Indonesia: Fancy raw fare in Bali

December 23rd, 2011 · Lisa · restaurant review, Travel · Comments
At this time of year everyone seems to be in the mood to celebrate.Some are planning feats of strength for Festivus, others are gathering with friends and family each night to light their menorah, many are tying up packages to delight their loved ones on Christmas morning and bloggers seems to celebrating the versatility of chocolate, coconut, and sugar.But this year I found myself in Bali for the holidays – far away from my usual seasonal rituals.

Although I’m quite content to pass the days exploring the rice fields, discovering new spices and making plans for 2012, finding a little something special to end the year is worth the research.

In Bali, I’ve made two great discoveries of fancy dining destinations that cater to raw vegans. Both are a short drive from downtown Ubud. If you’ve been to Bali, you know that finding transport is a very easy task here. Every step along the sidewalk there is someone offering you a ride.

After a fifteen minute drive from my home stay I arrived at Como Shambhala Estates. A luxury hotel set among the rice fields, with lush green grounds and a sophistical, elegant aesthetic.

At their Glow restaurant they offer an entire raw menu. There were so many options I had a hard time deciding but ended up with a bountiful bowl of Coconut Green Curry and a small slice of Passionfruit Mango Cheesecake(with a couple of nut-based cookies on the side). It was a special treat to escape the busy city streets and sit in the comfort of Como’s modern dining room. The food was beautifully presented and light in spice. I would have appreciated more chili in my green curry but I assume the spa menu caters to western visitors. If you plan to make the trip to Como you should understand that you will pay for the experience. This meal was almost ten times the price I’ve paid everywhere else during my time in Asia – but if you’re looking to celebrate and to feel enveloped in elegance than this is the place for you.

The next day I found myself at the doorsteps of Fivelements a small boutique hotel outside a small village near Ubud. The hotel feels very intimate. It has just five guest rooms but boasts an amazing spa that focuses on eco-friendly healing practices. The executive chef of the Sakti dining room, Made Runatha, was already a well-known culinary genius before he took on the challenge of learning raw cuisine. He spent months studying at Living Light and brought his new knowledge back to Bali. You can tell he is an artist with each bite.

The offerings are diverse and interesting. Eating here everyday as a guest of the hotel would be a wonderful taste adventure. Knowing that this may be my only chance to taste his delights I selected a Massaged Kale Salad to start and then invested all my calories in the Symphony – a dessert offering that samples all of the sweet delights on the menu. Every bite was incredible! Made has certainly applied his training as a chef to make this cuisine an exciting taste experience. He also surprised me with a fresh green juice to end my meal.

The prices at Fivelements are quite reasonable and the quality and flavour are unforgettable. My visit was well worth the trip. After lunch I chatted with Made and he showed me around the hotel. His warm, generous spirit wrapped me up in kindness. Walking through the peaceful grounds, with the flowing river,  and bamboo buildings you feel like you’re in postcard perfect Bali. This is the kind of place that travel dreams are built on.

Traveling is a great opportunity to discover all the diverse ways people celebrate the milestones of life. So, whatever you’re celebrating, I hope your experience will be full of love, light and laughter and something delicious to delight you as well.

love and coconuts,

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