Ubud has embraced raw with a vengeance and every week sees a new Raw restaurant opening up. Sage, Moksa, was last week, this week who knows. Yet long before the raw revolution arrived to change Ubud’s restaurant face forever, there were places producing great cooked food, the classics, the ones we love. New places come and go, popping up with astonishing regularity. Some disappear soon after, others become instantly popular and firm fixtures on the food trail. Here we visit some of the golden non-raw options.
Some restaurants have been around forever, like Kafe on JL Hanoman. Kafe is where Ubud’s whole yoga revolution started. The warm atmosphere attracts yoga bunnies, new agers and the kind of seekers who come to Ubud to find god – or themselves. It is fun for non yogis too, as this breezy Berkley style eatery offers healthy food, great drinks and quirky conversation.
Their rose cardamon lassi is beyond fabulous and if you want to splurge, try the very berry smoothie – it’s rewarding. Their salads are popular, try the delicious beetroot walnut and feta salad with a truly scintillating dressing. Daily specials are written up on the board and their cakes and sweets are always worth a try, not to mention their great coffee.
Jalan Hanoman 44, Ubud
+62 811 3249 747
Further down JL Hanoman is the ever-popular Ryoshi, which serves up Japanese cuisine with style. Here in a modern Japanese style setting, you can enjoy all your favourite Japanese dishes. An excellent prawn tempura is always good, as is the ramen and soba noodles, sashimi, sushi, and tofu agodashi as well as more exotic dishes like the glutinous and sticky soya bean natto! Not everyone’s favourite but it is always good to see it there on the menu!
The menu does run beyond tourist favourites, but some of us are perfectly happy with an ocean fresh sashimi maguro and a plate of perfectly cooked prawn, or if you are lucky, Lobster tempura. Add in a bottle or two of warm sake, some edamame, freshly cooked and sprinkled with sea salt, some miso soup, and maybe some nori rolls – and there you have it! Heaven on a plate. Vegetarians are also catered to.
Jalan Hanoman 69, Ubud
+62 361 972 192
Down the road in Pengosekan, Taco Casa, the Tex Mex eatery is full every day of the week, and on busy nights there may be a queue. Tacos, Nachos, Quesadilla,, Burritos and great Margaritas keep the crowds coming. Their salsa and chips and the mint lime ginger juice are also perennial favourites. The best time to visit and really relax is late afternoon, before the night crowd kicks in. Or try a little earlier for a late, margarita fueled lunch.
Jalan Raya Pengosekan, Ubud
+62 812 2422 2357
Further down the same road is Pizza Bagus, Ubud’s first Italian restaurant. Air-conditioned unless you sit outside, it always makes a pleasant break from the steamy heat. The food is reliably good. Pastas are cooked fresh, the sauces are great – try the tangy Arrabiata, and you can choose from spaghetti, rigatoni or several others. The pizzas are their mainstay and are always good. Lots of other dishes are available including a couple of Indonesian specialities. If you like spicy, try their Ayam Sambal Mata, it is memorable. Pizza Bagus is not fine dining but simply relaxed good eating. If you need a pizza to eat at home, call them. Their delivery service is well set up.
Jalan Raya Pengosekan, Ubud
+62 361 978 520
Across the other side of town, located in Sanggingan, across from Bintang Supermarket, The Elephant is a vegetarian restaurant with a heavy reliance on flavours – Italian flavor, Australian health food flavours with some Mediterranean flavours thrown in. They follow ethical food and are connected with the Slow Food Movement. In other words, they care about the food they serve you. If you are vegan or gluten free, they can adjust accordingly in a most accommodating way.
Their sweet potato chips served with creamy Aioli are just great, and their Antipasti plate is doubtless the best in town. Main dishes cover a gamut of Southeast Asian tastes from Laksa and Thai curries to other exotic fare. Their salads are legendary. Try the Tiger Salad, a visual treat as well as a healthy meal.
Hotel Taman Indrakila, Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud
+62 8510016 1907