Halal Food in Ubud

It's no secret that getting halal food in Ubud can be tricky. While Denpasar offers a bigger chance to spot one, as 20% of its city dwellers are Muslim, however Ubud represents the more common situation in Bali where less than 4% of its population are Muslim. A stark contrast to the 85% majority nation wide, which make Indonesia a country with the largest Muslim population in the world.

(Yes, Bali is not a stand alone nation but a part of a bigger nation called Indonesia, in case you haven't noticed.)

Well known as the Yoga Capital of Indonesia, and made more famous in recent years thanks to Julia Robert's movie "Eat, Pray, Love," most foodies sought for Babi Guling Ibu Oka when visiting Ubud. Acknowledged as one of the most delicious pork dishes in the world by international TV Chefs, many tried to keep up with Ibu Oka's achievement hence roasted whole pig, or its modernized siblings pork ribs, are two of the most common dish to find in Ubud's restaurants.

Throughout years of Epicurina's food blogging adventure in Bali however, we're able to recommend some Halal food selections worth to try in Ubud. Here they are in absolutely unordered list:

1. Puteri Minang 

Perhaps the most obvious selections is nothing else than the food from a region long associated with Islam and halal food: Nasi Padang, that's what Puteri Minang sells.

With dishes ranging from the well known Rendang Padang, into the more traditional options like Tunjang, Kikil, Otak, and Paru, Puteri Minang offers a wide selection fits the most selective eaters. Just a bit of warning though that car parking space is very limited, and the food here is quite spicy hot.

Alternatively there are also some other Padang Restaurants further down the road, but Puteri Minang is the most famous.

Puteri Minang
Address:
Jalan Raya Ubud 77,
Ubud,
Bali,
Indonesia
Phone: (+62) 361 975577

Halal status: HL2 - Halal by seller's claim

2. Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku

Perhaps the closest contender to Babi Guling Ibu Oka in term of fame, Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku is also a long standing brand in Ubud. Serving Kedewatan style Nasi Ayam Bali, where instead of Ayam Betutu, they're using Ayam Gerang Asam.

The other component of the dish are quite typical of Balinese Chicken Rice found throughout the island, like Ayam Sisit, Sate Lilit Ayam, Urab Sayur, Telur Rebus, Kacang Goreng, and Sambal.

Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku
Address:
Jalan Raya Kedewatan No.18,
Ubud,
Bali 80571
Indonesia
Phone: (+62) 361 974795
Opens: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm

Halal status: HL1 - Halal by own observation

3. Warung Pulau Kelapa

Located really close to another one of Ubud's most famous eateries, Naughty Nuri's, Warung Pulau Kelapa serves Indonesian and some International food selections.

Led by Chef Lambon, Warung Pulau Kelapa occupies a joglo styled building, with both indoor and outdoor seating, including one set in a cow's cage setting. Another interesting feature of Warung Pulau Kelapa is the garden where guests can pick their own vegetables to be cooked by the kitchen staff, including the less common ones like Bunga Turi, or the edible flower of Sebasnia grandiflora.


To better fit the international audience, Warung Pulau Kelapa also applies #NoMSG policy.

It is not a coincidence then, that Warung Pulau Kelapa sits on the recommendation list of Indonesia's prominent food experts like William Wongso and Bondan Winarno.

Warung Pulau Kelapa
Address:
Jl. Raya Sanggingan,
Lungsiakan,
Ubud,
Bali,
Indonesia

Halal status: HL1 - Halal by own observation

4. Bale Udang Ubud 


Formerly known as Bale Udang Mang Engking, their Ubud branch is quite a new venue, Bale Udang Ubud is perhaps the only large sized restaurant in Ubud that serves Halal food. With parking space fits tourist busses and plenty cars all at once, the venue doesn't sacrifice quality for quantity, as the spaces are beautifully designed around the artificial pond, complete with individual bamboo huts erected over the water.

The restaurant is also well managed, and the foods are actually delicious, with affordable prices. It even has musholla (praying space) with decent facility.

