My wife and I went to Bali to spend our Christmas and New Year holiday in the hot weather by the beach. After some research, I was pleased to find that Bali squeezed one of its restaurants, Locavore, into Asia’s 50 Best at #49.
Locavore is in Ubud, a part of Bali that is actually located away from the beach at a much higher altitude enveloped in lush jungle and picturesque mountains. The restaurant takes advantage of its surrounding by featuring all sorts of ingredients this island has to offer, thus the “local” part in its name. To be honest, there are so many different components used in each dish, including Indonesian ingredients I have never heard of, that there is no way I can remember them all. Still, I have included a slideshow of every dish and cocktail included in the course. Hopefully the beautiful pictures below speak for themselves, much louder than my lackluster descriptions.
There are 2 menus- locavore (featuring meats and other proteins) and herbivore (vegetarian). You can choose between 5 or 7 courses, and a cocktail pairing is offered, as well. We chose the full locavore course with pairing, and for about $125 a head, were treated to five appetizers, six main courses, one dessert, several more petit fours, and six sampler-size cocktails to accompany each main course. For Bali, it’s expensive. Were it located in any other major city, however, it would be a real bargain.
Locavore is set in the dead-center of Ubud amongst the heavy foot-traffic of backpackers, hippies, and drunk Australians. Thus, while the dining is fine and expertly crafted, one can expect a fairly boisterous environment and a lackadaisical dress code (“no beer logo tank-tops”).
If you’re in the area, it’s a must-visit.
Let’s eat Locavore!
A radish topped with chili pepper.
Local spinach fried.
A seaweed pillow that pops in your mouth with a turmeric essence.
Can’t remember what this is, but it had egg in it and it was good.
Corn on a pumpkin seed puree.
Tomato sorbet with a hot broth, the sorbet is actually spicy.
The last amuse bouche was a cauliflower puree.
Bread is a roti made from sweet potato and coconut, served with a peanut oil, a sweet peanut mix, and a kind of salsa sambal.
“The Crab” – Crab with creme cantaloupe melon, dark sour dough (the black colored powder), cured kampung egg yolk (the yellow powder), jasmine flowers
“The Squid” – squid cooked in homemade brem (a Balinese rice wine), lobak, cold pressed peanut oil, shallots, green peas, kemangi, chilies
“Steak Tartar” – raw beef, tong cai, liquid pickled genjer, mushroom, fermented garlic, purslane- one of my favorite dishes of the night.
“Into the Sawah” – Hi-grade rice, snails & garlic, 64 degree duck egg (yolk), catfish abon, fern tips, wild flowers- another highlight of the meal. Very rich with the egg yolk.
“Crayfish” – Simply blanched & smoked, pineapple, kerang darah, kangkung, batak sauce
“Lamb” served two ways as detailed below.
Lamb shoulder curried.
Lamb with nasi bakar (rice wrapped in a banana leaf).
Pre-dessert was a foam covering a delicious fruit salad.
“Bubur Sum Sum” Coconut & rice flour porridge, gula bali, lemongrass, mango, pandan leaves.
The parade of petit fours.
A passionfruit meringue served in the duck egg shell.
A local Balinese fruit served with tea, similar to a lychee.
Pickled bangkuang, mint leaves, dry sake, angostura bitter, St. Remy brandy, homemade jasmine soda
Kemangi, cucumber, Jose Cuervo Silver, Tanqueray gin, chili-infused sea salt
Fermented cabbage juice, Pimm’s No. 1, Campari, Plantation Rum, araomatic mushroom liquid.
Cemcem leaves, young coconut, lemo bali, lemongrass, tamarind syrup, light rum
Turmeric, wild honey, kecombrang, tanqueray gin, spice rum
Bullet Bourbon, red port, pineapple, bell pepper, grated long pepper
Pina colada a la Joni
Juice to finish.