Sunday, September 28th, 2014


Seminyak, Bali – What is Middle Eastern cuisine? Now Bali residents and connoisseurs can relish in the rich flavours of Middle Eastern cuisine with the launch of Jenja, the latest and only Middle Eastern luxury dining venue in the island’s upscale beach resort area of Seminyak.

While diverse with a slight degree of homogeneity, Middle Eastern cuisine features unique elements and flavourings, and to some extent requires skill and mastery from a well-seasoned master chef. A visit to Jenja is to embark on a truly unique dining experience, a journey of tastes prepared by Top Chef Middle East 2012, chef Selma AbuAlia.

The second season winner of the culinary competition reality show in Jordan and Swiss Royal Academy of Culinary Arts graduate introduces her innovative takes on Middle Eastern dishes, as well as retaining in several selections the authentic flavours that make up what could be the most aromatic, richest and healthiest cuisine around. Following are the wealth of dishes that offer a window to the vast panorama of tastes from the Middle East.

Hailing from Egypt is dukkah, a spicy blend of toasted nuts and seeds, with a warm and aromatic mixture often served as a dip with bread and olive oil, but also can be sprinkled on everything else, from roasted vegetables, pasta, feta cheese, and even peaches.

Bulgur is a nutritious and versatile quick-cooking form of whole wheat that has been cleaned, parboiled, dried, ground into particles and sifted into distinct sizes. It has a pleasant nutty flavour. Chef Selma’s Bulgur Chicken & Cucumber Salad is a must-try at Jenja, served with mixed herbs, yoghurt dill sauce and topped with grilled za’tar chicken breast.

From the Balkan and Mediterranean, moussaka is an eggplant and/or potato-based dish that come in many local and regional variations. In Greece, the dish is layered and typically enjoyed hot. In Turkey, it is sautéed and served in the style of a casserole, and is consumed warm or at room temperature. In Arabic countries, a variant of the same recipe is eaten cold. Chef Selma’s version is lightly grilled and topped with pungent Arabic spiced minced beef and tomato sauce.

Kofta is an Azerbijanian, Balkan, Indian, Iranian, and Turkish meatball or meatloaf. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onions. In India, Turkey and Iran, koftas are usually made of lamb, beef, mutton or chicken, whereas Greek and Cypriot varieties are usually made of beef, veal, pork or mixtures of them.

You can find the hearty dish of Grilled Chicken Shawarma on Jenja’s menu, with spicy tomato sambal sauce, garlic dip and house-cut sweet potato fries. Shawarma is a Levantine Arab meat preparation comprising either lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats placed on a vertical spit and grilled for as long as a day. It also refers to the wrap made with the meat shavings, and usually eaten with tabbouleh, fattoush, taboon bread, tomato, and cucumber.

Hummus is a Levantine food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Today, it is a popular and inseparable part of Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe. At Jenja, you can try Chef Selma’s hummus through the Mixed Mezze or Baba Ganoush.

Baba ghanoush is a Levantine dish of cooked eggplant mixed with onions, tomatoes, olive oil and various seasonings. The Arabic term means "pampered papa" or "coy daddy", perhaps with reference to its supposed invention by a member of a royal harem.

Batata, literally "spicy potatoes" is a Lebanese vegetable dish, comprising potatoes, red peppers, coriander, chili, and garlic which are all fried together in olive oil. Chef Selma’s take on this dish can be relished in the Batata Ma’lieh, potato cakes served with house-made fresh sour cream.

Embark on a journey of these exotic Middle Eastern flavours through Chef Selma’s menu at Jenja. With ultra-stylish interiors and such an inspired menu, Jenja sets the right moods for elegant dining with unique tastes that you won’t find elsewhere. Jenja is currently open daily for dinners, from 18:00. Bookings are recommended.

For further information and reservations, visit

Media Contact: Lilis van Poorten, [email protected]

Chef Selma’s recipe blog:



Jalan Nakula 532XX, Kuta, Bali

+62 361 8827711

[email protected]

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Jenja Restaurant, Bar & Club is open for the cosmopolite, the traveler and music lover who’s in for a whole new experience of dining and nightlife in Bali.

Jenja Seminyak
P: 00623618827711
M: 00623618827711


Middle Eastern Cuisine, Restaurant, Dinner, Top Chef, Bali




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