5 Locavore Restaurants in Bali
January 29, 2015
Forget the fois gras; toss the truffles—higher-end restaurants in Bali are pivoting towards the island's plentiful local produce for fresh flavor. Here, five new favorites. By Holly McDonald.
Published on Jan 29, 2015
(1) Locavore's philosophy is as clean and green as its aesthetic. Eelke Plasmeijer, one of the chefs and coowners, says about 95 percent of their ingredients are sourced within Indonesia, much from Bali. Using produce from their gardens and their own free-range pigs—plus some items from Java, Lombok and Sumbawa—meals such as pork loin with caramelized pineapple, mulberry jus and spinach are wowing crowds. "We simply don't believe guests are traveling to Bali to eat the ingredients they can find at home," Plasmeijer says. restaurantlocavore.com.
Produce at Locavore is locally sourced. Courtesy of Locavore.
(2) Merah Putih is named for the colors of the Indonesian flag so it makes sense that chefs Kieran Morland and Wayan Mustika source their key ingredients, barring only the red meat, from all across the archipelago. This may be the most stunning place on the island to try Balinese specialty babi guling (suckling pig) but leave room for desserts such as the tart with young coconut panna cotta and mango sorbet. With a local fruit focus, dessert and drink menus change regularly. merahputihbali.com.
Menus change regularly at Merah Putih. Courtesy of Merah Putih.
From the team behind Ku De Ta, (3) Mejekawi offers five- and 12-course tasting menus that showcase Bali at its best. We love the Balinese-style pepes, a charcoal-singed banana leaf packet of barramundi and slipper lobster mousse. Acclaimed pastry chef Will Goldfarb works his magic on desserts: think caramelized Earl Grey tea with cinnamon, pomelo and red wine. kudeta.net/mejekawi.
Pretty plating at Mejekawi. Courtesy of Mejekawi.
(4) Cuca uses exclusively local ingredients to create a global variety of tasty tapas. We're fans of their honey-baked pumpkin salad with yogurt, wing beans, coconut granola and tarragon. And while the food is fab, the drinks are even better—try the "iced rose" of hibiscus, brandy and honey to get into the island mood. cucaflavor.com.
"iced rose" from Cuca. Courtesy of Cuca.
Penny Williams opened (5) Bali Asli near the island's highest peak, Gunung Agung, in homage to the local cuisine. Williams says freshness is key to creating the complexity of flavor in Balinese cooking: "It was an obvious choice to source all my produce from the local morning market, our garden, my staff's gardens or my neighbors' gardens." Expect to see fresh young fern tips plucked from nearby gullies, locally made tofu and neighborhood gardengrown sweet potatos on the menu. baliasli.com.au.
On the terrace at Bali Asli. Courtesy of Bali Asli.