There is Taman Ayun temple which is surrounded by water on all sides and lot of greenery including lawns. We did not explore it completely as we did not want to miss the Tanah Lot sunset. Uluwatu is a temple on a cliff near the Indian ocean and of course a spectacular view. We have kept these two temples for our next visit to Bali. In the Monkey Forest, there are a lot of monkeys, the ones whom we call "Hanuman ji ka roop" ( form of Hanuman) in India. There is a deep gorge with a gushing stream. You can hear it and walk close to it. There are temples and holy springs within the forest. The force of the stream is immense. It is not a gentle meandering one. There is an art gallery inside. Some silly shop construction has happened on one entire boundary wall inside the forest. It is not pleasant to the eye. Central Ubud has a lot of construction going on. Beautiful houses being broken down to make multi storied houses with restaurants or a spa. The beauty of the town is being destroyed slowly, I pray not. The tourist traffic is high. The demand is causing the damage.
Kept looking for vegetarian food and want to share all the places we explored. Vegan is available all over the place but Soyabean is not my idea of vegetarian food. Indonesian Fried rice Nasi Goreng and noodles were available in most places but the taste differed vastly. The furniture is awesome wooden and extremely comfortable. This is something we do not find in Indian restaurants at all. The toilets are really clean.
Mamma Mia is authentic Italian pasta pizza place. The pizzas made in wood fired oven, prompt service and very good juices and desserts. The owner came to Bali 25 years back, fell in love and married a Balinese dancer and settled in Ubud. We loved being in his company and listening about Italy and Bali in the same breath. Right from breakfast time, it has guests eating a full pizza each. For us, pizza is a dish which is always shared. Did not see that in Mamma Mia. The staff has been there for years. The owner's son is opening a new restaurant at Denpasar near the university for the students crowd.
Ibu Rai is a beautiful restaurant in the heart of Ubud. Ibu means a senior lady. She cooked food and sold it to tourists and now her grandchildren run the place. It is hip and very chic. We simply loved the food and its consistency as we went there multiple times for various meals.
Cafe Wayan had traditional floor seating and lots of fountains. It was dark and huge. Every time the staff entered your hut, they removed their footwear and sat down to serve the food. They did this thousands of time in the day and with a big smile. The food had a distinct flavour.
Bridges is a restaurant overlooking a bridge and a stream. It is at a height. Lunch time gives the best view. The waitress was seven months pregnant with her second child and she looked so happy. The service was impeccable. Vegetarian food was okay. The place has he right vibe.
Spice by Chris Salans was another place which is air conditioned, has a bar seating and an upper veranda seating. The open kitchen and the bar are in the centre of the restaurant. It is next to a super market. The mart sells wooden statues which line the entire wall of the restaurant. The staff says Om Swastu everytime a guest walks in or leaves the restaurant. It means let all good happen to all.
Lotus Cafe is near a temple and a pond and has Balinese dance perfomance happening. Somehow it felt too uppity to eat there though we did go in twice.
Siam Sally had great Thai food, though the portion size is too small. Service was good and the food was fresh.
Petani restaurant was all chic with live band playing and very Balinese. We did not get a table there. Most restaurants close by 10 pm types. This place did not have much in veg food.
Creperie was a place for crepes made by a very good looking French Chef. It was quiet with a lush green sit out and wooden furniture. The staff knew from the second visit how the children like their crepes and the husband like his baguette. It had good music too.
Taco Casa was amazing Mexican food all fresh ingredients and lots of vegetables. Just that it looked like a factory in terms of the service station. This was not a place to chill, it was more like eat and go.
Yoga Barn was really really disappointing. The foreigners come to Ubud for Yoga. Yoga Barn has huge batches of Yoga classes. The Yoga in Ubud has all kinds of stuff including ecstasy dancing, which was very popular. Most of the students are good looking women and very few men. The women are all hot and aggressive. They think this is the best place to learn Yoga and not India. Yoga Barn is all about what good marketing can do to a place. Ubud has become a Yoga centre for a certain kind of Australians, Americans and Europeans... the 'Gora' crowd I mean. The women come to Ubud for months, stay in rented rooms, ride a scooter and talk about Past Life regression, achieving Nirvaana and getting in the real zone and more such jargons. The more such 'heavy duty' words you use, the more up in the Yoga barn ladder, you are perceived. I did spend some time here in the restaurant just observing them. The amount of aggression after a Yoga class is to be seen to be believed. Defeats the purpose of Yoga. Forgot to mention that I had gone there for the food which is totally tasteless. They have some Indian items which taste anything but Indian. I will go one step ahead and say that it has sad food and the worse amongst all the restaurants we visited. Lot of students pack food from the restaurant, which is given in fancy paper boxes and with brown paper bags. I was feeling bad for the amount of paper wasted even if it was recycled paper. Chatted with a very sweet woman from Singapore who comes to Yoga Barn to destress from work.
More in the next post as Bali lingers on my mind.