As the name implies, Bale Udang Ubud serves prawn based dishes (Udang = prawn or shrimp) in several varieties like fried, grilled, honey marinated, boiled, or made into soup. They also serves other seafood like squid and crab, fresh water fishes like Carp and Gourami. And for the seafood challenged guests, there are also selections of beef, chicken and duck based dishes. There's quite something for everyone.

Bale Udang Ubud
Address:
Jl. Raya Goa Gajah,
Banjar Teges Kanginan,
Desa Peliatan,
Ubud,
Bali,
Indonesia
Website: http://www.baleudang.com/

Halal status: HL2 - Halal by seller's claim

5. Sitara Indian Restaurant

A decent Indian restaurant offering classic Indian food, which means normally there would be no pork, or beef, just mutton, chicken, prawn, fish, cheese, and lots lots lots of curry. 

Sitara Indian Restaurant
Address: 
Jalan Hanoman 99 X, 
Tegal, 
Ubud, 
Bali
Indonesia
Phone: (+62) 361 977195
Opens: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

Halal status: HL1 - Halal by own observation

6. Taco Casa

Serving Mexican favourite like Tacos, Enchiladas, Burritos, Quesadillas, and Fajitas, it's quite a rarity that they uses only beef and chicken for the meat selection. But we're grateful for that.

Taco Casa
Address: 
Jl. Pengosekan, 
Ubud, 
Gianyar, 
Bali 80571
Indonesia
Phone: (+62) 812 2422 2357
Opens: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

Halal status: HL1 - Halal by own observation

7. Sari Organik

Serving mostly organic and locally grown vegetable dishes, Sari Organik offers selection of local and international vegetarian dishes on their menu. When the menu is not vegetarian, they uses either chicken, or fish.

The catch -- or the beauty, depends on how you see it -- is that you have to walk through the rice fields for about 15 minutes as Sari Organik is located deep in the countryside, where only human and motorcycles (and water buffalos of course) can fit to the narrow path in between the rice fields. Some are so narrow that you have to step aside to give way to motorcycle passing by.

Impressive? Absolutely, if you've never seen rice fields up close before, or having your meal in the beautiful bamboo hut surrounded by lush green rice fields. But if rice fields is already abundant in your regular daily sights, Sari Organik still worth a visit, at least once.

Just don't forget to bring extra clothes and plan your trip outside of Bali's most hot hours. The setting sun do look beautiful to watch from here.

Warung Bodag Maliah Sari Organik
Address: 
In the middle of Tjampuhan countryside
Jl. Raya Tjampuhan, 
Ubud, 
Gianyar, 
Bali
Phone: (+62) 361 972087
Opens: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Park your vehicle on the roadside, then continue by walking.

Halal status: HL1 - Halal by own observation

Last, some general notes:

  1. Should you're nowhere near these recommendations, as a general rule you can expect all Padang Restaurants are 100% Halal, Vegetarian Restaurants are your next best chance to have Halal food, and Indian Restaurants are also worth options to inspect.
  2. Most of the restaurants recommended above serves alcohol, which is among the reason why many don't bother to try getting certified by halal certification body (Majelis Ulama Indonesia - MUI) in Indonesia.
  3. Observation and personal judgement should always be practiced, as these recommendations are made through a limited mean of personal observation which includes visual and listed ingredients inspection, interview with the restaurant staff, backed up with online research and peer opinions. 
There you are folks, your list of halal food recommendation in Ubud for your holiday. Which one is your favorite? Do let us know should you have other halal food recommendations in Ubud to include in the list. (byms)

Alaya Ubud Resort Relaxing Oasis in Downtown Ubud


Serving as the base camp for our Ubud Food Festival activities is the charming hotel Alaya Ubud. Looks narrow and unassuming from the front, the hotel is actually big, just that it's stretched a couple of hundred meters deep.

Located next to the Yoga Barn, Alaya is easy to spot, and ample of parking spaces are available. There are three main attraction at this beautiful resort hotel: The room (definitely), Dala Spa, and Petani Restaurant with live music performance featuring Bali's best talents. During the day, Petani also serves as a good meeting ground with its elegant chic interior.

Around Alaya Ubud, there's a lot of attraction you can visit by walking, eliminating the need of a cab. A major supermarket sits almost right next to the hotel, 15 minutes walk to the Monkey Forest, and a lot of interesting restaurants and shops only a walking distance away.


