Ni Wayan Reni is a shy and gentle woman with a big job: she is the Restaurant Manager at Komaneka at Tanggayuda, in charge of the recently opened Batukaru Restaurant, which is quickly becoming a destination restaurant. Even people who are not guests are drawn to the serene, hilly location, the food, and the fine hospitality.

Bu Reni, as she is called, was born and raised in Wanayu, Bedulu, Bali, a few kilometers east of Ubud. She first joined Komaneka in 2001 as a waitress at Komaneka at Tanggayuda. Apart from three months’ cross-training at Komaneka at Monkey Forest, she has been at Tanggayuda ever since, and was promoted to Restaurant Manager in 2014. Her duty is to make sure that all systems run well, to oversee the taste and presentation of food, to manage evening events such as their ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’, ‘Mepanggangan di Bencingah’ (featuring grills), and the ‘Seafood BBQ’ at the rooftop lounge.

She also supervises the creation of fresh, natural beverages, and especially enjoys introducing guests to the fruits of trees that grow on this five-hectare property. “We have passion fruit growing here,” she tells us, “and the flavor is wonderful but very tart. So we found a way to combine passion fruit with coco-pandan. And I like to give guests freshly picked bananas. Many have never seen a banana tree.”

They also make beverages with a lemongrass-infused gin, and fresh coconut and jackfruit from the property. “Guests appreciate it when they know where ingredients come from — especially when they can see the tree outside their villa.”

Bu Reni, who supervises a staff of 20 waiters and waitresses, says that working at Komaneka “doesn’t feel like work. It’s like being in a family where all employees are friends. This spirit comes from the owners, who think of customers as their personal guests. This is the Balinese way.”