Review: Restaurant Locavore, Ubud, Bali

Earlier this month I enjoyed a very nice meal at Restaurant Locavore in Ubud, Bali. Rated as #1 in Indonesia and #49 in Asia in 2016, Restaurant Locavore aims to utilize the underrated and overlooked local ingredients of Indonesia and Bali to create creative dishes that fuse Indonesian inspiration and textures with western (mostly a mix of French and Nordic) technique and presentation. They are also part of and embody the slow-food movement.

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I believe they achieve their goal. They do lunch and dinner, with 5 (IDR650,000 USD$49.53) or 7 (IDR750,000 USD$57.15) course dinners, either vegetarian (Herbivore: 5 course USD$41.91/ 7 course: USD$49.53) or non-vegetarian (Locavore) option. They have a selection of very well-made craft-cocktails as well as a cocktail pairing (USD$38.10-USD$45,72, depending on vegetarian or not and 5 or 7 course) that goes with each dish if you choose to do this (at a minimal extra cost). The table does not have to order the same menu and not everyone has to do pairing if one member decides to. In addition to your 5 or 7 courses there is a large line up of snacks, amuse Bouche and pre/post-desserts.
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Drink menu
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Food menu with first snack: Wild leaves & flower, salt, hibiscus vinegar
“About the chefs: Perhaps the only import at Locavore is Eelke Plasmeijer, a Dutch-born chef who moved to Jakarta in 2008. There he met fellow head chef Ray Adriansyah, who was born in Jakarta to Sumatran parents, and the pair soon moved to Bali where they ran the kitchen at Alila Ubud. Combining their passion for cooking with sustainably sourced local ingredients, Eelke and Ray decided to take the concept to the next level, teaming up with restaurant manager Adi Karmayasa to create Locavore in November 2013.” (Taken from Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants listing) 
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Chef Plasmeijer plating with Chef Adriansyah next to him.
The ambiance is smart casual, with only restrictions being no flip flops/slippers and no alcohol branded t-shirts, otherwise causal shorts and a smart T is fair game here. The interior is comfortable, not too dark and light wood/earthy tones with splashes of green. Essentially modern-Bali. There is the main dining room as well as a few seats at the open-kitchen counter for you to watch the show unfold in front of your very own eyes. The service, is attentive and friendly, though the local waitresses and waiters can be a little hard to understand and sometimes have a hard time understanding you (as we learned with a miscommunication in a denied request for a write-up of off-menu amuse bouche and snacks, which was later clarified in my email feedback to the restaurant—they usually dont mind writing this up for guests if requested just FYI).
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The bar
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The main dining room viewed from the open kitchen/ counter seating
Over all I was very impressed with both the food and cocktails that were paired as well as a la carte cocktails I ordered.
Stand outs:
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Amuse Bouche–Tomato: bloody Mary sorbet, cherry tomato from our garden, sea salt infused with celery, hot tomato consommé–such complexity in texture and flavors, who knew tomatoes could taste so wonderful!
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Third course: Into the Sawah (Bahasa for Rice Field): hi-grade rice (from Jatih-Luwih, Central Bali), snails and garlic, 64 degrees duck egg, catfish abon, fern tips, wild flowers–taste of this transports you to the stereotypical rice paddies of Bali. This was paired a cocktail made of: Cemcem leaves, young coconut, lemo Bali, lemongrass, tamarind syrup and light rum.
If I had any grievances of an otherwise very good dinner, it would be the following:
One thing that wasnt too great was the last Caramelized apple inside caramelized apple dessert which lacked flavor though it was a cool display. The first course of Crab was also a little lackluster in flavor and texture but wasnt the worst either. While I appreciate, understand and respect the direction Locavore is going, I do sort of wish at least 1-2 dishes were a clear reinterpretation of traditional Indonesian dishes. The response I got from the restaurant about this is that it’s often discussed and they still consider it as a possibility sometimes but still unsure if it fits with what they are trying to achieve.
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The pretty cool torched Caramelized apple inside caramelized apple that came at the very end of the meal, cool display but lacked in flavor and texture (which the chef and management team agreed with and hence it is no longer on the menu).

Definitely recommended if you are ever in Bali! Reservations open up online on their website months in advance (you can book January 2017 if you want) but fill up quite fast if you are looking to eat within 1.5-2 months, so definitely book ahead of your desired date.

