Cafe des Artistes was once the lone restaurant on Jln.Bisma, Ubud. 15 years later and there are now many but it still stands out from the crowd! Professional management, excellent long term staff, an interesting menu and a relaxed garden setting have all contributed to its longevity. The Belgian influence remains [Pate des Ardennes, Carbonades à la Flamande, etc.] together with a nicely balanced menu of local, Asian and European dishes, all at affordable prices. Every month they also offer a 3 course special menu, each of which can be ordered separately. This month it begins with a traditional French Onion Soup, thick and rich as it should be, topped with crouton aux gratin. The main is Lamb Chops [pictured], imported from Australia, just seared, with garlic, rosemary and butter sauce. It is served with grilled zucchini and eggplant, together with a baked potato. Dessert is a Nutella Cream Cheese Mousse with crumble and whipped cream. A place to dine and relax!
Aya Street is a Peruvian restaurant on Jln. Petitenget, Kerobokan. Ceviche is almost the national dish of Peru, although it is commonly served at all coastal areas of South America. Its origins are from the fishing fleets of years gone by that would be at sea for many days on end. The food of the fishermen was to eat some of the fresh fish that they had just caught, gutting it and cutting it up into chunks whilst fresh, marinating it in squeezed lemon juice then adding pepper, salt, onions and peppers. It was easy to eat whilst they were fishing. Naturally at Aya Street Ceviche is their signature dish. Pulpo, Spanish for octopus, is so difficult to prepare and cook but here they manage to do it properly. There are also many other seafood dishes but one meat dish that is very popular is their Lomo, another Peruvian specialty, marinated beef strips with tomato and onions.
Chop Steakhouse is a local operation. They are the latest of the many new steakhouses in Bali, but with something quite different. Situated on Jln. Raya Kuta, in the middle of ‘Little China’ they offer ‘Meltique’ steak prepared with the Japanese method of injecting the meat with fats to increase the tenderness and taste. The steaks [Wagyu rib-eye, sirloin and tenderloin] are served, cross-sliced, on boards. They also offer steaks done, Korean BBQ style.
Luca’s Pizza is the latest new arrival on Jln Hayam Wuruk, Renon, very close to the Popular Supermarket, with a large parking area in front. Luca’s is a small local pizza chain that started with one outlet at Made’s Warung in Seminyak. This is their 4th outlet, the others are at Canggu and Berawa. The pizzas are more or less original except that the Hawaiian is only with pineapple and no ham and the Marinara is devoid of seafood. They offer a few of their own specials; Joglo [mushroom, shallot, black olive], Chicken [shredded], Simon [mushroom, black olive, salami] and Avocado. There are 19 different toppings you can order as an extra.
Shady Shack, on Jln. Tanah Barak, Canggu can be best described as a trendy café. Whether that is good or bad purely depends on your personal preferences. Places such as this, catering mainly for the vegetarian, even vegan, market, can sometimes disappoint those who want a bit more. It is quite large very well designed, with a garden area overlooking rice paddies. It offers healthy food and that even include Burgers, but these are with Tempe or Halloumi. As in many vegetarian restaurants much of the food comes in bowls, just many different combinations of raw and cooked food. Rice, Tempe, Halloumi, Nori Seaweed or just Veggie. If this is your scene then this will be foodie heaven for you.
Baby Monkeys is a warung on Jln. Sudamala at the southern end of Sanur. Thatch-roofed and multi coloured you could call it a rainbow room. It is very local, and unpretentious, which is what many people want when they are in Bali. You don’t come here expecting fine dining but what you get is to eat simple well cooked local food in a happy environment. All the standard dishes are available; Kecap, Asem Manis etc., with whatever you want, chicken, pork, fish. There is Nasi and Mie in all of their combinations and the basic international dishes such as Burgers and Wraps. Open early for breakfast and the fun continues all day and night. Very reasonable prices result in the place having many locals as regulars.
Taco Casa has been one of the success stories of Ubud. Whilst Mexican was one of the first foreign cuisines introduced to Bali in the 80’s it was not till recent years that it was available in Ubud. Taco Casa has been full virtually every day since it opened. So full, that it has now moved to larger premises, just 30 metres away. Double the size and still full every night! On Raya Pengosekan at the site that was once the Brasco store, but still only with street parking.
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