Monday, December 27, 2010

bar luna, ubud, bali

cafe & bar
literary night last Thursday of the month
Jalan Gootama, Ubud, Bali

beans : Toraja Indonesian beans
leaf : imported leaf & fresh hibiscus
soy : yes, presweetened (delicious in hot chocolate, not so great if you don't like sweet coffee)
fork : caramel banoffee pie
spoon : honeymoon bakery granola with banana & yoghurt
knife : orange & raisin french toast with yoghurt (30,000rps A$3.50)
plate & bowl : all day breakfast and tapas and tasting plates to share

footprint :
flats or thongs, stepping up to low heels with wine at night
price : 17,000 A$1.90
service : affable & unobtrusive
open : 8.00am - 11.00pm
buzz : the latest star in the Casa Luna constellation, this small venue is leading the way on Ubud's new hip strip (soon to open nearby is a wine bar from the team at Kafe/Bali Spirit).  A casual vibe and quiet side street location make it a great stop for good coffee and all day breakfast treats from the Honeymoon Bakery. Baristas are trained by the crack team 5 Senses so a good brew is assured. Later in the afternoon the focus shifts to a full bar list of cocktails and imported wine, with a generous happy "hour" from 4-8 pm.  The menu offers fresh international flavours for snacking and sharing, and groups of expats and literary types gather for discussions over platters and a glass of chilled chardonnay.  A little gem.

Monday, December 20, 2010

biku, petitenget, bali

tea house, restaurant & bookstore
high tea daily
#888 Jln Petitenget, Seminyak, Bali

beans : Bali grown blend
leaf : this is tea heaven with an entire menu dedicated to the leaf
soy : yes, great soy chai
fork : lumberjack cake with fresh coconut
spoon : rich chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream
knife : fresh scones smothered in jam and cream
plate & bowl : rocket, pumpkin, pear & feta salad with raspberry vinaigrette (35,000rps A$4)
vegetable korma with brown rice, raita, chutney & chapatti (45,000rps A$5.10)
buttermilk pancakes with banana, yoghurt, honey & mixed berries

footprint :
anything goes, from thongs to three inch heels
price : 18,000 (A$2.20)
service : gracious & eager to please
open : 8am - 11.00pm, breakfast, lunch & dinner, 7 days/week
buzz : If happiness could be found in the bottom of a cosy covered tea pot, it would make its home at Biku. Within the teak walls of the renovated Javanese joglo magic happens. The combination of a cafe/restaurant, bookstore and lounge, decorated with antiques, tea paraphernalia and striking white orchids, provides for one of the finest outings in the crowded Seminyak scene. Good coffee is available, but I urge you to pay homage to the leaf and explore the comprehensive tea menu. High tea each afternoon is a must, with fresh scones, dainty finger sandwiches and sweet morsels presented on a tiered china cake stand.  Teas are served in the appropriate vessel for the style of leaf - be that glass, fine porcelain or stoneware, and .  Nowhere in Bali is the ritual of steeping the perfect brew so polished and involve so many gadgets - be sure to ask the waiter how to use the many vessels, sticks and sieves that come with some of the premium green or white teas, it is a performance in itself.
The menu offers smart, simple "tropical comfort" food in a convivial atmosphere at very reasonable prices. Servings are generous, the ingredients are fresh, and both international and Indonesian flavours are presented with authenticity.  The cake selection is divine and tempting at any time of the day; the perfect end to a meal or partner to the happiness in a teapot. Love it, love it, love it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the junction, seminyak, bali

cafe & bar
Jalan Laksmana (Oberoi), Seminyak, Bali

beans : Illy blend
leaf : jasmine, peppermint, black; all in bag form
soy : no
fork : red wine poached pear millefeuille with red wine granita  (39,000rps A$4.20)
spoon : varlhona dark chocolate moelleux with almond sauce and vanilla ice cream  (45,000rps A$4.50)
knife : banana coconut crepe with vanilla icecream and warm chocolate sauce (35,000rps A$4.00)
plate and bowl : sauteed thai beef in a mango crown with paprika, coriander & thai dressing (49,000rps A$5.60)
vegan thai curry with cauliflower florets, carrot, baby eggplant & baby corn in a coconut cream sauce (49,000rps A$5.60)
marinated vegetarian salad with lemon vinaigrette & fresh basil oil (55,000rps A$6.25)

footprint : thongs by day, heels or ballet flats by night
price : 20,000rps (A$2.20)
service : eager and warm
open :  7 days, lunch and dinner, open till late

buzz : Recently renovated, The Junction stamps its mark on the contemporary dining scene with a striking facade of whitewashed recycled teak slats that encase the double storied cafe like a skeleton.  Inside,  the cool minimalist palette is monochromatic, decorated with modular shelves displaying hundreds of jars filled with everything from spices to nuts and plastic fruit. The daytime vibe is casual and relaxed, the place for lunch with friends, coffee and a newspaper, or catching up on emails with the free wireless. Come evening, the candles are lit for a more intimate dinner dining experience or a glass of imported wine served in fine stemware. The food is testament to the name, a meeting of many culinary influences as diverse as Indonesian,  Thai, French, Belgium and Italian.  Servings are an elegant size, presented with thought and without fussiness.  The music selection could do with improvement, they don't have soy milk and tea is a Sari Wangi bag, but the styling and food is a class act.

Friday, November 12, 2010

an expresso drought

Sorry for the lack of posting of late.  I am a thousand miles in any direction from a cafe serving anything other than rice and sickly sweet tea or black mud posing as coffee.  But hold onto your cups folks, December sees me back in Bali with a plan to spend a dangerous amount of time swanning about in cafes.  

