Meet Olaf Aistleitner. The Austrian Restauranteur with over 15 years of experience running restaurants in paradise.
I come from Austria, the homeland of Arnold Schwarzenegger. My last divorce drove me to far away lands…actually islands, so I came here to paradise over 18 years ago.
What made you decide to go into the restaurant business?
I was offered a very interesting looking investment which, in the end made me lose all my money in a very short time! But luckily I managed to save the restaurant setup, which made me a newborn restaurateur…the real beginning of a very steep learning curve. But I must say it was very interesting to do something completely new and very different (being actually a computer guy).
Austrian cuisine has a lot of pork dishes, are there any favourites you would recommend?
“Krautfleisch” which is a kind of a goulash made from pork belly and sauerkraut, especially when it’s cooked by my Austrian friend Ernesto!
Any restaurants you can recommend for fellow pork lovers in Bali?
Go to “Babi Guling Andayani” that’s traditional Bali fare (a roasted pig on a spit), very good, very clean and fresh. Every day, they start at 9:30 in the morning until maybe around 1 pm. It’s located on the Bypass in Denpasar Topati, about 50 meters from the crossroad to Gianyar. Or you can wait until I open a new restaurant again!
So in your experience, what is the most challenging aspect of running a restaurant in Bali?
Finding the right staff! Training them, watching them 24/7 and keeping them as long as possible.
What would you say are the three most important ingredients in running a successful restaurant?
Care about your guests, care about your staff, and care about your business.
And what was the most rewarding part of the restaurant business?
When I finally started to make some money! But even more rewarding when guests told me that my dishes were as good as their Mom’s home cooked food.
You’ve been described as “Bali’s most popular host”. Any plans to open a new restaurant?
I am not sure about the first part, it was said by a really good friend and guest who now already passed away, but I always had incredible support from many special guests! Food and Drink related issues still interest me very much and some of my best friends are still the top Chefs from around Bali. But all the daily stresses of running a busy restaurant was getting too much for me. I was doing it for 15 years and I think that’s enough. Otherwise, you become completely nuts and a complete alcoholic…Now I am only partial!
Do you have any tips for Expats looking to open a restaurant in Bali?
Don’t! (Just joking!)
Last question: If you had to choose only one dish to eat for the rest of your life, and nothing else, what would it be?
Nasi Campur…or may be Dim Sum…or Rice Taffel. Ahhh! Very difficult, drink would be easy, just wine!