Eat, Pray, Love & Play Bali – Part 8.
With 2 days to go before 2015 ends, our dinner at Restaurant Locavore, located along the lovely shopping cum dining stretch of Jalan Dewi Sita in the heart of Ubud, got my vote for Restaurant of the Year by the time our epic culinary journey ended.
Befitting the heritage of the founders Chefs Eelke Plasjmeijer and Ray Adriansyahthe, the high-ceiling Locavore is decked out in Scandinavian chic – with clean lines blending with rustic traditions, pleasing lime-green and grey hues complemented with stylish local recycled wood furniture, lovely flower arrangements, and artfully decorated with Indonesian ornaments.
We were seated at a long table adjacent to the bar and kitchen, with a good line of sight to the chefs busy in the compact kitchen.
It’s a joy to watch the enthusiastic young chefs at work, guided by the maestro.
As its name implies, Locavore only uses sustainably-sourced produce to create amazingly creative cuisine, both in taste and aesthetics; even the ethnic-looking yet stylish plates and cutlery are sourced locally. Fortunately we didn’t play with the flowers and herbs in a vase on our table; it turned out to be a salad dish where the waitstaff brought a bottle of beetroot vinegar to spray onto them before eating; so creative.
Locavore is also famed for its artisanal and innovative cocktails and beverages.
I suspect that Chefs Eelke Plasjmeijer and Ray Adriansyah must be fun guys, if the playful presentation and the dare to experiment with unconventional approaches to mixing flavours and ingredients like fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables are any indication.
Locavore serves only two set menus of five to seven dishes comprising of a “Locavore” and a “Herbivore” option. With all the freebies and snacks, we counted about 15 awesome dishes! To start, we were already served 3 kinds of bread and crackers : mini churros with oregano and goats cheese; fried yam with ginger mayonnaise; and seaweed pillow filled with tamarine mayonnaise.
Fresh Soy Beans, simply boiled, grated cacao butter, mint leaves, toasted cashew nuts, aged goat cheese tuille (from Tegalalang, Central Bali), slightly bitter pomelo segments.
Skewers of grilled Shitake Mushrooms.
Cold Beetroot Soup, oven-roasted beetroot varieties, creme fraiche, fennel pollen, coriander leaves, unripe strawberries, coriander oil.
Kohlrabi (from garden in Payangan) poached in its own juice, bronze fennel leaves, jellied kohlrabi juice, pickled seaweed from Lombok, thinly shaved kohlrabi, seaweed krupuk on the side. Simply refreshing.
For me the star of the evening was the”Into The Sawah” – risotto made from hi-grade rice (from Jatih Luwih), snails cooked in garlic butter, topped with a 64°C slow-cooked duck egg, catfish abon, dehydrated fern tips and wild flowers. OMG, the flavours! This gives you a sense of the sophistication of the cuisine for the evening.
Pork (from payangan, central bali) terrine wrapped in homemade bacon, creme made from braised red cabbage, cider gel, pulled pork bitterbal, sweet and sour cabbage, mustard leaves. The colours are so vibrant.
A cut of Radish but so achingly pretty, presented atop a piece of wood block.
Prawn (from parang tritis) cold smoke with lemon balm leaves and bound together with lemon balm creme, sour dough croutons, borage flowers, crustacean bisque vinaigrette, celtuce stems and leaves – the undercooked prawn is an acquired taste.
Various preparations of Butternut pumpkin, young goat cheese & pumpkin seed creme, crispy sage leaves, toasted nuts and seeds granola, brown butter, transparent pumpkin. Edible art.
Sweet Corn Soup, homemade honey vinegar, pickled baby sweet corn, lemon balm leaves, kidney beans, Mike’s corn bread, baby corn roasted with brown butter, crispy corn skin; a vegetarian delight.
Another of my fave of the meal – Barramundi (from Les, north bali) a la meuniere, beurre blanc made from barramundi bones, roasted kohlrabi, mushroom confit, red wine reduction, crispy oyster mushrooms, fresh kedelai, thyme oil.
The Bloody mary sorbet with warm tomato consomme cleansed our palates well, preparing us for the next onslaught.
Wonosobo (central java) lamb served two ways, lamb jus, caramelised bangkuang puree, pickled bitter lettuce sauce, shaved bangkuang, dehydrated sea grapes; tender meat.
The desserts and petit fours were endless, starting with the Cucumber and mango – mango panna cotta, pickled and compressed cucumber, white chocolate sorbet, burnt harum manis (sweet smell) mango, cucumber flower, cucamelon, sweet and sour cucumber gel, mint leaves, sweet aloe. Mind-boggling flavours.
Lemon basil creme anglaise served with crispy warm lime madeleines, dragon fruit with white chocolate ganache, pickled snake fruit, tamarine chocolate. Absolutely worth sinning.
Can’t recall these two dishes, the number of treats are bewildering!
Pickled snake fruit.
Lemon basil creme anglaise served with crispy warm lime madeleines and tamarine chocolate. We are so stuffed but can’t resist these sweet temptations
Flavours and presentation at Restaurant Locavore are top-notch, and the service is earnest and outstanding; what’s amazing is the price – under US$50 for the 7-course. This would easily cost us 3 to 4 times as much in Singapore. Our evening at Locavore was one of those very rare occasions where expectations and anticipations were far exceeded. The culinary creations of the evening pushed the envelope without sacrificing taste, and the blend of local ingredients with modern cooking technique is laudable. Every dish was flawlessly executed and an art piece. What a fabulous dinning experience to end the year – Restaurant Locavore is a must-try; get there before it becomes too famous.
Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud
Phone: +62 361977733