Now this is an absolute must, honestly, for your next time you are in Ubud. With a menu featuring regional specialities from across the Indonesian archipelago, Nusantara’s menu will expose you to intriguing new and old Indonesian spices, herbs and flavours.
We visited in a group of four for dinner which gave us the opportunity to try a number of small dishes and larger plates, as well as dessert. Even then we were left struggling to choose between the enticing and exotic sounding menu items.
We started with a medley of cocktails between us including a Bir Pletok, Loloh, Kokomora and Bunga Desa. (See below for the fascinating ingredients in each). The cocktails are all impressively presented, just like Nusantara’s sister cocktail bar Night Rooster , and taste as good as they look.
We were delightfully surprised by a platter of complimentary nibbles. With beautiful crispy rice crackers, a delicious Fishcakes steamed in banana leaves, sambals and crispy fried potatoes. The nibbles got our tastebud prepared for the taste sensations that were to follow.
With our choice of menu items we felt we had travelled many different regions of Indonesia in just one meal. Whilst we have tried other restaurants like Hujan Locale which also feature cuisine of different Indonesian islands, the food at Nusantara is more adventurous and insightful. Designed for sharing, we were advised to order 3-4 small plates and 3 larger plates.
Some of the dishes we tried included the Sulawesi banana blossom salad, the North Sulawesi smoked shredded Cakalang fish with turmeric and curry leaves, slow cooked beef in a clay pot from East Java, Balinese heritage pork belly cooked in bamboo, whole (including the head!)chicken roasted on the bbq, and prawn sautéed in a salted egg sauce, as well as the sayur asam(vegetables in a tamarind broth). We also ordered the medley of sambals ranging from mild to super spicy. You can check out their full menu on their Facebook site Nusantara by Locavore.
The overall experience is difficult to describe except to say that each of the dishes featured distinct tastes and textures that benefitted from savouring on their own and with the accompanying vegetables, salad and sambals. We of course could not resist trying the deserts and shared the Es Campur(seasonal fruits with crushed ice and syrup) and the Klappertaart(steamed young coconut cake with sultanas and coconut custard). A fitting sweet ending to a delicious meal.
The service was warm, friendly and very helpful. The waiters certainly know their stuff and guided us expertly to assist with the unfamiliar menu. The influence of the award winning Locavore on the service and food presentation is very evident but at much more reasonable prices and in a more casual but still very contemporary setting. Prices are not cheap by Bali standards but our entire meal came to AU$50 per person including drinks – so reasonable for such a high quality experience!
Book ahead, take some friends and take yourself on an Indonesian eating adventure at Nusantara as soon as you can!