By Gerry Williams

Cafe des Artistes in Jln. Bisma, Ubud, has always been the innovator amongst the moderately priced restaurants of Ubud. It is one of those places that seem to have been there forever, and in Bali terms it almost has. Going on for 20 years and still always busy is an achievement of which to be proud. The secret is that there are no surprises for the constantly returning guests. The same smiling staff and a menu of only minor changes, that favourite dish is almost always still there. Simple but well prepared comfort food, mainly of European origin. Their steaks [both local and imported] have always been their main attraction, although their monthly specials are also very popular. This coming month of December [including Christmas and New Year] the specials are entrees of Salmon Mousse on toast, well spiced or Herb and Tomato stuffed Portobello with fried leeks. The mains are either a Steak Diane [pictured, a tenderloin of beef with broccoli gratin and parsley potatoes] or Sesame Crusted Tuna with a veggie skewer, garlic mash and orange/ginger dip. Dessert is White Chocolate Mousse with strawberry coulis. All dishes are separately priced so you can construct your own meal as you wish. During World War II Melbourne’s famous Hotel Australia dining room used to feature Steak Diane, cooked tableside. It proved very popular with visiting American servicemen stationed in Australia at that time and rumour has it that when they returned home to the USA a version of this dish began to appear on menus there.

The Fat Turtle is small and cozy. It is so small that you can easily miss it [near to Deus Machina] on Jln. Petitenget. Its specialty is all day breakfasts or brunch. They have all of the standard options plus a few exotics including that American breakfast norm of Pancakes.


Brew Me is a specialty tea house on The ByPass on the southern side of Sanur with an amazing range of different tasting teas. Many of the teas are in-house creations such as the Iced Cranberry Tea. Coffee is also available as well as a substantial menu of local and international food.


Sakanaya shares a space with Ramen Boy but not the opening hours as it closes mid evening at 9.00. It is operated by the Ryoshi chain of restaurants and offers the many ways of eating fish, Japanese style. Fresh seafood is packed in iced display cabinets in the inside air-conditioned area. Outside Sakanaya shares the terrace with its neighbour, Ramen Boy. Prawns can be black [tiger] or white [normal]. Either can be cooked for you battered, in breadcrumbs or poached Cajun style. They usually have up to 9 different varieties of fish, depending on the days availability, and you can order as Sashimi, grilled, fried, battered, bread-crumbed or also poached Cajun style. It is perhaps Bali’s most popular wet fish retailer.


Kalamansi is a new stylish Indonesian restaurant on Jln. Raya Batu Bulan, an extension of the popular Odette restaurants in Ubud. With ample parking in front and air-con inside, it is all very professional. Standard Indonesian entrees include Otak-Otak [minced fish and spices wrapped in banana leaf] and a range of different satays. Kroket Kentang are of chicken and mashed potato, crumbed and deep fried. Batagor are dumplings of a combined chicken, prawn and tofu whilst Asinan Udang are tiger prawns tossed in a spicy salad. Nasi Campur is a feature of Kalamansi but only available for lunch [10.00 a,m to 1.00 p.m.], you select from a variety of dishes and small portions are served with rice. The mains are mainly Chicken; Ayam Betutu, Sambal Matah, Goreng or Asem [spicy tomato]. Ayam Panggang Manis is first marinated with BBQ sauce, then grilled. The Vegetarian menu includes Eggplant & Snake Beans and Kamgkung Tempe, water spinach and tempe. The rice and noodle dishes can be combined with a sambal of your choice; Ijo, Merah, Matah. There is also a small’International’ menu of a few Spaghetti options, Hot Dogs [chicken and cheese], Mini Chicken Burgers and Sandwiches [crunchy baguettes] filled with shredded duck++ or a sweet and spicy tempe. The Beetroot Carpaccio is combined with mint yoghurt, red berries, cashews and feta. The only thing surprisingly missing at Kalamansi is alcohol. No cocktails or wine only mocktails, juices and coffees, amazing for such a quality place. This is Bali not Aceh!


Tulen is outside of Ubud in the northern village of Junjungan [Jln. Sri Wedari], it is in a perfect Bali rural setting of rice paddies and trees [so far]. While the menu highlights most popular Balinese and Indonesian dishes there is also a full International menu, including many vegetarian options.


Folk is on Jln. Monkey Forest in central Ubud yet offers a swim-up bar. There is an entrance fee if you intend to swim [includes a towel] and a larger one for a sunbed area of up to 4 persons [includes plates of snacks]. The restaurant has been operating for quite some time but to the rear of it has been added this pool bar area [what used to be one of the many Spas operating by Paris]. The food is diverse; smoothie bowls, cumin spiced pumpkin sandwich and a wide variety of salads. The soft shell crab burger is one of Folk’s most popular dishes.


Bakso Boedjangan on the ByPass at Kuta Grahe sells Bali’s most popular street food [meat balls in a noodle broth] in the comfort of a restaurant, although the flavours are a bit watered down [not as spicy] on what you get from the street vendors. The beef and cheese bakso is one of the most popular.

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