I recently went to Bali for 10 nights, and have decided that writing up a quick summary of the cafes and restaurants we tried would be worthwhile to other dairy free, egg free and/or vegans out there. Especially if you are thinking about travelling to the beautiful province of Indonesia! If you’re going to Ubud, check out my summary post of the vegan food there.
I’m putting this out there: I apologise for these photos… night lighting and what is usually just my iPhone is not a recommended combination for trying to take quick and discreet food snaps!
This was the closest vegan/vegan-friendly place we had, so we ate here quite a few times – three, in fact! Because what a lot of the ‘Vegan Bali’ roundups don’t mention is that all these delicious restaurants and cafes they list are often miles and hours apart. It’s between an hour to an hour and a half car ride between Ubud and Seminyak (so say, Moka and Divine Earth). The staff here are a bit hit and miss but, as I mentioned in my Ubud round up, that seems to be the norm. They’re friendly just.. not quite as attentive/focussed on putting your order into the kitchen as they are in England or the US.
What we ate
So many things! To eat, we sampled the Tempeh Reuben sandwich, the Dragon Bowl salad, the Mexican Black Bean soup, the Great Hug-A-Lafel Sandwich and the the build-your-own-salads. From the sides, we had the Smashed Garlic Potatoes (which is actually mashed potatoes, and more rosemary than garlic), and the hummus plate. From the fridge/dessert menu, I had the tofu lemon cheesecake (skip it guys, if it met a lemon in it’s short, cheesecake life I wouldn’t have known!) and The “Garcia” (amazing, try it). We tried the spirulina ball (not bad), the peanut butter ball (skip – far to dry), the white chocolate bite (skip) and the cashew chocolate bite (try it!).
We also tried a couple of the drinks – the Very Berry ‘Energy Booster’ and the Chocolate Mylk Shake. Both brilliant!
The same people (company?) that own Earth Cafe also own Divine Earth. But where Earth Cafe is more cafe, less restaurant, Divine Earth is much more of a restaurant affair. The menu they have there also seemed to be completely different. We didn’t arrive until nearly 10pm and the staff were quite apparent in wanting to turn us around quickly. Of course, I can’t say I blame them! They close at 11pm. Plus – it was 10pm. I was hungry and didn’t really want to wait either!
What we ate
Adam and I shared a raw Indian Samosa to start. The samosa was possibly one of the best things I ate in Bali, to be honest.
I had the Lasagne Mediterraneo for my main course and it was very good – Adam had the Seitan Steak with Mushroom Cream and certainly tucked into it with gusto! He raved about the cream until I pinched some and have to agree: the mushroom cream makes the dish! The side of millet cauliflower mash was less impressive: it was very bland (tasteless, even) and had been mashed to a puree so lacked texture.
We indulged in desssert here to, since the previous courses had been so good. Adam ordered the Chocolate Lava Cake (from the fridge – no hot filling) and I had a chocolate chip raw ball thing. Plus, I was craving something warm so I ordered a hot Maca Java with Soy Milk, in the chocolate flavour. Both extremely good – in fact I wish they sold the chocolate chip ball in Earth Cafe because I wanted some to take on the flight the day we left!
Not too far from Zula or the Frankenstein’s dinner show is Taco Beach Grill. The Taco Beach Grill website recommends to book, which we did, however we needn’t have done. However, it was a Wednesday night rather than a weekend so take that into consideration. There is air conditioning at the Grill, but it was a bit lack lustre. Maybe the air conditioning was partially broken, or it was because the door was wide open… Either way it was very warm inside despite it being afer 8 o’clock at night.
What we ate
We shared the avocado fries to start, which is two large slices of avocado in some kind of breadcrumb (possibly panko). For mains we both had tacos, surprisingly.
I had the spicy ‘chorizo’ tofu with no cheese/sour cream, and extra avocado. Adam had the same but not spicy. You get to choose what kind of shells you want, which is pretty cool too – since I was indecisive, and wanted to try both! We both had one of each (one hard shell, one soft shell). I preferred the soft shell but that opinion is largely based on the level of mess created by the other shell! FYI, hard shell equals more mess. To drink we had a glass each of Sangria – the glasses are small, but it’s a nice version of the drink and went down nicely in the overly warm restaurant.
Banana Leaf Vegan Thai Fusion (Canggu)
I had such high hopes – because of the name I think. We had to get a cab out to essentially almost, nowhere. It’s a very small cafe really, next to a sister yogurt vendor (not vegan yogurt). They have air conditioning, which was on overdrive. We actually moved to sit outside because it was too cold! They have a television on quite loud and visible to diners too, which was a bit off putting too. Although saying that, I did find myself drawn to it. There was a soap opera on and I kept trying to figure out what was going on. The staff were very friendly though, which kind of made up for it.
