Sunday, January 30, 2011

kafe, ubud, bali

healthy cafe, daily raw vegan specials & a range of eco-products for sale
Jalan Hanoman 44b, Ubud, Bali

beans :  Balinese blend
leaf : imported and local herbal, hot or iced
soy : homemade, tends to split in hot coffee
dunk : almond croissants
fork : raw chocolate cheesecake
spoon : Balinese bubur injin, black rice pudding with coconut cream, palm sugar & banana (17,000rps, $2)
knife :  buckwheat pancakes with berry compote (34,000rps, $4)
plate & bowl : Meg's big bowl salad of assorted fresh vegies, tofu & tempe crunch, toasted seeds & tahini lemon dressing (40,000rps, $4.50)

footprint : eco-friendly vegan slip-ons, beaded thongs 
price : 18,000rps, $2
service : well trained; at busy times tend to get overworked and can be less eager to please
open :  7 days, 7.30am to 11.00pm with wifi available from 8am-12pm and 3pm-6pm, free delivery in Ubud area.

buzz : Always bursting with the flexible yoga set, creative minds, Ubud expats and travellers; every health conscious visitor to Ubud will eventually find themselves in Kafe at least once. It has cemented itself as an Ubud institution, and is the heart of the Balispirit empire founded by American Meghan Pappenheim and her Balinese husband.  It can be hard to get a seat during festival events and school holidays. An all day breakfast menu, raw vegan specials and a plethora of vegetarian choices will satisfy even the most particular diners. Desserts and cakes are enticing, ingredients are fresh, and the servings are generous and satisfying.  The drinks menu lists the usual favourites; juices, smoothies, frappes and tonics, with straws on request only. Coffee is good espresso, although the soy milk tends to split when heated. Outside of peak meal times, laptop users flood the cafe, and the influx of flushed faces tell you when the latest yoga class has finished. Seating options include large wooden communal tables, floor cushions, and an al fresco area on the front verandah which is subject to road noise. 

A section of the cafe is devoted to the Kafe Kares Project, selling organic food, eco-friendly crafts and health products made by small local businesses that are committed to Bali's social, economic and environmental sustainability.  Two doors down is the affiliated Balispirit yoga shop, and nearby is their fabulous sister establishment, Little K live food cafe, at the rear of the Yoga Barn. 

super fudge vegan brownies

jam drops

make cakes not war

My husband and I built our house on a tiny budget, with recycled materials and our own sweat and skills.  The one thing I wouldn't negotiate on was a six burner, super dooper, stainless steel free standing oven.  This was in my pre raw vegan days, when all manner of baked goods would burst forth from my kitchen to the delight of friends and family. Many mourned the lack of buttery gingernut biscuits, cheesecakes and chocolate mud cake when the oven was turned off and green smoothies took precedence. 

Still, I love to bake, even if I don't eat the spoils from the oven.  It satisfies my creative urge and short attention span; the transformation of individual ingredients into a new form, within a limited time, with a definite finish point. The result is often beautiful, fills the house with sweet aroma, can be served on dainty plates, and is my act of service to those that love to eat.

Now when I hear the call of the oven, or an event calls for crisp bikkies or a rich chocolate brownie, I seize the opportunity to promote the joy of vegan baking and raw gourmet.  

As this blog is about coffee, cake and crumbs, I felt it was the perfect canvas to share my recipes and photos, straight from my kitchen to yours.  For those of you about to bake...I salute you.

Monday, January 24, 2011

zula vegetarian paradise, legian, bali

vegetarian restaurant & health food store
Jalan Dhyana Pura (Abimanyu) #5, Legian, Bali
no website

beans : organic Bali blend
leaf : Tulsi tea & herbal
soy : yes
dunk : wheat free flax cookie
fork : hot killer brownie with coconut icecream (29,000rps, $3.30)
spoon : raw chocolate mousse (20,000rps, $2.20)
knife : buckwheat pancake with raise and apple sauce
plate & bowl : chickpea burger with tofu herb spread, moroccan red pepper salad, shredded carrot, beetroot, onion & avocado (35,000rps, $4)

footprint : vegan scuffs or thongs
price : 18,000rps, $2
service : familiar, casual & welcoming
open : 9.00am to 8.00pm, 7 days/week

buzz : "Nothing with a face or a mother" is their motto, and for vegetarians, vegans or anyone looking for healthy food choices Zula is a haven. The daughter of "Down to Earth" health foods and the sister to Earth Café on Jalan Oberoi, Zula is a must-visit in the Legian area. No animals have suffered to bring your chickpea burger to the table, or comfort you with vegan apple pie and coconut ice-cream. The indoor space is welcoming and cool; and you feel equally at ease dining alone or with a small group. Wireless connection is free or you can flick the stack of magazines about yoga, health and alternative living. Stop in to grab a raw bliss ball for the road or bring the family to share the large Mediterranean platter. Ingredients are fresh, organic where possible and made on the premises; and the extensive menu has hearty meals to please even die hard carnivores. Salad lovers rejoice, for the servings are big and packed with flavour - no limp lettuce as an after thought. Coffee can be traditional, with soy, or a herbal "maca jahva" version without the kick. A public noticeboard offers information about ongoing classes in the area, retreats, therapists, villa rentals and scooters for sale, while the retail side stocks a range of imported health foods, natural body care items and cleaning products. Do your body a favour and skip the mee goreng for a macrobiotic planet platter.


