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  • Lauren Wood

A 7 Course Meal at Locavore

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

Bali's Best Restaurant, Truly for Foodies

I am sort of shocked I'm saying this, but Restaurant Locavore is hands-down one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at in my life. Having dined at several three star Michelin restaurants throughout the world, and hundreds—if not thousands—of fine dining establishments throughout my life, I think I’ve earned the privilege of saying I’ve got a good basis upon which to compare restaurants. So to say that a small restaurant in Ubud, Bali, with a local Indonesian chef that serves up dishes with often strange and unpronounceable ingredients is one of the best I’ve been to in my life is a big deal—surprising even to me. But it’s the truth. The 9 course meal we enjoyed at Locavore was stellar from start to finish, often cleaning the plate down to the last drop and yearning for more (though we left totally full, so actually wanting more). The portions were perfect—just enough to leave us feeling full but not so big that we couldn’t finish our last courses.

We chose the 7 course prix fixe dinner, and opted for the cocktail pairings along with it since our experience at their sister restaurant Night Rooster gave us the heads up that their cocktails would be fantastic. And boy, were they!

The dishes were uniquely Indonesian, yet incredibly modern and creative. We started with a dish called “Prawns vs. Stinky Beans”, which involved a petai cured prawn with kecombrang prawn vinaigrette, chili cel, marinated coconut, fresh bangkuang and kemangi juice. Don’t know what half those things are? Yeah, I don’t either. Our meal actually came with a “Locavore Dictionary” that explained all of the obscure Balinese ingredients. That course was paired with a cocktail of young coconut water, kemangi, chili infused vodka, shrimp oil and petai salt. Sounds a little strange to put shrimp oil in a cocktail, right? Well, all I know is that it was subtle and delicious.

Our second course was “Foie Gras Kambing”, which was a dish of goat liver mousse, rice crackers, kombucha pickled kaliasem, Balinese kale, cured smoke goat heart in a rosella kombucha vinegar. Course two was paired with a beautiful cocktail of berry shrub, pickled kaliasem, dry gin, and seasonal berry vinegar.

Course three was called “Cabbage & Bacon” and was a showstopper of the night. The waiters brought the entire cabbage over to show us what we would be eating and how it was prepared, and then later brought to the table more appropriately portioned pieces of the cabbage dish. They roasted a whole cabbage in bacon fat, then served it up in a bacon dash with cashew sour cream, bacon shallot crumble and facto-fermented onion powder. My girlfriend Michelle and I both wanted to just drink the bacon dashi by the bucketloads. Our cocktail pairing for this dish was a lovely kintamani orange cocktail with dark rum, spiced rum, cashew orgeat, and cabbage powder.

“Into the Sawah” was one of our most beautiful dishes, and really showed off a variety of difficult techniques. The dish had heritage galah rice (from nearby Tegalalang in central Bali), snails and garlic, a 64 degree duck egg, frog abon, fern tips and wild flowers. The cocktail was just as beautiful—a light rum beverage with young coconut, lemo bali, lemongrass and tamarind syrup, topped with cemcem leaves.

The fifth course, “Gurita Bakar”, was a grilled octopus with kluwak mole, chives, belimbing wuluh, cucamelon and lime pickled spring onions. The paired cocktail was a light and refreshing beverage of cemcem leaves, young coconut, lemo bali, lemongrass, tamarind syrup and light rum.

“Burung Puyuh” was our sixth course, and featured a roasted breast and barbecued leg of quail with ginger cinnamon butter, smoked pumpkin, charred pineapple and pickled pumpkin. The perfectly-paired cocktail was a burned pumpkin infused dark rum and spiced rum drink with caramelized pineapple compote.

Our seventh and final course was “Bubur Sumsum”, or frozen rice porridge with a variety of seasonal mango preparations, crispy rice and mango vinegar. The final beverage pairing was another light rum drink with pineapple juice and coconut milk infused pandas leaves.

The cost for 5 dishes is 795k IDR, or about $55. The five course meal with added beverage pairing is 1.295m, or about $90. If you can afford the splurge, definitely treat yourself for the seven course meal, which costs only like five bucks more at 895k ($62 USD). The seven course meal with beverage pairing is 1.495m, or $105. I found the prices to be incredibly reasonable in light of the quality of the food prepared and the service received. This place is easily as good—if not better—as many of the three star Michelin restaurants I have dinned in that costed $300 per person before wine pairings. Locavore is a must-stop in Bali and I would even go as far as to say that if you aren’t planning to go to Ubud, it’s worth the trek just to dine here.

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