What we ate
I had no idea what to order here. All I knew at that point was that I felt hungry and fancied a change from rice! I ended up ordering a starter of rice veggie rolls and the Drunken Noodles for mains, whilst Adam went for the ‘soy prawn’ dish with a side of steamed Jasmine rice. Weirdly, the starter came at the same time as the mains, so we had it as a side dish too. I loved the fresh veggie rolls. But… The noodles didn’t blow me away… On the menu they were labelled as “hot” but there needn’t have been a warning. The noodles weren’t spicy and the rest of the flavour profile just didn’t impress. They were nice and all but, yeah. Bit bland. Adam’s plate looked better!
Falafel House (Kuta)
We nipped in here for lunch after a very hot and sticky 40 minute bike ride and another hour exploring the surrounding streets. The Falafel House is a very clean, simple place. It was also completely empty when we got there! A lot of other tourists preferred the bars next door and across the road. That said, the staff didn’t hover too much and just delivered our food super fast.
What we ate
We decided to keep things simple since their menu isn’t 100% vegan. Happy Cow confirmed that their actual falafel is “safe”, however. We both ordered the Lebanese Wrap and shared a portion of fries. Their fries get a special callout… They were the best we had while in Bali! I’m not usually a fan of fried anything but the fries there were done completely fresh and not overcooked.
This is actually where we were staying, but thought I’d give any future traveller a heads up! The villas are beautiful and it is seriously cool getting your own little private pool to chill next to. However, they’re not really up on their vegan knowledge. The staff are beyond friendly and act like you’re their only guest, however ‘vegan’ and ‘dairy’ aren’t words they’re familiar with.
There’s a breakfast menu that stays the same each day, but you can customise it to be pretty much vegan friendly. Unfortunately they say their peanut butter contains actual butter (this could of been a translation thing), so no PB for us!
- Tropical fruit platter, no yogurt
- Wholemeal (or white) toast and jams
- Oatmeal made with water or soy milk, no honey (tip ask for a banana or two as well)
- Granola with soy milk instead of yogurt, no honey
- Muesli with soy milk, no honey
- Cornflakes with soy milk
- Collect all the side dishes: spinach, hash brown, mushrooms, baked beans
- Soy milk can be used to make all coffees on request (their soy is super sweet though, so try it first)
Set Lunch Menu
If you go to the restaurant for lunch, they have the option of eating from their set menu (or if you’re there on your honeymoon like us, one lunch is complimentary). It’s… limited. Basically you will have:
- Starter: veggie rice paper rolls (ask for soy sauce to dip)
- Main: anything you can cutsomise from the main lunch menu
- we had: the elysian pizza, no cheese, extra veggies (try the sundried tomatoes – they make the pizza pretty darn good)
- you could try:
- eggplant parmigiana, no cheese (enquire about the breadcrumb crust)
- mexican sandwich, no cheese or butter (enquire about the pesto)
- linguine alla puttanesca (confirm no cheese on top)
- Dessert: fresh fruit salad with orange juice and fresh mint
Where we didn’t eat, but did visit:
I guess this is like the ‘honourable mention’ section, where we didn’t eat but did have a drink (both alcoholic and non alcoholic).
I so wanted to eat here! We walked for nearly an hour along the coast to find it, but I was still so full from breakfast I couldn’t fit in lunch (plus, it wasn’t even noon!). On the streets nearby there isn’t really anything to do, apart from go back to the beach. We would have done this, except we were on a schedule with another booking (hello Balinese massages). However, I really wanted to check it out, so we nipped in for a drink.
I tried the ‘Refresher’ juice which suited it’s name down to the ground. It came with a cute slice of pineapple with a heart shape cut in the middle (you can see it on my Instagram, actually!). Adam had the ‘Greenie’ smoothie which was awesome! It was just like the smoothies we make at home, with added coconut yum. The dessicated coconut really added to the texture and took it to another level.
I was invited down to W to learn about their new Fuel vegan range that’s being released shortly. I was sad it wasn’t already out, since the ‘Muscle Tone’ smoothie and ‘Rocket Fuel’ juice sounded delicious! (Update – it’s out now!) and we stayed for sunset! The cocktails are really good – they even have one with jalapenos and cucumber that I obviously had to try and wow. You could taste the chilli peppers, no doubt about it! I’d recommend heading up there for sunset – it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the view over the ocean, with none of the pretense of other beach clubs.
A nod towards a little cocktail bar at Seminyak Square we visited a couple of times (hello 3 for 2 happy hour!). They whip up an awesome martini and have more unusual cocktails like their ‘Tiki’ which comes in, you guessed it, a tiki jar!