Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

On one of those clear, sunny days Bali is known for, a friend and I drove up to Ubud for the day to see a  few of my favorite shops – a tiny roadside spot in Batubulan where handmade quilted bed covers and pillow covers are displayed, Marcello and Michi at Gaya Ceramics for beautiful, one-of-a-kind ceramics and finally my most recent discovery, block-printed batik fabrics from Katherine Rally.  T bought several bed covers and some pillow covers as well while I stuck to my list and ordered fabric for some new chairs we had ordered from Seminyak-based Stephane Sensey.  By the time we were finished at Katherine Rally, we were ready for some lunch.  I was planning to try the newly-opened Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Saveurs until I asked Kathy for her suggestion and she said that a new cafe had just opened on Jalan Hanoman that was quite fun so we went there instead.

Clear Cafe is a small modern restaurant that’s easy to miss as the entrance is set further back from the main road by a widely-spaced planted bamboo fence.  Through the bamboo fronds, one sees a large, wide-open wooden door with a few steps leading up to it filled with all sorts of shoes, sandals and flip-flops.  We left our chunky espadrilles at the door and headed into a modern, light-filled space with several tables lining each side and a large communal table in the center.  Further in the back past a little lotus pond are several more booths and a bale where a group can sit on the ground and have a pseudo-picnic served to them.

The place was surprisingly packed with mostly expats and tourists who were all happily tucking into their food.  The menu at Clear Cafe is quite extensive – lots of special fruit juices and smoothies with their ingredients clearly listed along with their effects and a varied organic menu with lots of vegan and vegetarian options along with other healthy dishes.
We both chose a fruit drink – the fresh mango juice mangga mile for me (supposedly good for expecting mothers and babies, neither of which I am) and the more exotic twilight tonic of nutrient-rich turmeric, honey, lemon and sea salt for T.  Her drink came in a ceramic tumbler and was cold and surprisingly refreshing with the hint of turmeric and sea salt really bringing out the citrus flavor.
T had the one Kathy recommended – dragon bowl which is a large bowl of red rice topped with marinated grilled fish (or tofu) and stir-fried bean sprouts carrots and onions.  I had the more traditional golden temple curry of assorted vegetables (zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli) in yellow curry-flavored coconut cream which came with saffron rice.  The food was quite tasty and the portions were large.  If we weren’t stuffed, we would have tried one of their kombuchas (detoxifying Russian tea concoctions) or tried one of their fresh-dairy milk lattes.  And with that, we headed back down south to Sanur satisfied with our Ubud excursion of shopping and lunch.
Jalan Hanoman No. 8 
Padang Tegal Kaje 
Ubud, Bali
Telephone: +62 361 889 4437
*Open all-day every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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