The Stay


First, service is awesome, loosely structured and feels genuine, no cliche. With only 60 rooms capacity, this is among the luxury you can experience from the staff in Alaya Ubud. For example, when I got back from my talk in Ubud Food Festival, the guest relation staff recognized me almost immediately, even though I'm sure that was the first time we met. Wanting to quickly get out of my sweat ridden t-shirt from the earlier activity, I was then accompanied by a younger male staff, who's also already know me by name, all the way to my room where my wife and kids are waiting.

On the down side the walk to our room on the third floor was unexpectedly long, given the narrow-deep hotel layout and our room was located quite to the rear end of the resort. There's also no elevator or ramps available meaning we can't carry the baby stroller either.

The view was amazing though. While I'm no stranger to rice fields, since I grew up with rice fields surrounding my house and treat them as my playground, the view is soothing nonetheless. I heard that the hotel bought those rice fields around the hotel, just so it can be preserved as is.


The room itself was simply beautiful. I love how the design makes the room felt cultured, with the texture, colors, and artworks, but not bare traditional, as the in-room facilities and the honeycomb patterned door nicely adds the contemporary feels.

The bowl shaped bathtub with natural lighting was surely gained my 6 years old kid attention, who's favourite hotel activity includes either swimming, or bubble bath, or both. Both the shower and the bathtub occupied an open space though, divided only by curtain with the rest of the room. Suitable for couples and families with little kids, it might feels a bit awkward for those not used to open space bathrooms.

The room was spacious, and its bed was enough to fit the whole crew of 2 3/4 people (2 adults, 1 kid, 1 baby). And what begun as a joke to address the daybed as "kid's bed" ends up with our kid actually slept on it, believing that joke to be true.

Outside of the room (literally), the other wonderful feature of Alaya Ubud's rooms are the balconies. Facing the lush green rice fields, it's equipped with comfy couch perfect to snuggle with your loved one(s), while enjoying the fresh air of Ubud.

While Alaya also have afternoon tea down at Petani as complimentary of our stay, we skipped it as our agenda for the rest of the afternoon was to enjoy the luxury treatment of Dala Spa.

Mesmerizing Dala Spa


Located at the at the hotel's farthest end, Dala Spa's lobby is at the second floor and the treatment room downstairs at the ground floor. What's special with Dala Spa is that each room have different themes, all were elegant and mesmerizing in their own ways.

Surprisingly, Dala Spa also has their own Spa menu which includes a nice set of high tea, with array of unique tea blends.

As we took quite a lot of beautiful shots here, it's only proper to put the Dala Spa experience in its own article. Stay tuned.


Dinner time at Petani Restaurant


For the evening, I heads down to Petani Restaurant. The view turned into dramatic with the lights turned on.


As Mrs. Epicurina suddenly experiencing a terrible headache, I have to enjoy the dinner alone. A pity, but still enjoyable nonetheless, especially with the live entertainment by Bali's own prodigy music artist Balawan.


Known for his double necked guitar and his unique tapping method, Balawan performance that night was both joyful and stunning. Combining intricate tunes with Balinese elements, Balawan combine technical prowess with ethnicity nuance beautifully blend it. This is for sure not your usual dinner band.

Later during the end of his performance, Balawan was also joined by one of his audience in a three way "battle" of scatting, Djembe drum playing, and Balawan mimicking gamelan on his guitar!


To accompany the evening, I ordered Grilled Jimbaran Bay Tuna. Two slabs of thick and juicy tuna, stacked on top of purple potato puree and edamame beans. The tuna was marinated with Kintamani lime and soy sauce, lightly grilled to create the firm surface, while at the same time maintaining the pinky juicy tuna meat inside. Well done!

I did find the dressing of spiced orange reduction a bit challenging though, since the purple potato is already sweet, and the dressing was even sweeter.


Breakfast in Alaya Ubud

Several options are available for breakfast in Alaya Ubud, you can pick from the Indonesian Nasi Kuning Komplit, Eggs, or Pancake. I certainly went for the poached eggs, on top of toasted baguette, perfected by a layer of smoked salmon. Delish! I always love the moment I sliced the poached eggs open and let the runny egg yolks melted out.

