Definitely one of the highlights of our trip to Bali…hands down… . Fantastic meal, and one of the best meals of my life. By Bali standards, yes, this is on the pricey side…BUT and this is a big BUT…for what we were served…seven-course degustation meal…for just US$49 (approx) per person…this was a steal when we compare it to how much we would have to pay for a similar meal in Singapore.
Execution was top notch…every plate looked like an art piece. I had high expectations before visiting the place, and the team at locavore far exceeded my expectations.
After reading revews on tripadvisor, I made a reservation for our first dinner in bali at Locavore. (about two to three weeks before arriving). I think it is awesome that the chef showcases ingredients locally sourced, and organic! To top it off, they change their degustation menu every month! We agreed that if we lived in Bali…we would be making a monthly trip to locavore to check out what new tricks the chefs had up their sleeves.
Ok now…to the actual meal we had. For the seven-course, i have taken a shot of the whole plate so you can see the beauty of the plating followed by a close-up shot of the food. (NOTE: the dishes look small but we walked out of the restaurant VERY VERY full. It might look small but it definitely added up. We struggled to finish our dessert)
Three complimentary dishes arrived before our tasting menu began. First was a tempura Tapioca (I think) leaf. Never heavily battered, full of flavour, and not at all greasy. Very crisp.
This was really creative. Chilli sorbet with a gentle poached cherry tomato with hot consomme. The sorbet had a gentle kick to it, the cherry cuts the heat back…then the swirl of hot (from the consomme) and the sorbet hitting your palate is just amazing. I couldn’t get enough of the consomme. The sourdough bread was crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the outside. First time tasting Kemangi pesto. Very unique in flavour. It taste like a cross between vietnamese mint and thai basil. Great introduction to Kemangi which we later discover is Indonesian Basil, and used quite often in Indonesian cooking.
Our first course. King Fish. A la minute marinated king fish/passionfruit juice infused with vanilla/smoked king fish maonnaise/krupuk kulit/pickled fennel/shaved radish.
When the plate arrived, the beauty of the dish made me smile. Then greed kicked in…and I tucked in. Five delicate pieces of king fish (marinated just enough to mask the fishiness but still taste the essence of the fish) rolled up and it sits on a silky smoked king fish mayonnaise. I actually thought the mayo tasted more like a silky fish mouse than a mayo. The mayo definitely added richness to the clean taste of the king fish “rolls”. I couldn’t taste the passionfruit juice in this dish I must admit. The krupuk kulit which is crispy pork crackle (OMG!) added great texture to the dish. The pickled fennel helped cut the richness of the mayo. Nice balance and texture.
Second course. Sweet Corn. Chicken liver mousse/caramelized shallots/sweet corn preparations/citrus vinaigrette/nasturtium/pomelo. When the man first read the dish on the menu, he scrunched up his nose…chicken liver….eww.. LOL. I was very excited. chicken liver when done well can be soooooooooo good! And Locavore did not let me down. It was creamy and rich. We all know that chicken and corn go well together. I loved seeing the playful side of the chef’s creativity. The corn was prepared three ways…whole kernels, cream corn and popcorn. This added not just texture, but different corn flavours to the dish. Yummy!
Third course. Barramundi. Barramundi a la meuniere/grated baby carrots quickly pickled/potato mousseline infused with vanilla/lemongrass beurre blanc, kailan.
My FAVOURITE dish for the evening. The skin of the barramundi was beautifully crispy (but not overly salted, which usually is the case cos salt is needed to crisp up the fish skin), and the delicate flavour of barramundi definitely came through. The carrots was what really helped compliment this dish. The acidity helped cut through the potato and beurre blanc. The crunch of the carrots added beautiful texture. Portion of fish was just right…enough to enjoy the dish…and because it is so good..it leaves you wanting just that little bit more.
Fourth Course. Oxtail. Slow braised oxtail/pan-fried gnocchis/green asparagus & sorrel veloute/eggplant puree/wood sorrel leaves.
This was the man’s favourite dish. The oxtail was done to perfection…fall off the bone tender…but the meat still stayed chunky. The oxtail was not too heavily seasoned which is good…the flavour of the meat came through. Loved the pillowy texture of the gnocchi. I think eggplant puree is the rage in Bali at the moment…we saw that on the menu everywhere.
Fifth course. Pork. Daily changing pork preparation/warm piccalilli/sweet potato mousseline/baby romaine a la vinaigrette/shallot jus/pommes dauphine.
Our pork was a deboned pork chop. I think they must have brined it because it was ridiculous flavourful and juicy…and not the least bit dry. Loved the fact that they used the purple sweet potatoes instead of the orange ones. Great colour to the plate, and it’s different from the usual sweet potato flavour. Appreciated the fact that Chef introduced pommes dauphine into his menu. A old school potato dish that i have not seen around for a very long time. Done very well too. Crispy on the outside, fluffy and creamy on the inside.
Sixth Course. Bubur Injin. Black rice porridge/served warm/palm sugar ice cream/coconut & pandan leaf foam/tangerine gel/dehydrated coconut.
Interesting trivia our server shared. Locals usually enjoy this dish as a savoury dish at breakfast. Chef has converted it to a dessert. Very similar to a local dessert we have here in Singapore, Pulut Hitam, which is also black rice pudding with coconut milk. This was classed and jazzed up of course. The porridge was done well…not too starchy, the palm sugar ice cream was not too sweet, and the coconut foam added a nice texture. We enjoyed this, but I couldn’t finish this dessert because it was just a little too heavy…and I knew we had one more dessert to go.
Seventh Course. Passion Fruit. Passion fruit sorbet/young coconut sorbet/passion fruit meringue/passion fruit gel/kemangi leaves/fresh young coconut.
Final course…and this was perfect! The tang of the passion fruit helped cut the richness of the last dessert. The sorbet had the sharp tang of the passionfruit, the coconut sorbet helped sooth the “sting” on the palate. End off with the gels and the meringue…sweet!
We thought we were done after this…then another complimentary dessert came. And this came with some theatre to it. A container arrived, and they only opened the lid at our table. Oh the waft of buttery sweet goodness hits you! Madeleines with a fennel creme anglaise! Good madeleines. Crisp on the outside, fluffy and buttery on the inside. The creme anglaise was not too heavy on the fennel, just a touch. Something different. I like!
I have no complaints about this meal, and like I said, one of the best meals i have every had. I still think about the meal now! And wish I could enjoy it again! The staff was very attentive, but not intrusive. The meal did take about 2 1/2 hours from start to end. But it was not slow. Chef keeps pace with how slow or fast you are eating. I notice the wait staff communicating with him a fair bit, so that the pace of the meal is consistent.
There is no crazy shouting or clattering of pans in the open concept kitchen. Totally calm. Actually i hardly notice the kitchen staff speaking to each other, I do wonder how they get all the dishes ready at the same pace!
I highly recommend this restaurant. You won’t regret it. Do make a booking early. Heads up…it does get a little warm in there…I think it is because of the lights.
Address: Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia. +62 361 977733