Friday, January 21, 2011

cafe zucchini, seminyak, bali

cafe & "Zuitton" boutique
Jalan Laksmana (Oberoi), Seminyak, Bali
no website

beans : Illy, ground to order (decaf available)
leaf : loose imported & herbal
soy : extra 5000rps, pre-sweetened
dunk : chocolate chip cookies
fork : flourless chocolate sour cream cake (35,000rps, A$4)
knife : walnut raisin sourdough with ricotta & honey (30,000rps, A$3.50)
plate & bowl : green breakfast of sautéed spinach, zucchini, red onion, rocket, parsley, avocado & olive oil (35,000rps, A$4)

footprint : casual street scuffs or thongs
price : 15,000rps A$1.80
service : punctual & friendly
open : 7.00am to 9.00pm, 7 days/week

buzz : Popular with fashionable expats and savvy tourists, this small terrace hidden behind a fading yellow and white awning on Jl Laksmana provides all day dining with flair and simplicity. Australian designer, Pete Zuitton, has combined a boutique and organic cafe serving wholesome comfort food.  Artisan breads and cakes are baked daily, and imported grains, nuts, and cheeses meld with locally grown vegetables for a creative menu. Breakfast is a major event and the set offers for A$10, including juice and coffee, are a good kickstart to a day of shopping or pool time.   The salad bar lunch is a vegetarian delight, served in a voluminous wooden bowl with sourdough bread.  Couscous, roast eggplant, feta, preserved lemon, pinenuts, roast pumpkin and tabbouleh are a welcome sight when you have had your fill of nasi goreng.   Get to know fellow diners as you sit on colourful stools around communal benches, or tap into the free wifi. Road noise can be disturbing and it gets warm under the verandah, but excellent coffee and the convivial atmosphere make it a high priority on my list.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

subscribe by email

I have fixed the link on the "subscribe by email" button at left.  Don't risk missing a dose of Crema and Crumbs, sign up now to receive the updates direct to your email inbox.  More Bali insights to come, then onto the best of the west. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

jiwa juice, bingin, bali

short order review

108 Jalan Labuan Sait, between Bingin & Padang Padang, Bali

The best coffee on the Bukit outside of the gated enclosures of five star luxury.  Credited as carbon neutral by Synergy Western Australia, this Aussie owned cafe is committed to minimising its environmental footprint.  It is a favourite spot for surfers to refuel before and after a session at nearby Bingin, Impossibles or Padang Padang, with set breakfast deals popular.  Throughout the day sandwiches, salads and the usual range of juices are on offer.  Thick smoothies with imported berries are a real treat.  Surf photos and maps decorate the walls and computers are available for internet (or use your own with free wi-fi) in a light filled room adjacent to the cafe.  Out the back a small garden is a quiet spot for alfresco dining. 

open : Tuesday to Sunday 8am - 4pm
price : 15,000rps (espresso), 25,000rps A$3 (latte) no soya milk available

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

short order reviews

As a curious traveller, researcher and general stickybeak I am always on alert for new cafes and restaurants when I travel; be it overseas or in the next town.  Sometimes I only stick my head in and read the menu, or stay for a quick cuppa, so I don't gather enough experience, images or information for a full review.  Still, some of these places warrant a mention and may feature in the more detail later.  I have decided to call these tasters or snippets "Short Order Reviews".  Coming soon.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

bali buddha, ubud, bali

health food store and cafe, focus on organic vegan & vegetarian
Jalan Jembawan #1 (opposite post office), Ubud, Bali

beans : local Balinese organic blend
leaf : imported leaf & local herbal blends, good soy chai
soy : yes, and choice of nut milks
dunk :organic spelt chocolate cookies
fork : American apple crumble
spoon :raw chocolate pudding pie
knife :fresh New York style bagels, toasted with a selection of spreads
plate & bowl : vegetarian nasi campur - a healthy version of the Indonesian traditional tasting plate - grilled shredded coconut, sprouts, gado-gado, tofu & tempe, green veggies & sambal (29,000rps A$3.30)
garden salad of fresh garden veggies, mixed leaves, sprouts, seeds & edible flowers (27,000rps A$3)
macrobiotic plate of grilled tofu, steamed broccoli, chickpea & kombu soup, grated daikon & gomashio (35,000rps A$4) 

footprint :casual, thongs, flats or bare feet
price : 17,000k A$2.00
service : smiling & warm
open : 7.00am - 10.00pm, with free delivery in Ubud area

buzz : Bali Buddha have led the way for what is now a trend in Ubud for healthy food, with plenty of options for vegetarian and vegan customers.  They know that salad munchers want a big bowl, not a few limp leaves as an afterthought or garnish. The cafe and store began in 1994 as a way to support a healthy lifestyle, and to raise awareness of diet, organic farming and recycling. The menu showcases nourishing foods, both raw and cooked, with a exhaustive menu of sandwiches, burgers, pasta, pizza, curries, soups and all day breakfast.  

