Ubud, Bali, is known for its charming beauty and relaxed atmosphere and it is now fast becoming a culinary hub for foodies and hungry travelers. This week we pick five great restaurants in and around the town for all budgets and occasions.
With a hip, relaxed vibe, Clear Cafe is a local favorite among Bali expats and can turn into a bit of a scene on weekends. Serving organic, fresh and tasty dishes, it has a wide selection of raw foods and deserts. A comfortable place to hang out with a casual chic decor, including stone and wooden slab tables and comfy upholstered chairs. The price point ranges from Rp 35,000-Rp 55,000 ($3.00-$5.00) for mains. Clear favorites are the tonics, elixirs and juices. Dishes not to miss are the Sunshine Tuna (Rp 55,000) and Dragon Bowl with either grilled tuna or tofu (Rp 45,000-55,000). For dessert the raw chocolate pie never disappoints. (Rp 30,000).
Clear Cafe: Jl Hanoman No. 8, Padang Tegel Kaje; http://www.clear-cafe-ubud.com/
This luxurious five-star hotel and restaurant is not on the typical radar for Ubud. It’s still highly regarded and located just on the fringe of the center. The restaurant has open Balinese pavilions with a sweeping view of the lush tropical valley and a contemporary relaxed atmosphere. The staff are friendly and attentive without hovering around your table. The food is French with an Asian flair. A separate vegetarian menu is available with prices ranging from Rp 120,000-Rp 180,000 for mains. The non-vegetarian main menu ranges from Rp 150,000-Rp 450,000. Pan-seared John Dory with olive oil potato puree and avocado lemon salsa tastes like a delicate dish that’s a “real meal” instead of simply something artful to look at. Quiche Lorraine is light and delicious. Overall CasCades is a great pick for a special occasion or a date night.
CasCades — The Viceroy Hotel: Jl Lanyahan Br. Nagi; http://www.cascadesbali.com/
Located just over the Campuhan Bridge, 800 meters from the Ubud Palace, Bridges has one of the largest selections of wines around town. In two weeks they launch an online wine shop where customers can have bottles delivered at home. On Fridays Bridges hosts a “Divine Friday” wine tasting for Rp 185,000. The menu has a large selection of vegetarian options for both lunch and dinner. Some inspiring dishes are the seared eggplant dumpling with ginger infused pumpkin puree and the open mushroom ravioli. The Thai-inspired barramundi is moist and light enough to leave room for dessert. Lunch and dinner mains range from Rp 110,000-Rp 240,000. The atmosphere is elegant, with a sweeping view of the river below. The cuisine and wine are reliable and satisfying as well as the service.
Bridges Bali: Jl Campuhan (near Museum Antonio Blanco); http://www.bridgesbali.com/
Melting Wok Warung
With only seven tables it’s not a surprise this simply scrumptious Asian Fusion warung is packed every night of the week. The set menu appears on a chalk board and two special mains and desserts are offered every day. You can choose meat, chicken, tofu, marlin or tempeh to go with flat noodles or rice and curry with coconut milk. Whatever you choose you can’t go wrong. The spicy side salad will blow your socks off. As for desert the chocolate crepe with vanilla ice-cream tastes as good as it looks. The restaurant boasts some savvy staff and Geraldine, the owner, is usually there to shake hands and welcome customers and everything is well done. Make sure to book a table in advance for dinner. Lunchtime is an easier time to walk in for a table.
Melting Wok Warung: 13 Jl Gootama(at Jl Dewi Sita); http://warungmeltingwok.hautetfort.com/
Sari Organik: Restaurant Bodag Maliah, Jl Raya Ubud; http://www.sari-organik.com/