Both of us love food, so when Birthe stumbled across an article listing Locavore in Ubud as one of the top restaurants in the world (according to TripAdvisor) we just had to give it a try. You can make reservations through their website and while dinner was fully booked for the next 3 weeks, we were able to get in for lunch about 10 days later. Definitely not a restaurant you can just walk into.
Locavore Ubud, the restaurant
Locavore is a fine dining restaurant in Ubud, Bali. On their website, they describe their food as “unique, contemporary European fare from the finest of locally sourced seasonal ingredients”. A map on their homepage discloses the local suppliers of their seasonal ingredients.
Their commitment to environmental sustainability can be found in every aspect of the Locavore concept: recycled wood in their interior, locally sourced seasonal ingredients, minimal waste in the kitchen, and passive solar panels on the roof.
Since we had the outstanding lunch menu at Locavore back in 2016, they have opened several other restaurants and shops, all on the same street. Across from Locavore, there’s Nusantara, another fine dining restaurant, but celebrating the classic Indonesian dishes from all over the nation.
The Night Rooster is a cocktail bar with a menu featuring unique cocktails, craft beers and shareable bar snacks. Locavore To Go is a small restaurant serving breakfast till 11:00 and lunch till 19:00. They have a butcher shop called Local Parts as well, and a food laboratory/testing kitchen called LocaLab.
Can’t wait to go back and try them all!
Whether you’re lunching or dining at Locavore, there are 2 set menus you can choose from: the Locavore Menu and vegetarian Herbivore Menu. Both menus offer 7 courses, but you have the option to skip 2 of them and go for the slightly cheaper 5 course menu. They are supposed to be flexible in which courses you want to skip, but we can’t be certain as we wanted to have the full 7 course experience. Birthe choose the vegetarian option and I went for the Locavore menu, basically doubling the courses we each got to taste to 14!
In total we paid a little more than 1,500,000 rupiah for the food or about $50 (~ €44) per person. It would have been nearly double that, had we opted for paired drinks (cocktails and wine). We just stuck with a drink each and the free water refills.
Note that prices have gone slightly up since. The 7 course Locavore Menu will now cost you 875,000 rupiah ($58 ~ €51), the 7 course Herbivore Menu 775,000 rupiah ($51 ~ €45). This doesn’t include the beverage pairing, the 10% tax, and the 11% service charge. You can check out the current menus and up-to-date pricing on the Locavore website.
Our lunch at Locavore
One thing you don’t have to worry about is not getting enough food for your money. Before we even got to the first course we were presented with 4 delicious amuse-bouches, a palate cleansing sorbet and bread. The server was very friendly and explained exactly what we were getting. Herb chips with ginger mayo dip, churros with goat cheese, pickled and grilled shiitake mushroom, sourdough bread with pesto oil and passion fruit jelly, … all of them delicious.
We had already tasted some amazing things when the first of our 7 courses arrived: thinly shaved kohlrabi with seaweed krupuk for Birthe and cold smoked prawns for me. For both of us this was the dish we liked the least but it was still good and the food only got better from there.
The Locavore menu featured pork, snails, barramundi and lamb in the next 4 courses while the vegetarian menu offered delicious versions of beetroot, corn, soybeans and pumpkin. All beautifully presented and sufficient portions. They might look small by themselves, but when there are so many courses you will definitely be satisfied at the end.
Our final 2 courses were desserts, preceded by another palate cleansing sorbet first (and an amazing one at that, loved it!). A delicious interpretation of apple pie, a mango panna cotta, pandan ice cream and braised pineapple with yoghurt sorbet were the final dishes of our 7 course menu.
That wasn’t the end of it though. Just like at the start we were presented with 4 more bites. A chocolate bonbon with pineapple jelly, madeira cake, vanilla yoghurt with snake fruit and finally a dragon fruit Oreo.
With so many courses it isn’t surprising that we spent a little more than 3 hours at the restaurant. (We actually had to reschedule our spa treatment, but they were happy to make the call for us.) You probably won’t get bored though. The food came at a good pace without feeling rushed.
We really loved our 7 course lunch at Locavore in Ubud. It’s expensive but really worth the splurge. We tasted some amazing and creative food and would definitely make another reservation if we’re back in Bali. Maybe even opt for the paired drinks next time? If they are as good as the food, it would be worth it!
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