We find the Nasi Kuning a bit too mellow for our local tastebuds though, while our kid certainly enjoyed his freshly made choco chips pancake.

All of the breakfast choices includes a set of sliced fresh fruits, juices, homemade yogurt, bread basket with homemade jams, and a choice of coffee or tea. While it's not a buffet breakfast, it's surely fulfilling.





Conclusion and feedbacks

On overall our stay was awesome, the staffs were attentive, their Dala Spa's High Tea has definitely one of the best savory snacks among all the high teas in Bali. We love the bedroom and the bowl shaped bathtub, and the balcony was relaxing.

I would love to see flavor enhancement on some of their food, and there should be a better way to address family traveling with babies, or with elders, as for both cases the long walk might be an issue.


Where's your favorite place to stay in Ubud? Share with us!

Thank you Alaya Ubud for introducing your lovely resort to our Epicurina readers. As usual, all opinions are of my own. (byms)

Jamie's Italian Kuta Beach Bali, Jamie Oliver's debut in Indonesia

If you've been an avid food channel watcher like I do, I'm sure Jamie Oliver is no stranger. Beside TV shows and cookbooks, Jamie also went on to create several restaurant lines, which includes Jamie's Italian. showcases authentic Italian cooking, combined with Jamie's modern approach and unique twist.


While Jamie's already gained quite a hype in Singapore, in a surprising move, turned out that Jamie's Italian next target is Bali, Indonesia, joining the crowds of fine restaurants created by international chefs, which some already calling Bali their second home.

Existing in more than a dozen countries now, Jamie's Italian Kuta Beach mark their entry to Indonesian market, and Epicurina was so excited to be invited as a food blogger on their media lunch and sample what Jamie's have to offer their Bali audience.

Food

Now let's dive straight into the goodies!


For an extravagant entry, you might want to choose The Cured Meats Plank (145K/person), which consisting of Prosciutto di Parma, fennel & garlic salami, mortadella & bresaola. Served with bocconcini, pecorino & chilli jam, pickles, whole olive and crunchy salad. For a non-pork option they also have a cured wagyu beef slices.



Another good option at Jamie's is their fresh pasta made each morning on the premise. It's cooked in just about 40 seconds, and as the result you get strains of yummy buttery pasta with noticeable mix of coarse and fine grained flour, beautiful texture.


While we ordered several type of pasta, the most noticeable one is the Octopus and Mussel Spaghetti (195K) using black thin spaghetti, bathed in chilli, capers, and white wine sauce. It leans toward peppery spicy and savory with noticeable level of sweetness.


Another obvious option from the meat selections is Jamie's 30-day Matured Prime Sirloin (345K), chargrilled then served with the earthy pungent wild mushrooms. The maturing process adds intensity to the flavour, though it was quite mild, and not as strong as I thought it will be, based on my past encounters with dry aged beef.


The winner of the mains section though, would be this Lamb Chop Lollipops (280K). Consisting of four slabs of chops, it's served on top of mashed creamy artichoke, then dressed with mint sauce, roasted peanuts, and chillies. It has a nice chunky texture and combination of flavours that goes well: meaty, minty, earthy, with a hint of tartness. Definitely my favourite from the meat section.


Menu in Jamie are comprising of fresh produce sourced with meticulous attention to its quality. Our host informed that it took more than two months of inspecting suppliers in and out of Bali's rural areas and throughout Indonesia. Some ingredients though, like the red meats are still sourced from abroad for lack of local alternative.

When you're done with the mains, don't forget to take a trip into Jamie's dessert heaven! Pictured below are Lemon Meringue Cheesecake (115K), and behind that is Creamy Panna Cotta (95K), Raspberry & Chocolate Rippled Pavlova (95K). Simply says they're all good, and would be perfect for your sweet tooth.


Location

Sits in a very strategic location at Jalan Pantai, Kuta, Jamie's occupy what used to be where Starbucks was, right across Wendy's. Parking space though very limited, is available immediately next to the venue, in front of the ATMs. Alternatively you will have to park a bit further in Kuta Square, or by the beach.


