Thanks for all the great feedback on the first part of Traveling in the Raw: Bali! I hope, and plan to, grow an extensive list of posts in this series from all over the world, woohoo! (Any excuse to travel, ammiright?) Here are the rest of the amazing raw vegan restaurants I got to try out on my travels to Bali in April – May of 2012.
Raw Food Hot Spots (Ubud)
Bali Buddha has a great atmosphere and a very reputable reputation among raw foodies and health nuts in general. I must say, if you’re a purist raw foodie, Bali Buddha might disappoint you (as it did me) in terms of raw options and price for their very modest portions (hey! we may eat rabbit foods but that don’t mean we eat like rabbits!). There is about 2-3 raw entrees to choose from. Emma tried the ‘live food platter’ which was good but more jicama than crackers and spread.. The rest of the menu is pretty, eh, cooked and not vegetarian either, but most-all is organic and made from whole foods. Bali Buddha also has a cute shop downstairs which carries superfoods, fresh raw treats and some organic produce. Bali Buddha also does delivery of their meals.
Emma enjoying her lunch & smoothie at Bali Buddha!
Website/menu: Bali Buddha
Price range: moderate – expensive (35.000 IDR for the live food platter, 35.000 – 45.000 for a smoothie)
Location: Jalan Jembawan 1 (across from the Ubud Post Office, just off of Main Road)
Although I have not visited Sari Organik personally I did include it since it’s a very popular spot and business in Ubud, and I have had a big load of organic fruits and vegetables delivered right to my doorstep several times a week – for free! Sari Organik’s main feat is growing their own organic fruits and veggies (and rice) and their restaurant in in the middle of their farm – quite a nice eating experience I’d say! You have to go through the rice paddies to get to the restaurant and they serve up meals with ingredients picked straight from the farm, cool huh!
Sari Organik does not specialize in raw nor vegetarian or vegan foods but they do have some options and most – all food is organic and wholesome. The easiest way, I have found, to order organic produce is to call them – use their Maliah restaurant number (top right at the website) and explain you want to place an order in the Ubud area. Have your order and address ready, and cash for when they deliver. They will tell you what time they come by. The delivery options can be found here.
Website/menu: Sari Organik
Price range: restaurant: average, organic produce: really good prices
Location: About 1km off of Main Road, towards the hanging bridge (Maliah restaurant & farm)
Organic Farmers Market (Pasar Organik)
This was such an amazing find for me! Quite a walk (you might want to take out a bike for this one!) and very small but cozy and they carry some very cool items. Homemade honey kombucha or huge, dirt cheap, aloe vera leafs anyone? Expats and immigrants are very well represented here both for buying and selling. The market is hosted on Saturdays and Wednesdays from 9-14, just a few shops away from each other.
Caressing my lush organic spinach!
Price range: cheap – moderate prices
Location: Saturdays at the front of, oh yes, Pizza Bagus, Jalan Raya Pengosekan. Go allll the way up Monkey Forest Road (tip: by scooter this is a one way street – take Hanoman street instead), pass the Monkey Forest, and make a right (where the Yoga Barn is located) and continue for about 1 more km. Pizza bagus/the organic market is on your right hand. On Wednesdays, it’s a few shops down the same street, on your left hand.
Note: the Green School, Fivelements and Big tree Farms are all relatively close to each other, about a 20-30 minutes drive outside of Ubud by scooter!
If you call yourself a raw foodie, you simply must pay a visit to the Fivelements healing resort and living foods restaurant. This is really upscale, especially for Bali terms, but I found the prices to be very doable, especially after factoring in the excellent service and the great deal of care that obviously goes into the seating and plate decorations. So so so so so worth it. The food at Fivelements really stands out in terms of the gourmet factor and Fivelements probably has more options than all the other raw food cafes combined – sort of . This is the only restaurant we found that is almost exclusively raw and vegan – yay!
But there is more. The Fivelements resort is simply stunning and breath taking. Very green and very colorful, full of flowers. The whole center, mostly open fields with small creeks and tiny bridges, surrounded by one big natural river, is full of bigger and smaller bales, for yoga and meditation, luxurious rooms, massage areas and swimming pools with lounge beds. The greatest thing of all is that we were just allowed to enjoy all of this, even though we were not paying guests (the going rate is about $500 a night. Yikes!). After a pretty hefty cacao overdose earlier that day (see below…) I happily crashed on one of their beds behind the pool, overlooking the river, and dozed off, followed by a swim in the pool. Later on I had the entire, huge, Yoga bale all to myself for a good half an hour. Try and spot all the spiritual texts and slogans and sayings they have scattered all over the compound, you will love them!
