There's plenty more to enjoy in Ubud beyond Janet de Neefe's empire. We walked through rice fields with Su, learning about the birds, butterflies, insects and plants of the area. After a bit of research, we agreed to visit the monkeys in the adjacent forest just as they were eating breakfast. We took the Campuhan Ridge walk, and at its end we lazed at Jungle Fish. And, of course, we ate. Here are some other memorable meals from our time in Ubud.
We met a friend for dinner at Hujan Locale, and eagerly took in her recommendations from her many months living in the city. It's smart and casual and candlelit, with a focus on local produce and a clearly labelled page of vegetarian dishes. We all reveled in the Krupuk plate (IDR70k ~ AU$6.60), a gorgeous sampler of chips (potato, melinjo, sweet potato, cassava, tempeh) and dips (saos kacang/peanut sauce, sambal avocado, terong bakar/roast eggplant, sambal bajak/chilli, sambal matah/shallot & lemongrass). After going separate ways for our mains, we reunited over an oily, crispy open style martabak served with a scoop of Balinese pod white chocolate smothered in salted palm sugar caramel (IDR80k ~ AU$7.60).
After chilli for days, we were after a mellower meal, and Sage delivered. The mung bean-based kitchari burger was a surprise hit, one of the best mock-beef-style burgers we've ever eaten (IDR70k ~ $6.60). I still couldn't stay away from tempeh, ordering them Buffalo wing-style (IDR40k ~ AU$3.80), and we found enough room left over for their specialty layered coconut cake and its cloud-like icing.
We actually booked our entire holiday around an advance reservation at Locavore. We chose their 7-course vegetarian menu (IDR750k ~ AU$71) and were treated to so much more! The official meal was bookended by a half-dozen delicate savoury snacks, and as many petit fours. It was a stunning parade of clever techniques applied to fresh Indonesian produce, served in beautiful custom-made ceramics by smiling staff. The myriad courses were satisfying but not heavy, a refreshing experience all round! This ranks among our all-time favourites in fine dining.
We visited Clear Cafe when Michael needed another walk on the mild side. Their Indian lentil soup (IDR35k ~ AU$3.30) was exactly what his delicate digestive system needed, and I got in another served of tempeh - this time in the form of a TLT wrap (IDR55k ~ AU$5.20) lined with an unexpectedly nifty black bean humus.
My biggest regret is not heading into Tukies earlier. It's a charming little spot for a cooling dessert. I was absolutely bowled over by their simple scoop of vegan-friendly coconut icecream, which was garnished with fresh coconut, dried coconut, toasted coconut and candied coconut. If only there'd been more time to try their other fruity blended and shaved-ice drinks & desserts! Even in their absence, we had an undeniably sweet time in Ubud.