Saturday, September 23, 2017

Nusa Lembongan

September 7-10, 2017


After our first night in Seminyak, we quickly escaped to somewhere a bit less intense, Nusa Lembongan. It's a little island about 50km east of the main island of Bali and has a much more relaxing vibe. We stayed at Sunset Garden, a lovely little hotel with gorgeous villa-style accommodation, a terrific pool and a cute little restaurant. We didn't have much luck with vegetarian food there for lunch and dinner, but we hit them up each morning for breakfast - fresh fruit, juice or coffee and a decent selection of mains to choose from. Cindy couldn't resist the pancakes (with pineapple or banana), while I went for tomato, cheese and egg jaffles most mornings. It was a good start to the day.



There weren't heaps of vego options in our neighbourhood - most places offered up a couple of meaty Indonesian dishes alongside heaps of weird western food - burgers, pizzas and the like. We were in Indonesia to eat tempeh, so our eyes lit up when we saw that the restaurant at Mushroom Garden Villas had both a tempeh curry (IDR40k - $3.75) and gado gado (IDR35k - $3.30) on the menu. We stopped in for lunch on our way to the beach and had a very satisfactory meal.



We were even happier when we wandered past Oishii Bar & Grill, just around the corner from our hotel, and saw the word 'vegetarian' painted on their sign outside. They're a primarily Japanese place, but like most restaurants on Lembongan do a bit of everything (more pizza and burgers, plus some Indonesian food).


We had a couple of meals there, featuring some excellent crispy tempeh sushi rolls, avocado rolls, tempura veggies and a decent tempeh and vegetable curry (meals were between IDR50k-80k, so about $4-$8). Like everywhere we went, they sold beautiful fresh fruit juices (and pretty decent cocktails).



While we were there we got a good tip from Amy that the best vego food on Lembongan was at Pisang-Pisang. It was right across the other side of the island from where we were staying, but we sorted out a taxi over to that side of town for some beachside cocktails and a wander down for dinner. It was well worth the trip - Pisang-Pisang has heaps of vegan options, easily the most we found on the island. Cindy had some delightful salt and pepper tofu (IDR42k - $4) while I had an amazing tempeh masala curry with fresh pineapple and roti bread (IDR60k - $5.60). The only challenge was finding a night-time ride back to our accommodation!


We had an incredibly relaxing time on Lembongan - it's a beautiful and calm place to hang out. The vegetarian food doesn't hit the heights of the more heavily touristed parts of Bali (see Cindy's forthcoming Ubud post for some real highlights), but we ate well and cheaply. You wouldn't go to Lembongan for the food, but there's enough to sustain all that pool-side lounging.


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