Ubud’s best places to eat, drink, shop and sleep

Our favourite spots in Bali's cultural capital

March 23, 2017

Our favourite spots in Bali’s cultural capital

The Night Rooster

Drink – The Night Rooster

When the guys at Locavore – often called Indonesia’s top restaurant – were looking for a head bartender, they never expected someone as uniquely talented as Raka Ambarawan. It was quickly decided that Raka’s creations deserved their own platform, and the Night Rooster was born. With unlabelled jars full of Raka’s fermented wonders lining the bar, each cocktail here continues Locavore’s concept of presenting local flavours in thrilling new ways. Try the Ashes, a robust concoction that includes Bulleit rye whiskey, Ketel One vodka and homemade fortified wine, and is served alongside a burning pine cone.


Eat – Indus

Is there a restaurant in Southeast Asia with better views than Indus? The competition is fierce, but we can’t think of too many. Set in an achingly beautiful Balinese villa – all crumbling statues and stone steps leading to romantic alcoves – Indus gazes out across a glistening valley of ridges and hills that seems to never end. The menu offers classic dishes from across the archipelago, with a focus on flavour rather than flamboyance. First timers can’t go wrong with the nasi campur – essentially a one-plate tasting menu that presents a variety of mains and sides huddled around a rice centrepiece.


Shop – WE’AR

When one goes to Ubud, one is expected to yoga – and there are few better options than WE’AR when it comes to supple, dynamic clothing. “Designed with movement in mind” is one of the brand’s mantras, but its output also takes in everything from jeans to jumpsuits. All of the clothing is made from ‘eco-preferred’ materials, meaning the environmental, health and social impacts of their growth and processing have been taken into consideration. WE’AR has three outlets in Bali, with the Ubud outpost situated almost at the confluence of two of the town’s biggest browsing streets: Jalan Hanoman and Jalan Monkey Forest.

The Kayon Resort

Stay – The Kayon Resort

In a destination bursting with luxury-branded resorts, the Kayon stands out for its independence and the personal touches that come with that. Perched high amid tropical rainforest, where the misty jungle is close enough to touch from your balcony, this resort, with its rustic-luxe villas, is soundtracked by the blissful hiss of the Petanu river, which runs alongside it. The River Edge Pool Villas, which blend local stone and whitewashed teak on the inside with private pools peering over the river on the outside, are the pick of the accommodation options.

Room 4 Dessert

Indulge – Room 4 Dessert

Celebrated pastry chef Will Goldfarb’s previous dessert bar in New York was the talk of the town before it closed unceremoniously in 2007 due to a clash with investors. But the Big Apple’s loss has been Ubud’s gain, and the sweet kitchen creations at Room 4 Dessert are as fantastical as one might expect from a chef who spent more than a year at El Bulli, the revered home of molecular gastronomy. On our visit the standout was named Infance, a sweet, tangy, chewy ensemble of toasted gelato, marshmallow, rice crispy, frangipani and fresh strawberry.

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