Bali: Restaurant Locavore

I literally jumped out of my bed and cheered as I was scrolling through Instagram and found out Restaurant Locavore’s leap from No. 49 to No. 22 in the recent San Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, making it the recipient of the Highest Climber Award, and, also, Best Restaurant in Indonesia for 2017.

I was in Bali last December for the holidays, and getting a seat at Locavore was the top priority as we planned the itinerary. The only date with available seats was on 30 December, which I thought would be a great way to wrap up the year.

When booking on Locavore’s website, you are presented with two menus—vegetarian and the omnivorous Locavore menu, with an option to have five or all seven dishes, with or without a cocktail pairing. After a ludicrous amount of contemplation, my partner and I decided to both have the Locavore menu (one of us was supposed to have the vegetarian menu, but maybe next time). We chose the 7-course menu (but were served a total of almost 17+ dishes!), and instead of doing the cocktail pairing, we decided to head over to Night Rooster opposite Restaurant Locavore (also by the same folks) for some pre-dinner drinks.

Apart from the beaches at Nusa Dua and lighting sparklers on New Year’s Eve, dining at Restaurant Locavore was probably the highlight of my Bali trip. Aside from the food, there is so much good and contagious energy in the space, and you can tell that Chef Eelke Plasmeijer and Chef Ray Adriansyah train and lead a very inspiring culinary team.

Here you have two opposing backgrounds that complement rather than clash—Chef Eelke trained in modern French cuisine in Holland and Chef Ray, coming from Sumatran background, did his training in New Zealand. Locavore has fostered its own signature approach to food as it uses contemporary techniques as a catalyst to bring out the fullest flavours of Indonesia’s local ingredients—from spices to seafood.

Amuse Bouche: Candied young fruit with ginger and cashew nut gel with chilli powder. Restaurant Locavore’s version of a “rojak”.
Amuse Bouche: Candied young fruit with ginger and cashew nut gel with chilli powder. Restaurant Locavore’s version of a “rojak”.
Seaweed pillow bread, tamarind emulsion
Seaweed pillow bread, tamarind emulsion
Black rice blini with smoked egg emulsion and crispy black rice
Black rice blini with smoked egg emulsion and crispy black rice
Bloody Mary sorbet with tomato consomme
Bloody Mary sorbet with tomato consommé
Cauliflower and coconut with elderberry vinaigrette
Homemade rote with peanut oil, nuts (dukkha), and sambal matah

And here come the mains!

The Crab || Crab from Timika, South Papua, Slightly Spicy Creme – Cantaloupe – Dark Sourdough Crumbs – Cured Kampung Egg Yolk – Bangkuang (some type of a jicama) – Jasmine Flowers
The Crab || Squid Cooked in Homemade Brem (a type of Indonesian fermented liquid) – Radish – Cold Pressed Peanut Oil – Shallots – Green Peas – Kemangi (lemon basil) – Chillies
Steak Tartare || Raw Beef from Central Bali – Tong Cai (pickled Chinese cabbage) – Aminos Liquid – Pickled Genjer (yellow sawah lettuce) – Mushroom – Fermented Garlic – Purslane
Into the Sawah || Hi-grade Balinese Rice – Snails & Garlic – 64-degree Duck Egg – Catfish Floss – Fern Tips – Wild Flowers
Crayfish || Simply Blanched & Smoked – Pineapple – Kerang Darah (blood clam) – Kangkung (water spinach) – Batak Sauce
Lamb || Lamb from Java Cooked Two Ways – Nasi Bakar (steamed spice rice) – Lamb & Pineapple Jus – Tabia Bun (pepper)
Burbur Sumsum || Coconut & Rice Flour Porridge – Gula Bali – Lemongrass – Mango – Pandan Leaves
Surprise dessert! Duck egg custard, passion fruit, meringue

Each dish is astonishingly delicious and comes with a pleasant stroke of the unexpected. But it’s really the energetic vibe of the space that keeps its diners hooked and focused on each meal, as the hands that prepared them thoroughly enjoyed creating something that is so very satisfying. Congratulations again, Restaurant Locavore! Your win is very well-deserved!

Jl. Dewisita No.10, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 977733

(All meals are paid for myself unless stated otherwise.)

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