There is a no wi-fi policy to inspire conversation and awareness of your surroundings while enjoying your meal.  As such, there is always someone writing, reading or drawing in a quiet corner, and expats and tourists alike come together in the open air space. 

The Super Health Drinks selection is extensive, including a delicious super green smoothy and a raw vegan tropical smoothy.  Coffee is popular, and the cashew nut latte is a rich alternative to their home made soy which can split when heated.  Desserts, biscuits and cakes are a highlight of any visit and the 'raw energizing spirulina balls', and 'chocolate and date bars' always seem to find their way into a take-away bag as I pass by.

The store displays a tempting daily selection of cakes, breads and desserts, and sells a range of local & imported organic foods, natural household products, skincare & alternative health treatments. One of the unique features of Bali Buddha is the kitchen's location across the road - every meal travels from the chefs to the restaurant with a woven 'hat' covering, to be deposited by a waiter in on the ledge and then to your table.

Still the cheapest place in Ubud for wholesome food in a welcoming environment.  A long time personal favourite.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

clear, ubud, bali

restaurant specialising in gourmet vegetarian, vegan and raw food
Jalan Hanoman No 8, Ubud, Bali

beans : organic Balinese blend
leaf : imported leaf, local herbal & kombucha tea
soy : no, but nut 'mylk' available
fork : raw frozen chocolate and coffee layered cake
spoon : chocolate butterfly smoothie, thick peanut butter and chocolate joy in a glass
knife : strawberry french toast stuffed with cream cheese & drizzled with strawberry sauce & fresh mint (40,000rps A$4.60)
plate & bowl : golden temple vegetable curry with saffron rice & mango chutney (45,000rps A$5.10)
rainbow salad of jackfruit, mango, red capsicum, basil & mint with almond butter dressing (40,000rps, A$4.50)
snow tofu, coconut crusted tofu with sauteed greens in tamarind sauce & garlic mashed potato (45,000rps, A5.10)

footprint : bare feet for staff and customers
price : 25,000k A$2.85
service : friendly & casual
open : 8.00am - 10.30pm last orders

buzz : Ubud is evolving into a world leader in raw vegan cuisine, and Clear is a shining light in the growing scene.  Leave your shoes and preconceptions at the door, for Clear is a place to stretch your dining boundaries. Fresh organic ingredients are tossed, shredded, dehydrated, blended and boiled in an extensive choice of raw vegan, cooked vegan and vegetarian dishes.  Seafood makes an appearance in such guises as chilli lime prawn burritos and seared black pepper tuna steak, but don't expect any land animals on the menu.

Step off the street through a bamboo screen into a zen courtyard that sets the relaxed vibe, inviting you through the carved Balinese doors into the slick interior.  Four rusting steel I-beams support a vast grass roof,  dropping to a rear dining area wrapped around a courtyard pond and waterfall. Covered in water lettuce the pond has claimed a couple of wanderers, so watch your step.  The union of marble, concrete, glass and bamboo, with contemporary furniture, assorted vases and random animal cushions make for a dramatic style, which at first sight is impressive, but after a few visits seems a little too eclectic.  The toilet is entertaining,  and yes the flowers are coming out of the cistern. The white soft furnishings are starting to show wear and the tables have hip busting sharp corners, however this doesn't detract from the ambitious and nourishing food. 

Drinks alone are worthy of a visit and sport their own comprehensive "Liquids" menu. Tonics, elixirs, juices and smoothies, with names like "one love", "island butterfly, "cool rain" and "sacred spice", pack a punch  with their innovative combinations.  The ice-cold thick smoothies are potentially addictive.  If you must have alcohol bring your own - there's no cover charge. 

Coffee comes with cow or nut mylk and the basic latte gives rise to options of classic, chocolate, mint, coconut, cinnamon or vanilla.   Breakfast is popular with the yoga set, and throughout the day it is a relaxed place to hang out and use the wi-fi or chat over drinks. They even have laptops to borrow if you are computer challenged.

The global flavours of Indonesia, India, Mexico, Thailand and Italy are reinterpreted in lighter, healthier and raw versions.  The Lifefood Pizza takes the familiar tastes of sundried tomato, mushrooms, garlic, and cashew pesto and presents it raw and vegan on a flaxseed crust.  Instead of processed bread wraps, tofu and  vegetables are stuffed in crisp lettuce cups with sweet & spicy sour dressing, and in place of wheat pasta, zucchini is spiralized into silky linguine and tossed in your choice of gourmet sauce. 
Clear is a haven for vegetarians and raw foodies wanting gourmet choices at very reasonable prices.  Get there before the carnivores find out.


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