So anyways, Ubud is one of those towns where decisions need to be made when it comes to food. Cheap or exxie, modern or traditional, hang out or hang in. Up every street and every laneway is somewhere to stop for a cold beer, a coconut, a plate of something, or just respite from the sun.
Here are our faves…
The best overall meal of the trip to Ubud, with too many memorable moments to mention.
This place was recommended to us by the couple we met on our Gianyar Market tour. Located up a narrow street, we would probably not have found it if we didn’t do the wandering thing.
Owned by Will Meyrick, a Scottish expat responsible also for Mama San and Sarong in Seminyak, this is street food elevated to something else. He has a cookbook- and I want it!
What did we eat? Share plates, of course.
Szechuan salt & pepper crispy pigs eats with roasted chilli and garlic aioli
Dutch Indonesian salted cod kroket with chilli mayonnaise and chilli sambal
To follow was (again shared) Kashmiri style roasted snapper wrapped in banana leaf with curry leaves garam masala tomato, and
Sieitek aromatic duck curry with pandan cinnamon coconut milk fennel seeds and star anise. Sadly the light wasn’t good enough for me to get a decent pic.
Dessert- yes, I shared some…and those who know me well know just how rare this is- was a passionfruit curd tart with coconut ice cream and pineapple.
Expect to pay: 50-110k IDR for starters, and around 150k IDR for mains. As far as Bali goes, it’s not cheap, but it’s seriously wow. With 2 cocktails and wine, plus tax and service, our bill came to just under 1,000,000IDR i.e. just under $100AUD.
I need to make a disclosure here: Janet de Neefe- who owns this place and is responsible for the Ubud Writers Festival and the new Ubud Food Festival- is a bit of a food and cultural hero of mine. I cook lots from her brilliant book- Bali, My Island Home. Having said that, the food here is so good we came back twice for lunch. Hubby and I also had my book launch here- the two of us and cocktails.
Anyways, what we ate:
The nasi campor is the best I’ve ever eaten- and I’ve eaten many.
Hubby says the laksa ayam (chicken laksa) is one of the best he’s had…and he’s eaten many. It comes with a spicy sambal to add that Indonesian flavour.
We also tried the grilled chicken (me) with my favourite salad in the whole wide world- green beans and coconut,
and the chicken curry.
My tip? Leave room for the dairy free coconut “ice cream”. It has fine fine slices of jackfruit in it, and those lumpy bits are bean. Amazingly, eyes closing good.
The cost? Expect to pay 50-60k IDR for main meals, 30k for drinks and 25kIDR for the ice cream.
Warung Ibu Oka
The most touristy place is still probably the best spot to sample babi guling. But what’s all the fuss? Surely it’s just roast pork, some crackling and a bowl of rice…right? Yeah…nah. It’s so so so much more than that. The pork is succulent and spiced to taste of the island. As for the crackling…it’s up there with the best you’ll try. It’s up to you whether you also want the extra bits…the “special” bits…
The Warung is tucked away in Jalan Suweta, down a few side streets opposite the palace- follow the signs, and your nose. Expect to pay about 60k IDR
My trip advisor review went something like:
We visited Pica as stop 3 of a 4 stop Bali Food Safari- and it was our pick of the night. The ceviche classico was fresh, light, and full of complexity, and the causa del mar was almost too pretty to eat.
We followed with a sample of perfectly cooked skirt steak and corn. The hostess is friendly, flexible, and almost perfect at front of house.
Fabulous food. We tried to get in for lunch, but due to a large function, they were closed.
This one makes the list not just for it’s quirky exterior and up a laneway location, but because the cause is just so freaking good.
The profits go to the Bali Sari Foundation- offering a fair future, and health care to those who need it the most.
Havana is an institution- not just for the car parked out the front.
Across the road is Bolero– a great place to stop for a cold beer and something to eat. The fit-out is great, and the photographic art- mostly bare boobs in a vintage style- is just plain beautiful.
The thing is, this list is far from exhaustive- Ubud is full of great options…and I have a list of places I either want to try next time- yes, there’ll be a next time- or places I was too lazy to book ahead for this time.
I’d love to know- what’s your fave place for a bite or a drink in Ubud? It’s for my list, you see…
Oh, the fine print- at time of writing, $1 Aussie was equal to about 10,000 Indonesian rupiahs (IDR).