Forget Eat, Pray, Love. For me Ubud is Eat, Eat, Eat! Although that seems to be the case now for every where I travel, Ubud is different. What strikes me most about this small town in the centre of the Indonesian island of Bali is the variety of food and drink on offer.
You can pick up just about anything in Ubud; sushi, pizza, local street food, BBQ’d duck, organic salads – the lot. Ubud centres around food and I guess that’s why I find myself back here for the second time in two weeks.
There’s a special vibe in Ubud that I’ve seldom found elsewhere, known as a place full of “yogi’s” – free-spirit-vegan-yoga junkies – Ubud’s food scene focuses on health and vitality with heaps of raw vegan restaurants dotted around. I love the fact I can pick up a reasonably priced salad from just about anywhere and know it will be super fresh and packed full of goodness.
Many of these restaurants serve incredibly delicious guilt-free raw desserts which of course, I am to sample. Daily. When I want to be naughty and have ice cream or make the most of my last few days in Indonesia with some rich local food, I can. There’s no limit here to the type of food I can have. This my friends is heaven.
Now, before I share with you some of my favourite eats from my time here. I want to show you a couple of photos from my time exploring the rest of the island. My old school friend Lauren came out to meet me on this leg of my trip and we spent the first few nights staying at Tude’s Family Homestay which despite the array of noises namely chickens, dogs, building work, chanting, religious drumming and the like, we had a comfortable stay with Tude in his magnificent temple.
I was lucky enough to catch up with my Canadian friend Mel whom I met in Bangkok, Malaysia and Singapore last year. I love reuniting with fellow travellers, especially when it involves a posh lunch and pedicures!
After a day to settle in, I persuaded Lauren to join me on a sunrise trek up volcano Mount Batur which began at a chilly 2am. I’m fascinated by volcano’s and have always wanted to climb one but missed out when I fell ill in Asia last year.
I’m not going to lie, it was tough for an “easy” walk but I managed to reach the top by joining two newly weds after my trekking guide stayed back with the others. Despite being a few minutes late for sunrise it was a beautiful view and well worth ruining my newly pedicured feet for.
After our climb Lauren and I took a much needed nap and then went for a huge feed followed by a full body massage by two young Indonesian men who giggled to each other throughout the entire thing. It was good but I will refrain from requesting it “super strong” ever again in my life. Ouch.
The next morning we rented scooters, as in Asia this is by far the best way to explore. It’s safe to say that Lauren’s driving skills lie in four wheels rather than two after she had a wee slightly amusing incident on the first bend. Me being the fantastic sympathetic friend that I am, dismissed her swollen wrist and told her to man up and that everything would be just fine.
Maybe station life has toughened me up a little too much as I’ve since learned that upon returning to England she now has her arm in a plaster cast for the next six weeks. Big apologies my friend!
Trooping on, Lauren jumped on the back of my scooter as we explored Bali’s stunning rice paddies and Hindu temples. On the road we met two girls also on scooters and followed them to a look out point over Mount Batur, Mount Agung and the volcanic lakes that surround it. It was a great way to end our time in Bali.
I’m not sure where this brash touristy view of Bali has come from. There’s far more than the drunk littered streets of Kuta. The more time I spend in Bali the more I consider moving here. This is becoming a big problem of mine. The more I travel, the more I see which results in new places being added to my growing list of places to settle. Meh.
Anyways, all that can wait, at least until my Prince Charming comes to save me from my indecisions. It’s time to get back to the food! Here are some of my favourite food finds in Ubud, Bali. I was lucky enough to have my new travel buddy Joanna from France to accompany me on my feeding frenzy. Occupying the hostel bed next to me, it turns out we are on exactly the same flight to Japan on Monday – amazing!
A taster of the fabulous food in Ubud:
Clear Cafe – it was here I first came across Kombucha thanks to my friend Alex who left some of hers (so I pinched a sip when she left the table!). Somewhat similar to the taste of cider or champagne, it was so delicious.
Kombucha is a fermented tea providing a metabolic kick start (needed!), boosts the immense system, balances PH and beautifies the body (miracles can happen!). I also enjoyed raw granola with cashew milk and seafood Nasi Campur, one of the most popular local dishes consisting of a number of items.
Seeds of Life – Colourful raw food packed with goodness. I had a salad topped with Indian spiced seeds and nuts, avocado, spirulina and a cashew balsamic dressing. We also enjoyed a totals raw carrot cake and chocolate tart here too.
Warung Sopa – serving both healthy western and local Indoensian food in a quiet relaxed setting. I enjoyed an evening alone here eating my favourite Indonesian dish, Gado Gado which is a selection of steamed veggies with peanut sauce. I also had a homemade ginger and Tumeric juice too – health kick wham!
Food Fusion – specialising in fish, the extensive menu is well presented with tables over looking the beautiful rice terraces. I had a fantastic fillet of Mahi Mahi seasoned with curry spices and served with an array of veggies in a rich creamy sauce. Sublime.
Dayu’s Warung – another great find that I returned to time and time again. I particularly love their mango, pineapple, avocado & red rice salad with a ginger cashew dressing and their apple, cinnamon & peanut butter chocolate cake. A great spot to hang out with decent wifi.
This post could go on forever! Before I go, I just want to mention Hostel Balibbu which I found on Booking.com for a mere 30,000IDR a night – £1.50 for all you lot back home! With that price I had low expectations but wanted to get myself used to sharing a room with others as I plan to couch-surf through Japan.
Never judge a book by it’s cover or in this case, it’s price! Hostel Balibbu is a fantastic little hostel with a refreshing pool, chilled atmosphere and a very friendly owner, Wayan. Thanks Balibbu for making my stay so awesome!
So that’s it. My last post from South East Asia which I’m just as sad about as my departure almost a year ago. Warm climate, crazy culture and weird, wonderful food. I can’t see me staying away for long. Give me a few months and I’ll be back!
Living life, loving Bali,
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