Locavore became famous and made it to best restaurant in Bali for its unique approach to international cuisine, using locally sourced produce, and mostly due to its delectable and innovative creations by two former chefs of the five-star resort Alila Ubud. Bookings are essential for securing one or more of the restaurant’s only 30 seats. The sleek and modern interior is trendy but not too pretentious, because it’s all about the well-crafted cuisine served from the open kitchen. Locavore Bali has a tasting menu with wine pairing as well as five to seven-course degustation treats. Among the recommended mains are raw Japanese amberjack on watermelon with watermelon gazpacho foam, and slow-braised oxtail with caramelized shallots. Desserts are also heavenly.
Locavore Restaurant has caused a massive buzz throughout Bali’s dining scene since it opened in Ubud early 2013, owing much to its unique approach, using local produce to create outstanding cuisine. It continues to awe first-time diners and attract loyal guests due to its exceptional interplay of flavours through creative dishes by chefs Eelke Plasjmeijer and Ray Adriansyah. The ingredient-driven menu at Locavore Restaurant highlights fresh fruits and vegetables – from organically grown vegetables to exotic fresh picks such as kemangi (lemon basil) and ‘galunggung’ wild berries used in signature drink recipes. The chefs' shared passion has also brought them closer relationships with local producers, ensuring that the menu is made up of chemical-free, seasonal produce and meat from ethically fed animals.
Locavore is located on Jalan Dewi Sita – look out for the modest looking white walled restaurant just before Kafe Bunute and right across the road from Warung Citta Ovest. Taxis are recommended, or you can take a leisurely stroll if you’re staying within the central Ubud area. This small but usually fully-booked restaurant serves fine, haute cuisine but in a relaxed dining setting. Inside, there are three seating sections: there is a lounge-like part at the far end; in the centre are several round recycled wood tables fit for four together with a single long table adjacent the bar, and the most privileged spot is right next to the open kitchen. Dishes are served directly by the chefs themselves and you can watch the action as each of your orders becomes nothing short of art on a plate. The service is delivered by a solid team who have in-depth knowledge of local ingredients and the menu, satisfyingly answering each of our questions.
Our drink of choice was Snakebite, an infusion of vanilla and ‘galunggung’ local raspberry, shaken with homemade elder blossom liqueur; vanilla infused vodka, vanilla syrup and lime juice, and topped with ice and seasonal local berries – truly refreshing with every sip from the bamboo straw. The amuse-bouche of sliced tomato with cold tomato sorbet and a hot and spicy consommé poured around it serves as a surprising start but fits in with the two aspects of Locavore Restaurant; namely, creative cuisine served with the freshest local ingredients. Crisp focaccia chips with smoked mackerel mayonnaise and sourdough with aromatic ‘kemangi’ lime basil pesto accompanies the appetiser. From Locavore's seasonal tasting menu we enjoy a hearty dish of compressed watermelon and pomelo segments served with watermelon gazpacho foam. The foam provides a very light and fresh sensation to the fruity pieces, and the pickled fennel and white borage bloom as garnish makes it a tempting sight. Then the highlight of the treat comes in a pan-seared barramundi a la meuniere, sweet and meaty that balanced perfectly with the vanilla-infused potato mousseline and lemongrass beurre blanc. Our journey concludes with a sinful delight, a heavenly dish of passion fruit tart with Bedugul strawberries, passion fruit meringue, kemangi sorbet and a dash of strawberry gel.
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