September 13, 2017

Maya Ubud offers a breakfast buffet every day, from 7.00 a.m. Most 5 star hotels do but there are few in the Ubud area and there are fewer still that welcome outsiders to the breakfast as Maya does [children under 12 are half price]. It has become quite popular with many local expats regularly bring their house guests to the buffet, seemingly more so on Sundays. This buffet is very extensive with a full range of hot food; beef or chicken sausages, crisp bacon, pan-fried potato, quiche slices and even French toast. The starting point for most is the Egg Station, and here the chef will prepare your eggs any which way, it is almost show time. He is also constantly preparing what they call Martabak [just a mix of finely chopped vegetables wrapped in a wonton sheet] on a small side hot plate, folded into triangles. They are very tasty, so hard not to go back for extras. The Bread Table is quite impressive. The breads include full grain, wholemeal, black and a range of Danish, not just that awful supermarket white often presented at other places. Also on offer is an excellent cheese and salumi table [pictured], a rare find. In the adjoining room is an Asian Table with Chicken [lemon basil and chilli]. Vegetables [coconut milk curry] and rice; steamed or fried. Tired of cooking at home, then treat your chef and yourself to a luxury buffet, and pretend that you are on holidays!


Som Chai is opening on the site, Jln, Kerobokan, that once was REPLUBLIK 1945. It is an enormous space and will be 4th outlet for the Sarong Group within a few kilometers. All of their restaurants offer different Asian cuisines but all are with that unique style of master chef Will Meyrick. This time it is all Thai with fine dining in the rear cavernous room and Will’s version of Thai street food in the funky front section, which will, hopefully, become a party room late at night.


Balifornia is a restaurant at warung prices. It is found on the road through the Gianyar wood-carving village of Tenkulak [of dolphin fame]. A modern spacious area in a rural setting makes it a pleasant spot. It has already become popular with the local Balinese and now expats are also finding there way there too. The menu is what you would expect, a selection of popular dishes from a few different cuisines. Local is their Udang Asam Manis, the Indo-Chinese Ayam Koloke [sweet and sour chicken], a Japanese style Chicken Teriyaki, standard Italian Pizzas plus a few creations; Red Hot Chilli Pepper [chicken meat and sausage, mushroom, basil, paprika and peppers] and even a Chocolate Pizza with Nutella, banana and caramel. They have burgers and sandwiches, of course, and all at very cheap prices, served by young local smiling faces.


Nusantara is on Jln. Dewi Sita in Ubud. Part of the Locavore group it is attempting to do what many others have been unable to do successfully, presenting Indonesian cuisine in a ‘fine dining’ style and environment. The restaurant is on the site of the previous Cafe Havana, in fact it has been 5 different restaurants ever since it was once Apakabar 20 years ago, which was also Indonesian but a very basic one, quite a contrast to Nusantara. It has had a very extensive fit out by a successful group so there can be no doubts about its staying power. The menu attempts to present dishes from many parts of Indonesia. They are tailored to a different presentation style, and of course cost.


L’Alsace a Table has doubled the size of their popular deli and wine shop on Jln. Raya Petitenget, Kerobokan [next door to Shima restaurant].  Included now is a full butchery and a much enlarged wine store, with some very good wine at very reasonable prices.


AriBar is modern Mexican and is found on Jln. Kartika in South Kuta. The dishes are quite different to the many Tex and Cal Mex restaurants in Bali. Start with Jalapeno Poppers [large peppers filled with onion, cheese and tomatillos sauce]. Pork Cheek Flutas [braised pork cheek with pickled jalapeno, pineapple and cheese in a tortilla wrap with red enchiladas sauce] or Corn Cakes topped with guacamole, pico de gallo and pork belly. The Tacos are creations; Teriyaki Chicken, Honey Lime Salmon, etc. Mains are just as different; Carnitas Tortas [pork sautéed with pineapple, chipotle sauce, served with a fried egg on crusty bread with refried beans] and Chilli Cilantro Lime Chicken Rice are just two. They even offer a Burger – crisp fried chicken patty with pickled pineapple, lettuce and cheese. 10 out of 10 for doing something different rather than just sama-sama! Not only that, it works!


Café Greco is new in Lovina. Yet another Greek restaurant by that man Marinos. He does not seem to understand the word ‘retirement’! Small and friendly, it is situated on the main road that runs through Lovina, right at the only set of traffic lights. Greek cuisine is mainly grilled meats and sticky sweets and that is what you get here. It opens early [7.30] for breakfast something that is not usual in sleepy Lovina. Fresh juices, sandwiches and burgers are extra to the standard Greek menu.


Pyramid has just opened, also in Lovina, next door to Cafe Greco and under the same management. It attempts to bring the night clubs of Seminyak, to Lovina with DJ’s, Drag Shows and all. They serve a range of snacks [Greek tapas] from the restaurant next door, and are open till late.


Gerry Williams

For more information see our website: