Going on my 12th consecutive day here in Ubud and my taste buds, not to mention, my visual senses, have not yet been satiated. As the cultural heart of Bali, it will come as no surprise that eating in Ubud can be as delightful as watching a legong performance. Though some restaurants, appropriating the term warung, are more atmosphere than food, Ubud is still generally a good place to eat. After all, if you’re unhappy with whatever you’re having at the moment, good food is just a skip away.
Coffee and more coffee
I love a strong brew and Balinese coffee is the best with its rich and earthy taste. It’s so dense that as you near the final sips from your cup, you can taste the fine granules. It’s best with a stick of cinnamon and palm sugar. The best Bali coffee was at China Moon at the of corner of Jl Hanoman and Jl Monkey Forest. They serve it in a French press and you stir your cup with a cinnamon stick as you chill-out on the comfy outdoor lounge.
Beyond Bali, Anomali Coffee along Jl Raya Ubud has heaps of single origin coffees from the plantations all over Indonesia. I tried a French pressed Torajan coffee. Soooo goooddd! Paired it with a yummy chocolate tart and spent the afternoon at a table at the back working on my notations for my tingklik lessons. The staff was very friendly too.
I’ve made many a stop over at Cofee $. Had an iced ginger tea and a cup of Americano. Nice balcony seating accessed by the steepest stone steps ever! Very very good Wifi too for updating your status at FB.
Who would have thought Ubud would have some of the best pastries?
Top on my list and the BEST ever for consistent deliciousness and quality is Caramel at Jl Hanoman. They’ve been open for less than a month and I hope they remain open forever! The French macaroons are absolutely to die for especially the red velvet and salted caramel.
The young chef-owners (who happen to be a couple) are from Jakarta and are uber friendly. Chat with them as you bite into a lovely cheesecake or cupcake made from cassava. Sometimes, I drop by the store to buy a couple of macaroons to eat while walking.
A big disappointment was Localista. The driest cupcakes ever. Tastes like grocery cupcakes you give out during wakes. It would have been a nice spot to relax after gazing Rio Helmi’s wonderful photographs at his gallery next door.
Another disappointment was the Super Lemon Cupcake at Three Monkeys. the large cupcake had been sliced in two and a layer of whip cream and strawberries placed in between. Dry cuocake (maybe Localista supplies them). Uninspiring dessert amidst inspiring rice field views. Tragic.
I love dining at Cafe Wayan but the only time I tried one of their cakes, Mocha Nut cake, I hated it. The sponge cake tasted like cardboard. Stick to the meals. Can’t go wrong.
Café Luna’s Lemon pie was spot on with its perfect balance of sugar sweetness and lemon citrus.
Friendly to your health are the offerings at Kue. I tried the Raw Chocolate Caramel bar (really heavenly, especially the caramel) and the Red Beet cake with Raspberry (berrylicious). The bakeshop bandies its whole and natural food approach in its products. The breads look delicious too.
Gelatto is everywhere and Gelatto Secrets with its many stalls rule them all. I had the cinnamon which was yummy though the texture was too dense. The Caramel owners said that Gaya Gelatto was so much better. Along Jl Hanoman was a gelatto stall outside a small store selling beauty products. Had the Black Rice twice. Smoorh gelatto with chewy bits of black rice.