The restaurant is simply amazing. Very chique (I felt kinda out of sorts – barefoot and in shorts and a tank, but they didn’t seem to mind at all from their very friendly demeanor). The menu is a bit overwhelming and later I heard they even have more than one menu- ask for it! This place really has some cool raw food dishes to offer, like calzone, canneloni, tiramisu, lasagna, raw vegan cheeses, etc. I arrived a bit late to take photos of the other plates (shame on me for wasting time in the pool/yoga bale!) but I was just in tiem to get a glimpse of the ‘jumbo platter’ and decided I had to have it. No regrets whatsoever! What a treat this was on my very last night on Bali!
The good life
My favorite photo. Like, ever. Watch closely to see the surprise! :
Website/menu: Fivelements cuisine
Price range: expensive (but not overly so)
Location: Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa. Banjar Baturning, Mambal, Bali, Indonesia 80352 . I was sitting enjoying the sun and wind on the back of a motor bike so I have absolutely no idea how to get there. Good luck!
Green School – Living Food Lab
The green school is another one of those must-see’s, if you’re into sustainable anything, and like seeing innovative projects up close & personal. If that doesn’t mean jack shit to you, then I have another really good argument: the school’s very own raw and living foods cafeteria(!!!!). How epic is that? I wish my high school would’ve had something like that instead of all the processed sugar, refined wheat and baked salty shit. My whole child hood would have looked so different and I would have felt so much better about myself, and life in general!
The living food lab has only recently opened but I gotta hand it to them; they did an amazing job catering to a flock of 6 ragingly excited (and starving, apparently?) raw food enthusiasts who came and emptied shop. The owners were more than happy to oblige in small talk and answering 141798471 questions while preparing our food. The menu isn’t huge but there is plenty and moreover – all looks exciting (who wants to eat a boring could soup anyway when you can have mango wraps or croquettes?!). Everything is raw and vegan too, swoon. The mango wraps (with garlic tahin dressing <3), raw croquettes and chocolate/cinnamon fudge-thing-a-magingy (?) were all to die for and the raw mezze plate also looked devine. We all went back for seconds… and some for thirds in case of the desserts . The cafe is open from Monday through Friday from 8:30 – 16:30 but I understand visiting hours are only around lunchtime.
When you are done gorging on the delicious foods make sure to get a tour of the Green School (Mon-Tues-Fri. Call in advance!) and say hi to my hooping friend Angela when you bump into her . The school is an amazing project and now hosts around 300 kids from all ages. The curriculum is very unique, the school is built entirely out of bamboo, and runs for 75% on solar energy. I saw extracurricular activities include hoop jams, gypsy markets and lectures on the importance of raw foods! Such a great atmosphere.
I better start making some serious money (0r marry into money, always an option…) if I want to see my kids attend this school though (which I do!).
These were the bomb.com! Raw vegan croquettes – NO dehydrator <3
Oh yeah and some photos of the rest of the Green School, lol:
Horsing around. I swear I can do this one! Bad photographer :p
Big Tree Farms : The Bamboo Chocolate Factory
If you are a fan of raw chocolate, and let’s be realistic here, who isn’t?, you better pay a visit to Big Tree Farms! You may have heard of them or bought their boxes of nuts & cacao nib mix before. Well, this is where the magic happens! You can make an appointment with them via phone or email and you’ll get a tour of the factory. Granted, the tour isn’t that spectaculair, but being left alone in a room with all their products and getting a pass to ‘sample’ made up for that. And seeing kilo’s and kilo’s of raw cacao beans and liters and liters or raw cacao paste was also quite exciting for some reason .
During the tour I decided to get my bold on and asked if I could talk to someone about importing their products to Holland, without a middle man. I explained about my website and some plans I had and lo and behold: they agreed! They sell cacao powder in 10 kilo bags and cacao butter in 25 kilo quantities and it’s so cheap! I also want to import their vanilla pods and truly raw cashew nuts (most cashews aren’t raw but here we could see, these cashews are handpicked!). Yep, truly a memorable day all in all .
Website: Big Tree Farms
& that’s a wrap kids!
Tell me: what’s your fav raw food hot spot you’ve discovered while traveling??