If you're looking for a more festive atmosphere, and hanging out in a small party, both outdoor and ground floor seating are perfect choices. The seating upstairs on the other hand, provide a comfier and more comfortable atmosphere, away from Bali's heat.










Just a little bit about Jamie Oliver


The smiley chef from UK made his TV debut with "The Naked Chef" series produced by BBC, where Jamie took a casual approach to cooking, relating them to day to day events us men usually encounters. The show appeals to both women, and men, who thanks to Jamie sees cooking as something doable, and man enough.

And no Jamie didn't host his cooking show naked, the show's title was due because Jamie's style of cooking is by using simple, fresh ingredients, "naked" of pretense and heavy sauces and such. "It's basically stripping back to the bare essentials," as he says in the book of the same name (1). (byms)

Marked photos are from Epicurina personal collection, while non-marked ones are from Jamie's Italian collection.

(1) https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100321164903AAQPdfT

Traditional British Sunday Roast at Jemme Bali

Last year we heard a rumours about this lovely Sunday roast, the best on the island some says, and what's even more intriguing is that the roast can be found in a Jewellery turned into restaurant, named Jemme in Petitenget.

Luckily, Epicurina Bali Food Adventure Blog got invited into this amazing establishment before it undertake a renovation earlier this month, and here's the story of our dining experience in Jemme Bali.


Jemme, finally

It was already late in the afternoon when we finally made it to Jemme, thanks to the traffic and all the hassles of reaching Petitenget during its afternoon rush hour, which at times could create a gridlock.

We quickly entered the smaller door on the right of the Jemme Jewellry shop to meet our host for the afternoon. After the greetings and menu browsing, I then got a chance to look around and experience Jemme atmosphere before our meal arrived.


As you can see from the picture, the place is already packed, and there's live music show in the main dining room. On overall there are two main sections of Jemme that you can have dinner at: the main dining room inside, and the smaller more intimate quarter near the entrance door. The jewellery shop next door, unfortunately, does not cater for dinner despite its extraordinary view.

Despite its lavish atmosphere though, as you can see from the guest's attire Jemme is a casual dining place so dress moderately, since this is Bali anyway.

Meal

The star of our early dinner, was definitely, the Sunday Roast. It was served with Yorkshire Puddings, chunks of roasted potatoes and gravy, and ours also come with three kind of sides: coleslaw, steamed vegetables, and cauliflower cheese gratin. There was three options of meat available: beef, lamb, or pork.


Our order came in a reddish brown color, which matched the color of the wooden board it was presented. Soo #foodporn. As with the taste, it's succulent, velvety, and full of juice. It's already good even without the accompanying gravy, definitely something memorable.


While the Rosemary looks more like a garnish, when used sparingly this aromatic herb provide a nice shot of piney aroma to the meaty roast. Eaten without the gravy, this way you can appreciate the quality of the meat without too much distraction.


Depends to your liking though, you can also go full-force on the side dishes and create your own prefered combo.


Extra Yorkshire Pudding

I have to admit it's been a while since I last encountered Yorkshire pudding. The puffy savory baked dough that got me wondered "Where's the pudding?" the first time I seen it in Lawry's Jakarta, a long long time ago.

Eaten with the meaty brown gravy, Yorkshire pudding produce a wonderful savory spongy bites to accompany the succulent roast, so no wonder the couple at the table next to us ordered extra Yorkshire pudding for their meal.

Being in their early 50s, the Australian couple looks energetic and have been visiting Bali since the 80s. They also revealed that since Jemme opened, it has been their must go place every time they visited Bali, and Jemme's Sunday roast (with extra Yorkshire pudding) is their mandatory order here. "Best on the island!" they claimed, and after trying it out myself I can understand why.

Sweet Closing

As if we haven't feel satisfied with the roast, our host kept on coming with yummy treats for us to sample, and here's another one of Jemme's best: Tasting for Two, which comprising of their most popular desserts, in mini portions.


While they're all well executed, my favorite goes with the Coconut Creme Brulee which sits halfway between a regular Creme Brulee and Sarikaya, with addition of the fragrant roasted coconuts.


As with two other significant members of Epicurina (wife and kid), they surely picked the Moist Chocolate Mud Pudding, and this Dark Chocolate Mousse pictured below.


