With a sunrise trek up Mount Batur ahead of us, we figure the only way to properly prepare our bodies is to have a few cocktails and spend the afternoon sampling Locavore’s menu. We need energy for the trek we tell ourselves. If you’re in Ubud and are looking to treat yourself to a knock-your-socks-off kind of a meal, then Locavore is the place to do it. Open for lunch and dinner (reservations are a must), Locavore serves modern food with a focus on local produce. The dining room is an escape from the Balinese heat with its cool coloured walls, polished wide wooden tables and comfortable banquette. There’s room to breathe with tables spaced generously.
The staff are welcoming and gracious and swiftly seat us. We’re walked through the options for lunch- a five or seven course tasting menu. We opt for the five and oggle at the cocktail list which is awash with heady sounding concoctions. How many cocktails is too many cocktails at lunch? The food starts arriving. We are treated to a procession of amuse bouche: a crisp spinach tempura, blush pink watermelon radishes to dip in a curried mayonnaise, fermented fruit with a squeeze of lime, earthy shiitake mushroom and a delicate tomato sorbet. The homemade sourdough is crusty with a soft, tangy centre. We swipe the bread through chicken liver crème, sweet passionfruit gel and a bold lemon basil pesto.
Rujak: red chillies muddled with lemongrass, cucumber, pineapple & pomelo shaken with chilli infused vodka and tamarind syrup, garnished with lemongrass and jeruk Bali served over ice cubes, topped with homemade herbed soda water
Ashes: blow torched fruit & spices, shaken with vodka, Rye Whiskey, sweet and sour, homemade Vermouth and a dash of spice bitter, topped with tonic, garnished with dehydrated fruit, purple basil, molasses cracker, Jack Daniel’s honey liqueur
The afternoon melts away as each expertly plated dish is placed before us- sweet poached prawns with a vibrant sweet corn and goat crème makes a hero out of the humble corn. Parrot fish paired with octopus, chorizo, thin slices of bread and butter courgettes and a vivid bell pepper sauce blows us away with the intensity of the flavour combinations. The rabbit and mustard leaf sausage is chunky and fragrant with the herb whilst the accompanying baby carrots are delicate but vibrant in their sweetness. Only the beef course disappoints- the oxtail melts in the mouth but the dish is bland and lacks the wow factor of its predecessors.
Poached tiger prawns, served cold, sweet corn & young goat cheese crème, grilled baby corn, green herbs, herbed brioche croutons.
Parrot fish à la meunière, braised & glazed octopus, fresh chorizo, bread & butter courgette, slightly bitter red bell pepper sauce, crispy oregano leaves from our own garden, squash flowers.
Slow braised oxtail, striploin poached in caramelized onion consommé, finished on the frill, pan-fried potato gnocchi’s, broccoli crème, watercress leaves, crispy shallots, leek ash, shaved broccoli stems in shallot vinaigrette.
But the highs resume with dessert- a mulberry sorbet cleanses the palate and makes way for the sorrel, chocolate and beetroot number which balances its savoury and sweet profiles perfectly. The meal ends with a winning trifecta- warm madeleines dipped in crème anglaise, custardy canelé and freshly made potato doughnuts shaken in cinnamon sugar table side.
It’s an easy way to spend an afternoon. If you’re looking to be inspired by your food then Locavore won’t disappoint. Put it on your Ubud must-eat list.
Good to know
Cocktails 98,000IDR (approx $9.80AUD/$8USD)
Mineral water (large) 45,000IDR (approx $4.50AUD/$4USD)
5 course tasting menu 475,000IDR (approx $47AUD/$35USD)
7 course tasting menu 575,000IDR (approx $57AUD/$45USD)
Jl. Dewi Sita
Telephone: +62 (0) 361 977733
Reservations a must!
10% tax and 8.5% service charge also apply.
Images: Thomas Southam