Food trip in Ubud
We started our trip to Bali with a few days in Ubud. We did not do a ton of research before getting there and so we just wandered around the town and waited to see what we could find. We ended up being happily surprised with the quality of the food and our trip to Ubud became a warung-hopping trip.
We ate a lot in Ubud… a lot! It’s pretty easy to find an amazing variety of quality food in Ubud: non-vegetarian, vegetarian, vegan, healthy, local, etc. This touristy yet very much worth-it little town offers really good shopping too – local and good quality designer clothes, big brands at western world prices, but also cheap clothes at local prices, elephant pants, sarong, arts, classic souvenirs, you name it. I had to remind myself that this was the beginning of our trip and what we buy now we will have to carry for several weeks… so instead of buying stuff, I ate!
We could feed a family of 3 in Ubud for about $6. We found that the best thing to do was to hop from one warung to another and take any of their $1 or $2 dishes. There is food for everyone in Ubud, from any type of Indonesian dish to all the Western pizza, burgers, and schnitzels, but it would be a sad mistake to not try to eat like the locals. In any case we found lots of restaurants and cafés at western world prices which were well over priced and not better – and sometimes worse – than the many warungs. Yep, if you go to Ubud you have to jump in and eat Indonesian spices, peanut sauce, shredded coconut on everything, turmeric lemonade, lots of fruits, tempeh tempeh tempeh and more! Otherwise, I seriously do not know why you are going there.
Turmeric lemonade and avocado juice
This is one of my greatest discoveries; turmeric, lemon, and coconut water. Sweet and refreshing. The avocado juice was in fact more a vegan smoothie than a juice. Made of avocado with honey and sometimes coconut water, this is an interesting one.
My 16 month-old was very impressed with the satay skewers, including chicken, fish, and tempe. The satay skewers with coconut are the best, otherwise simple grilled chicken with peanut sauce is always a winner.
A classic dish that every place seems to have their own version of is gado gado. In general this dish is a mix of vegetables – often cabbage and others – with peanut sauce. I ate it with boiled potatoes, fried tempe, tofu, boiled eggs or not, etc. You’re never quite sure what you are going to get but it’s delicious!
Chicken curry with shredded coconut
Very simple; some sort of pulled chicken in curry sauce with shredded coconut on top.
Indonesian coffee and Luwak coffee
My favourite of all; coffee! It’s not worth going to a fancy café with high prices in Ubud. Indonesian black coffee is excellent everywhere. There is also the Luwak…. The Luwak is this little badger-like animal; feed him coffee grains, wait for its poop, grind the results, and you are ready to infuse. Yep, Luwak coffee is basically poop coffee!
I’ve never been a huge fan of tempeh, but I did end up enjoying a few too many tempeh chips… Be careful you will get hooked.
Where to stay?
There are plenty of choices of accommodations for any budget in Ubud. We stayed in one of the many excellent homestays where we paid about 180k rupiah (about AU$18) for a double room with private toilet and included brekky. The only disappointment was the lack of mosquito net. I would highly recommend bringing your own mosquito net as I could not find any in Ubud. There are mosquitoes in Ubud – I am highly skeptical when I hear other travellers not worrying about it; the place is surrounded by jungle, creeks, and rice fields… a perfect breeding nest for dengue vector mosquitoes.