The Drinks

Last but not least, here's three of Jemme's best Mocktails to accompany your Sunday Roast: the pinchy Drylander that contains chili and ginger, among other ingredients, the refreshing zesty Berrylicious which mixes berries with orang, and the rustic Ginger Lime Lemongrass (GLL) as the lightest of the three. Which one you'd pick? I definitely like my Drylander but resort to the GLL for a best match of our roast.


Thank you Jemme for introducing your delicious Sunday Roast to our Epicurina readers. (byms)

Jemme Jewellery and Dinner
Address: Jalan Petitenget No. 28, Seminyak, Kuta, Badung, Bali 80361
Phone: +62 361 4732392
Hours: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm

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Halal Balinese Food in Warung Basang Bali

One of the biggest pleasure I have as a food blogger in Bali, is when I can present you dear readers, something new and uniquely Bali, and last week we found something perfectly fit that description named Warung Basang.




Located near the Krishna gift shop in Tuban, Kuta, Warung Basang serves quality Balinese food with affordable prices, and authentic home cooking Balinese dishes.

Warung Basang itself was born out of passion to preserve Balinese cuisine tradition, which contains many wonderful delicious dishes, including those less known to people outside Bali. That's why on the menu you'd find lots of interesting selections like Lawar Klungah which uses very young coconut shells (yes its shells!), with a crunchy rubbery texture. Or Tum Ares which uses young banana stalks, beside of the well known Bebek Betutu, or Sate Lilit Ikan Laut. 



For a modern and easy to like alternative, Warung Basang also serves creations like Nasi Goreng Bongkot which uses fragrant torch ginger root and white fish meat.

Aiming for authenticity, Warung Basang ensure they only minimally adjust the flavors to match domestic tourists' palate, including toning down the spiciness standard to better fit non-Balinese heat tolerance level. And we have testimonies from our fellow Balinese foodies in #Mekulicious to certify its authenticity.

That being said, I personally find the heat level of food in Warung Basang still sits on the top end of my heat tolerance range, however my lovely spouse think the spiciness level was just standard and fits her appetite really well.

For you spicy food lovers though, Warung Basang serves six different kind of Balinese sambal to please your appetite.


Outside of the heat factor, I found Warung Basang cooking is flavorful, rich, and memorable. Something I'd happily recommend even to my most reserved, judgmental, annoyingly truthful friends.

Halal Balinese 

What's even more interesting from Warung Basang though, it's something that's very rare in Balinese eateries: a halal standard.


Therefore if you've been wondering how Lawar taste, but was hesitant as you're following a no-pork dietary like majority of muslim are, here's your chance.

Upon asked why choosing halal Balinese concept, Warung Basang's owner Anindya Mantik (Indy) revealed that the decision was come after a thorough research, and her wish to preserve a family's culinary tradition:


The Tuban area was chosen since its close to the Ngurah Rai Airport, and quickly becoming a prominent destination for domestic tourists, especially with the development of new budget hotels in this stretch of street, not to mention the famous shops already residing in this street: Krishna souvenir shop, Joger Bali, and Nasi Ayam Ibu Andika.

While there's already some Balinese eateries in the area, Indy figured none caters a fully fledged Balinese menu yet. On the other hand, one of her fondest memory of childhood was the cooking of her grandmother from Tabanan, which despite her experience living abroad, kept lingering in her mind. 


Her decision to go Halal was further fueled by the fact that most domestic travelers are muslim, and they rarely touch Balinese dishes for fear that it contains pork, while in truth Balinese cuisine is not always about pork. That's why it's becoming her passion also to introduce the halal side of Balinese cookings.  

To ensure the Halal standard, Warung Basang employs a muslim female chef, and source their ingredients from muslim sellers in the nearby traditional market.

Lending her passion in fashion design, Indy ensures that your visit in Warung Basang creates a lasting impression with its comfy atmosphere, that's ornamented with snapshots from the past.





Warung Basang (@warungbasang
Jalan Raya Tuban 58A (next to Rahayu), 
Tuban, Kuta, Bali, 
Indonesia. 
Phone: +62 812 3632 0603

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