Until then, have a latte for me and catch up on my wanderings and village antics at Treacle for Stickybeaks or Remote and Raw.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the tuckshop & corner store, seminyak, bali

cafe, deli, boutique and gallery
Jalan Laksmana (Oberoi) 10A, Seminyak, Bali

beans : Balinese Arabica
leaf : Twinings bags
soy :  imported organic "Australia's Own" (Aug 2011, not available, only presweetened Indo brand)
fork : crispy hashbrowns with organic rocket salad & poached egg
spoon : bircher muesli with yoghurt & fresh strawberries
knife : muffins baked fresh daily
footprint : strappy sandals, Havianas, flats, street sneakers
price :15,000rps (A$1.80)
service : calm efficiency
open : 7 days, 7.00am to 4.00pm

buzz : The best soy flat white in Bali since their introduction of Australia's Own soy milk.  A smooth, strong brew, served hot and fast.  A perfect chaser to the tangerine and blueberry juice. The hip crowd  gathers like an an international convention over coffee, panini and eggs anyway you like.  Wireless internet assures the white laptop is de rigueur; the perfect accessory to silk over distressed denim, or stretch floral cotton and  stripes. Owned by Sean Cosgrove, ex-Melbournian, who also designs the kids clothing line Little Horn, and sources the mens and women's designer pieces that keeps drawing attention away from your bagel.   range of Deus ex Machina clothing and prints fill an adjoining room.  Outdoor tables buzz with a steady stream of double cheeked kisses & macchiattos, and if you can ignore the traffic noise and busted pavement, you could well be in Bondi. This is Bali now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

manik organic, sanur, bali

vegetarian cafe, specialty store & yoga studio
no msg, preservatives, white sugar or reheated oils used
Jl. Danau Tamblingan 85, Sanur, Bali

beans : local Bali blend
leaf : organic leaf tea, very weak chai needs improving
soy : yes, organic
dunk : chocobeet wheat free bar
fork : walnut spice cake
spoon : goji granola
footprint : barefoot, thongs
price :  A$2.70 (22,500rps)
service :  smiling and shy
open : 7.30am - 10.00pm
buzz :  Hidden beneath a shady tree on Sanur's main street, Manik Organic is the best choice for healthy vegetarian and vegan food between Ubud and Seminyak.  The indoor air-conditioned area stocks natural remedies (including Bali's only stockist of Miessence organic Australian skincare), giftware and health food, while the larger outdoor seating area is bright and breezy, although can be disturbed by traffic noise.  Serves an array of "juices for jumping", smoothies, light meals, cakes, and vegan breakfast choices beyond fruit salad.  Hosts a small organic market every Thursday evening, monthly Green Drinks, and offers a program of art classes, yoga, meditation and  tai chi.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

grocer & grind, seminyak, bali

bistro & deli
Jalan Jayu Jati 3 x Petitenget Beach, Seminyak, Bali

beans : house blend of 100% Arabica
leaf : imported loose leaf
soy : pre-sweetened so a bit much if you don't normally add sugar, 30c extra
dunk : afghan biscuit
fork : mad chocolate mud cupcake
spoon : bircher muesli with strawberries, yoghurt & honey
knife : warm coconut bread with caramelized banana & honey yoghurt
footprint : slick thongs, glitzy sandals, kitten heels by night
price : A$2 (17,000) + tax
service :  unobtrusive and efficient
open : 8.00am - 10.00pm

buzz : Attracts a loyal following of expats and tourists looking for a comfortable and dynamic place in a quiet corner of Seminyak. With wireless internet and the option of outdoor fresh air or indoor air-con, this is a haven away from traffic noise, and a great spot to refuel and rest after the hectic pace of shopping and negotiating wonky footpaths. Pull up a booth next to the stylish customers flicking through magazines or tapping their Macbooks.  After a breakfast service featuring excellent Bircher muesli, ricotta pancakes with caramelised banana and eggs done every way you want them, the bistro style cafe serves up panini, sandwiches and fresh salads, made with fresh local organic produce and imported extras. Pick one of the dainty homemade cup-cakes to go with your coffee or try the refreshing watermelon granita. At night the menu is more substantial with imported meat on the grill and  pasta options. The deli sells pricey produce and imported fresh and packaged goodies including meats, cheeses and woodfired oven baked breads, cakes and pastries, all available to take-away or have them delivered to your villa.   


Saturday, September 18, 2010

samudra, dunsborough

 organic vegan & live food cafe, Astanga yoga shala & conscious living store
226 Naturaliste Terrace, Dunsborough

beans : Yahava, locally roasted, organic & fair trade
leaf : Planet Organic selection and authentic chai brewed daily
soy : organic Vitasoy (also nutmilk available)
dunk : raw chocolate & coconut macaroon
fork : raw, vegan cheesecake - you have to try it to believe it
spoon : hazelnut granola with fresh nut milk
knife : vegan buckwheat pancakes with banana and lashings of chocolate sauce & cashew cream
footprint : barefoot, thongs, sandals, vegan slides, street sneakers
price : $4.00
service :glowing, healthy, relaxed & informed
open : 7 days, 7.00am - 4.00pm and Friday nights

buzz : A unique complex, housing two yoga studios, Australia’s first vegan live food cafĂ©, and a retail store stocking organic cotton threads, health related books, yoga props, Patagonia outdoor gear and surfboards.  It is a favourite destination for locals and visitors (and me) to re-energize, socialize or retreat.  The food is clean, fresh & organic; made from scratch by a talented team who care about the flavour, presentation and quality.  All served with a smile and for a reasonable price.  Cozy indoor space with a wood fire for winter, and a large shaded outdoor area for lazy summer days.  A cafe with a conscience, that will may motivate you to order a nut milk latte with a green smoothie chaser.  

Samudra on Urbanspoon

 Winner of 2009 and 2010 Favourite Vegetarian Restaurant in W.A.



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