Usha Café self-describes its food as ‘homemade’. Now this is one of the most abused words in the Bali F&B scene [along with ‘organic’], as no one ever tells you in whose home it was made.
However after eating at Usha many times I am certain that it is just like visiting a home in the Ukraine for a family meal. Nothing pretentious, no fancy presentation, just bowls of basic, good wholesome food, and at very budget prices.
With very limited use of spices the food may be considered bland in Bali where we have so many cuisines that taunt and test the taste buds. However with much use of vegetables as a base, it is definitely a very healthy cuisine.
Think of Russian food and you think of Borscht, that beetroot soup, obviously so welcome on freezing cold mornings in that vast country. Well Borscht originated in the Ukraine, and has since been adopted by many neighbouring countries as their own. At Usha their Borsht [as they spell it] has the usual base of pureed beetroot with diced potato, paprika, tomato, shredded cabbage, carrots, beef etc. added. On the side are oven-fresh warm bread rolls [great for dipping] and a small bowl of fresh dill [perhaps Eastern Europe’s favourite herb] for sprinkling on top. It is simple and wholesome, a soup that can almost be called a meal.
Dumplings, in their many different forms, also play a big part in this Ukranian cuisine. The Meat Dumplings [minced chicken and pork] look very similar to Italy’s Tortelloni, whilst the very traditional Cabbage Dumplings [shredded] are larger half moon ones. There are also Potato Dumplings and a dessert one stuffed with berries.
The Cheburek is a thin crisp shell stuffed with meat or vegetables and Cheese that I found to be rather underwhelming, but the surprise was one of the simplest things on the menu, the Cottage Cheese Pancakes. Looking more like scones than pancakes these little delightful balls are topped with a strawberry slice [pictured] and served with a bowl of sweet jam full of berries for ladling on top.
The assorted Smoothie Bowls are perfect for either a snack or light meal. Dragon consists of pureed dragon fruit and banana with granola, almond flakes and shredded coconut. Choco Boom has raw cacao, chia seeds and dark chocolate in coconut cream with shredded coconut and cocao nibs, whilst the Mango Paradise consist of pureed mango in coconut cream with granola, shredded coconut, cranberries and almonds.
The creamy Salmon Soup is pureed salmon with cream, potatoes, onion and garlic. The other soup is Chicken and noodles, a very full bowl of shredded chicken and homemade noodles. Shuba or ‘for coat salad’ is a Russian delicacy. It features layers of pickled herrings and root vegetables, something very different.
Open from 9.00 for breakfast there are a couple of international options on the menu. Omelettes [listed as Omlet] are the flat open variety with toppings. Eggs Benedict are offered with bacon rather than the traditional ham [or salmon if you prefer] and grilled tomato.
The only main dish on the menu is a Chicken Cutlet which is served with salted cabbage and baby potatoes. As Usha is also a bakery there is an attractive range of exotic cakes on display, if your waistline allows such indulgence.
Simple honest food, take a trip to the Ukraine.
Restaurant : Usha Café & Bakery.
Address : Jl. Raya Lod Tunduh, Lod Tunduh, Ubud.
Telephone/WA : 085337079038.
Open : 9.00 a.m. to 9.30 p.m., daily.
Smoking Area : Garden area.
Non-smoking Area : Inside.
Parking : Limited. off street.
Price : Rp. 200,000 for two [+ drinks].
Credit Cards : Visa. Mastercard [+3%].
Food : Ukranian.
Wine : Sababay.
Service : With a smile.
Atmosphere : Buzzy.
Overall : Definitely homemade.
Reviews that appear in Bali Advertiser are based on actual visits to the establishments listed, without the knowledge of the restaurants, and are not paid for by the individual restaurants.
Opinions expressed here are those of Gerry Williams and not necessarily those of Bali Advertiser. Gerry Williams attempts to write from a ‘typical’ diner’s perspective and, whilst quality of food is the most important criteria overall, value for money is the real measuring stick.
Copyright © 2020 Gerry Williams