It is no surprise that the ever-rising trend of eating clean has graced many cities in Asia, and the tourist-centric island of Bali is no exception. Ubud, the cultural heart of the Indonesian state, has stepped up their food options for health-conscious individuals through locally grown, chemical-free bites in a variety of food outlets.
Bali Buda could possibly be the first organic café on the island, having been established since 1994 from a simple desire to provide real food by real people. Everything is handmade or handpicked daily, so you only get the freshest and most scrumptious servings of bread, salads, fruit and more. There are dishes for vegetarians and vegans alike, as well as gluten-free, wheat-free, and raw options, while grabbing a snack on the go at their healthy food store alongside. If you are lactose intolerant, you will rejoice to know that there are non-dairy milk options.
2011 was a year when the healthy lifestyle slowly snaked its influence into this side of the world, and Ubud’s pioneer raw vegan café, Alchemy, did not miss out. Besides the main offering of fresh, colourful salad bowls, equally colourful are their slow pressed cold juices, smoothies, and desserts.
Fresh at Taksu Spa & Restaurant was launched in September 2015, and is helmed by chef Arif Springs. His approach to preparing food is grounded in the eight directions of Hindu dharma, which is about balance. This is reflected in the menu, which is inspired by the Indonesian cooking of the chef’s grandmother but celebrates the international diversity of cuisine available in Bali. The raw organic vegetables used in the dishes are from the aquaponics garden, and truly reflects the restaurant’s name.
Exploring Further From Ubud
Since opening 2013, The Elephant in Sanggingan has established an enthusiastic following for their earth-friendly food. These are vegetarian renditions of classic dishes such as laksa, Vietnamese rice rolls, pad Thai, and handmade potato gnocchi. They pride themselves on their phenomenal sweet potato fritters and chips. Insider tip: their sweet potato fritters has a side salad of fresh mango, papaya and red salad tossed in balsamic vinaigrette that should be given its own spot on the menu!
Moksa is the newest youngling in the scene. Led by chef Made Runatha, who was previously at fivelements, Moksa serves just the most amazing organic plant-based food, together with healthy elixirs and teas. Their plants are handpicked from their on-site permaculture garden, and transformed into their delectable offerings. Undecided what to begin with? Try a little bit of everything with their sampler plate.
Dapoer, meaning kitchen in Indonesian, at sustainable boutique hotel Bambu Indah serves homemade, organic Indonesian food that incorporates at least 75 per cent Indonesia-produced ingredients. Included in this are the rice, vegetables and herbs that are grown organically throughout their property.
The menu of Sakti Dining Room™ at Fivelements wellness resort is alive with living foods that are plant-based, raw, vegan, and organic. The dishes are rotated based on the ingredients that are in seasonal. Ingredients are sourced from organic and sustainable producers on the island. The dishes are as fresh as they are colourful.
Further down south of Ubud, there are many more organic eateries popping up in Seminyak. Besides locally grown organic vegetables and fruit, there is also an increasing demand for free range, organic poultry and meat, as well as options for including non-dairy and superfoods in dishes. So for the traveller who has food restrictions, eating clean in Bali is breeze with these increasing numbers of food outlets.