the seemingly-painful yet stimulating process of oyster shucking (which has become a world-stage competitive sport), the Oyster Man will deliver the oysters based on guests request. Now, are there any tips to enjoy raw oysters? “Give it a squeeze of lemon first, put your mouth closely, then sip the oyster. The liquid inside is not to be missed. For me, it’s the most beautiful sea flavour. The saltiness of the oyster. Well, you may use spoon, chopstick, or mini fork… but again, I like to keep it simple. If you leave the oysters on ice, it will last for half an hour. If it does, the oysters won’t get spoiled rather than dry because of the humidity. So, if guests cannot finish the oysters but want to keep it fresh, they will cover it back with the top shell.”

All in all, there is nothing much left to describe Seasalt’s oysters. Available every Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm, the oysters come in Seasalt Coastal Munch menu package at IDR 485.000++/person. No need to wave a hand to the host, because the Oyster Man will come to you and make your brunch complete. See you soon this week!