 

I will leave it to the photos to list out the amuse Bouche and menu, please forgive the quality of some photos as I am still adjusting to my new but very good fujifilm camera.
Snacks and Amuse Bouche:
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Amaranth tempura (tempura spinach)
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Seaweed pillow, tamarind & Kampung egg creme
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Black bean croquette with Balinese thyme
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Black rice blini, smoked egg, crispy black rice, nasturtium
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Oyster & oyster (oyster mushroom tempura, oster emulsion, sea side incense)
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Potato: potato mousseline, parsley, creme friache, potato croutons, aged goat cheese (from Tegalalang, Ubud)
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Fresh baked sourdough with passionfruit jam and olive oil; duck liver patte

 

Main menu (we ordered the 7 course Locavore menu):

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1. The Crab: crab (from Timika, South Papua), slightly spicy creme cantaloupe melon, dark sour dough, cured kampung egg yolk bangkuang, jasmine flowers. Paired with: pickled bangkuang, mint leaves, dry sake, angostura bitter, St. Remy brandy, homemade jasmine soda
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2. Ox Tongue: ox tongue, stark wheat beer brine, parsley roots, sayur asin & beer, mustard leaves, and urat sapi. Paired with: curley parsley, salak Bali, tanqueray gin, bulleit bourbon, kampung egg white infused with vanilla, pimm’s cup no. 1.
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4. Crayfish: crayfish (from Nusantara, Indonesia), simply boiled petis butter, black beurre blanc, garlic, wild shallots, nasturtium. This dish had the best pairing; cocktail of homemade elder blossom liquor, infused chamomile dry sake, picked garlic brine, ketel one vodka, tanqueray gin, garnished with a pickled garlic clove.
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5. Duck (first way): duck (from Baturiti, Central Bali) on a string, roasted with charcoal and a little wheat inside banana leaf.
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5. Duck (second way): duck (from Baturiti, Central Bali) , tamarind & kecap bebek betutu (like the Indonesian staple sauce of Kecap Manis), Tabia bun peppers, sultanas and tamarind, a little duck fat. Paired with: pineapple, basil blossom infused syrup, port, bulleit bourbon, tamarind infusion, grated long pepper.
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6. Dirty Potato: sweet potato cooked in dirt, mascarpone, mushrooms, daun kaki kuda, sumbawa honey. Paired with: grated beets, wilder berry preserve, drambuie, bulleit bourbon, berry shrub, dash of pimm’s no. 1
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Pre-dessert: Bubur Sumsum: coconut and rice flour porridge, passion fruit, Sumbawa honey, coconut foam
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7. Seasonal Fruit: white chocolate & passion fruit, lychee, raspberries (from Plaga, North Bali), vanilla, young coconut, aloe vera, and mint leaves. Paired with: 2013, Moscato D’Asti, Michele Chiarlo, Piedmont, Italy

 

Friandises:

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Bitter chocolate, rosella gel; Caramelised goat whey tartlet
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Tangerine brulee

 

Drinks:

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Left: Lolah Bali: Wild honey muddled with fresh tumeric & mint leaves, shaken with tamarind syrup & tanqueray gin, served with ice and pomelo and garden mint. Middle: Red chillies muddled with lemongrass, cucumber, pineapple & pomelo shaken with chili infused vodka & tamarind syrup, topped with lemongrass & jeruk basil, over ice and soda water.
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Into the Wild: Muddled Kintamoni Strawberries, wild berry preserve, thyme, shaken with tanqueray gin & cointreau, topped with Moscato D’ Bali, with smoldering herbs as aromatherapy on the side.
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Beet Me!: grated beetroot muddled with pineapple, shaken with raw honey, tanqueray gin, triple sec, served over ice with tonic water, garnished with purple basil leaves.
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Standout main course pairing with the Crayfish: Homemade elder flower blossom liquor, infused chamomile dry sake, pickled garlic brine, ketel one vodka, tanqueray gin, garnished with a pickled garlic.
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Another Friandises: Starfruit shot.

 

Restaurant Locavore:

Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud, Bali

+62 361 977 733
http://locavore.co.id/

Daily: 12:00-2:30PM; 6:00-11:00PM

There is also a more casual outlet of Locavore nearby called Locavore to Go with sandwiches and light eats.

 

Bon Apetit!

Garythegastronomictraveler.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Former Stagé at Locavore says:

    Hi just want to do correction on some dishes.

    They use extra virgin coconut oil on the passion fruit jam / gel, not extra virgin olive oil.

    The duck first way is duck dark meat (leg / tight part) cook betutu style without bumbu (spice), and smoke with rice bran and then wraped on banana leaves.

    The duck second way is duck white meat (breast part) cook on string glaze with tamarind and kecap manis. Duck is sliced top with freshly grated tabia bun pepper, covered with tabia bun leaves wilted with some duck fat and drizzled with sauce made of tamarind and sultana.

    Pardon, my english is little bit rustic.

    1. Hihi,

      Thanks for the corrections! very much appreciated! I did not really catch the explanation of the duck hence why I did not have a good caption for it!

      Best,
      Gary

  2. Former Stagé at Locavore says:

    You’re very welcome..

    Which dish do you think the best?

    And what do you think about the duck, crayfish, and potato dish? Really want to know from your prespective.

    Cheers,

  3. i think for me the two favorites were the Tomato and Into the Sawah.
    the duck, crayfish (which had the best cocktail pairing by the way), and potato were all excellent as well.

    The two let downs were the crab and the apple. Both lacked flavor, texture and complexity in my opinion. though the Apple is a cool display (Eelke informed me you guys have removed it from the menu).

    -Gary

  4. Justin_R says:

    Locavore really is a pretty amazing place! Of all the fine dining restaurants I tried, Locavore was easily my favorite. The tomato sorbet was my favorite dish they served.

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