Ever since I started going on the healthier road, I’ve made it a goal of mine to eat organic food. But the thing about organic food in Jakarta is that it’s either: a) too hard to find, b) too expensive, c) not really organic – I mean, there are no vegetable patches here.
So when I heard that we were going to Bali which is a haven of organic food, I was ecstatic. I listed “eating organic food” as one of my top things to do there – heck, I even did some research.
And so, last July, I finally got to tick off “eating organic food” from my Bali to-do list. I had my first experience with organic food at Sari Organik, Ubud, Bali.
Now let me tell you something about this place. Sari Organik isn’t located on the main road of Ubud and you could just park your car anywhere, get inside, sit down and eat. Nope. As if eating organic is not enough to be healthier, we had to walk quite some miles just to get to the restaurant. The reason is that the restaurant is located just across its own vegetable patch, which is awesome because you know where your food comes from and the quality is fresh as it’s just been picked right before they cook it for you.
We walked past paddy fields, past cottages and art shops, past yoga studios through a small and rough road. The walk wasn’t exactly unpleasant. The view was incredible and the breeze didn’t make me sweat too much. But guys, you should try walking when you’re hungry. Even the most gorgeous views and the most calming breeze can’t get rid of the grumble in your stomach.
The restaurant was built on some sort of stilts, making it higher than its surroundings and the first thing you’ll see upon entering is the round cashier table at the center of the dining area. The area is semi-outdoor and is mostly dominated by wooden furniture with cushions of popping colors at the corner tables which could seat more people. The corner tables are more relaxing since they were basically tables surrounded by cushions and no chairs. If seats are available, I recommend dining at the terrace area overlooking the rice field which had marvelous views.
Oh, they have this cool policy on smoking there: feel free to smoke, but if you’re offended by someone’s smoking, tell them so. The restaurant staffs will support you.
And now, let’s get to the food and drink.
I had Mixed Steam Vegetables (Rp60.000) which was basically steamed carrots, long beans, broccoli, and spinach serve with a steamed chicken breast, mashed potatoes, salad with vinaigrette topped with a spicy-sour sauce.
I’ve never eaten vegetables this way before and this food completely changed how I view vegetables because they tasted so good. The carrots and beans were crunchy and the broccoli tasted fine. The spinach was nice, but it tasted a bit like veggie and wasn’t my favorite. However, the vegetables get soggy quickly and when they do, the texture becomes a bit gross and it won’t be nice to eat anymore. The chicken was nice, but lacked seasoning like salt and pepper although maybe that’s what’s special about the way they cook chicken. The highlight of the dish was the mashed potatoes. The melted cheese on top made them taste so good. It wasn’t seasoned too much, but it tasted incredible.
As for the drinks, I had Orange & Banana Smoothie (Rp25.000)
What caught my eye first was the unique bamboo straw. I was curious to find out what drinking out of that straw would be like. Turns out it’s not too different from drinking out of your average plastic straw.
The smoothie was sweet in a natural way because the sweetness comes from honey instead of sugar. Without additional factory-made sugar, the flavors of the food were brought out more. Unfortunately, the banana was overpowering the citrus to the point that it only tasted like banana smoothie instead of one with banana and orange.
So, my first experience with organic food could be summarized like this: organic food actually tastes quite nice and is definitely better for your future self. However, as a huge fan of salt and seasonings, I won’t be able to make it eating like this for the rest of my life. I would love to continue having organic food more in my life. But would I want to eat organic three times a day for the next many years to come? The answer would be no, thank you.