Interviews Lifestyle People

My Weekend with Natasya Soetantyo, Executive Chef and General Manager of Salt & Palm

As Executive Chef & General Manager of Salt & Palm restaurant in Glebe, Natasya Soetantyo leans on the hand written recipes passed on from her grandmother to create traditionally inspired modern Indonesian food and the signature sambals and marinades that top some of her most loved dishes.

We chat to Natasya and find out how she spends her weekends, plus she shares her delicious recipe for Sambal with us below.

Natasya Soetantyo, Salt & Palm


I love gathering my thoughts at the local coffee shop before starting work. I love visiting Dirty Red Cafe in Glebe. My favourite things to order are the breakky Banh Mi or banana bread with whipped espresso butter. Sometimes, my Pug x Jack Russel, Pupu, gets a doggy doughnut as a little treat. It’s so good!

I frequently visit Victoria Park near Broadway, especially now we are offering brunch at the restaurant; it makes for long days. So, I use my break to take a little quiet time – you will often find me sitting by the pond, journaling, drafting menus and listening to music.

Friday Night

After work, If I’m catching up with friends after work, we head to either Old Town in Dixon Street for late-night yum cha or Do Dee Paidang near Market City for spicy Tom Yum noodles. 


I start work at 11am, so occasionally I have time to check out the local Glebe Market before I go to work. The markets are on every Saturday from 10am, and I love going there early in the morning when it’s less crowded. I love to go thrifting and the market is an ideal place for me to find unique second-hand and vintage items/outfits. 

There is so much to see in Glebe and I am continuously discovering and
experiencing the wonderful and unexpected. If I’m still in the mood for thrifting, I
often visit The Red Cross op shop at Broadway. I’ve bought a few really good
pieces for under $15 – which makes me feel like a treasure hunter. 

I’m really into indoor plants, so I love checking out Uncle Paul’s secret hobby plant shop (located at 24 Glebe Point Road) next to my restaurant. My collection is ever growing, most recently I added a Pot of Prayer Plant and Chinese Money Plant from them – they have the most interesting collection of succulents too.


I work long hours to keep myself mentally fit, I love spending quiet time in nature to recharge and ground. I must say that I am lucky to live and work in areas where beautiful parks and waterside areas are just within walking distance.

I’m also really into photography, so I love taking photos of the flowers in this park – I continuously find inspiration in how they change every season. On a Sunday afternoon, you will most likely find me with my very active pup, Pupu.

We take long walks along the water – in Bicentennial Park, Jubilee Park, and
Federal park. These parks make for great picnic spots too! With the Tramsheds
around the corner, it makes for the perfect opportunity to picnic with friends.
We’re creatures of habit and partial to an Australian orange wine, building a little
cheese selection, or my personal favourite, the classic fried ayam (chicken) from
Belle’s Hot Chicken with extra really hot sauce and Belle’s pickles.


Natasya’s Sambal Dabu-Dabu Recipe

Indonesia is famous for its many varieties of “sambal” – or spicy chilli condiment.
Different islands in Indonesia have different types of sambals and they all differ
vastly in taste and textures. Hailing from Manado, the capital city of North Sulawesi (Celebes Island), this particular sambal is notoriously spicy and is usually paired with grilled fish, but also pairs well with fried items. 


Green tomato, diced 120g  
Red tomato, diced 120g 
Eschalot, sliced 40g 
Chilli, long red variety, sliced 20g  
Chilli, bird-eye, sliced 3 pieces or to taste 
(more if you want the ‘original Indonesian spicy’) 
Lime 1 each 
Salt 1 tsp 
Sugar 2 tsp 
Lemon basil 2 tbsp 

Natasya’s Note: 
If you cannot find green tomatoes, you absolutely may substitute with regular
red tomatoes and Lemon Basil can generally be found in Asian grocers, however if it is not available use Thai basil instead. 


  1. Cut tomatoes, chilli, and eschalot according to the instructions above. Combine everything into a mixing bowl. 
  2. Cut lime in half and squeeze the juice into the tomato, eschalot, and chilli mixture. Add salt and sugar and combine everything. 
  3. Chop Thai basil finely and add to the mixture. Combine everything and adjust the taste.

Want more? Read our My Weekend interview with Niccii Kugler, founder of Nash + Banks.