A lot of people ask me if it is hard to travel as a vegan. My answer to this question is ‘not really’. It is true that some destinations are better than others and travelling as a vegan requires its own blog post one day but in the meantime, let me whet your appetite with some of the amazing food I have eaten in the past week while on holiday in beautiful Bali.
I’ve been to Bali twice before, once as a vegan and once as a vegatarian and I am always wowed by it. I usually spend most time in Ubud which if you have not been, it is on the hippy trail. It’s full of people who are doing yoga retreats, finding themselves and usually these kind of people are in to healthier foods so there are some amazing choices out there for vegans. It is one of my favourite destinations for food. The price, quality of the meals and the range is just wonderful. There’s something for all; comfort foods, raw, vegan, you name it, they’ve got it.
Lots of picture here, but let’s start off with our accomm. I’d stayed at T House Bali before, but this time I choose one of the cheaper villas called Japanese Garden. It worked out about $55 a night for a 2 bedroom villa. I liaised directly with the owner and she was fantastic to deal with. Breakfast was included and they made me some nice tempeh and rice, but after the first breakkie, we decided to head downtown for some preferred choices,
Anyway, here is Japanese Garden at T house Bali. It’s about a 30 minute walk in to downtown or a 50,ooo IPR taxi ride.
A quick look on Happy Cow shows 38 listings for vegan, vegetarian and veg friendly food and a large majority of those are in Ubud. We spent most of our meals at Clear Cafe, Kafe, Bali Buddha and Sari Organik, all very veg friendly places. They have a wide range of vegan, macrobiotic and raw foods. Pretty much paradise for little ol’ me.
Kafe is part of Yoga Barn and it also has a small shop attached with some fantastic food stuffs. I bought some raw cacao nibs.
Macrobiotic breakfast – basically brown rice, steamed veggies, fried tempeh with a lemon sesame dressing.
Soba noodle veggie bowl
Tofu scramble with a side of fried potatoes
Meg’s salad bowl – enormous salad, roasted seeds & tempeh bits
Anti-oxidant shake – cacao nibs, banana and other yum stuff
Blueberry smoothie thing
Clear Cafe is probably our favourite restaurant, but we tended to eat there in the evening and the lighting does not lend itself to pictures of a good enough quality to post, even for me, still here are some of what went in to our tummies. Oh… Since my last visit, they also have a small shop attached. In it they sell lots of vegan and raw crackers as well as vegan soap. We bought a brownie to have on our drive to Amed. it was seriously good.
Chocolate Butterfly Smoothie is probably one of my favourite drinks of all time. Cacao nibs, banana and vanilla.
Choc / coffee icecream pie with a slab of mulberry icecream pie
Spring rolls with tamarind sauce
Such a beautiful space. Also eaten, but not pictured, a tempeh Reuben salad.
Bali Buddha is one of the oldest restaurants in Ubud. I especially love it as it has a very wide range of products in its attached store. We bought pecans, coconut oil, pine nuts and vanilla beans.
Chai tea with almond milk
A tropical raw pie
Sari Organik was new to me. It’s set nearly 1km off the road in the rice fields. The walk up there is love. See?
Lemon and mint soda
Gado Gado (battered leaf thing was not vegan. A woman came running up to me as I was putting it in my mouth)
Adrienne’s Nasi Campur
My old friend Adrienne enjoying her green concoction at Siri Organik. Note the bamboo straw!
The last place I visited was Warung Sopa. I just had a drink here, but it is really cute. It says it is pure vegetarian but they do have egg.
On Wednesday, we headed to Amed which is on the east coast of Bali. We’ve been there before and we loved it. Picture a quiet road going along beaches and headlands, Jukung boats and little boutique hotels and dive shops. We stayed in Anda Amed resort. We’d stayed there before and loved it for so many reasons and even though they were not as familiar with vegan food requirements, we there was plenty to keep us happy. To vary it up we had to ask for some changes and substitutions, but this was easy to ask and they made us feel that they were very willing to accommodate us.
Tofu and tempeh curry
Tempeh Satay with a stunning green bean, coconut and crispy fried onions. As usual, presentation is stunning in Bali. In the background, Seb’s pizza.
Crunchy tempeh noodle salad
I hope you are not thinking that the whole holiday we just spend thinking about food. I don’t think we do. No more than other people which is still probably too much, but of course it is always nice to be able to take advantage of the locally available products and dishes and to eat so healthily for me is really important. I really noticed on this holiday how I craved just plates of vegetables and salads. This might seem boring and hard work for many other people, but I think I am evolving with my eating. When I first became vegan I really enjoyed veganising the things that were not vegan like shepherd’s pie and enchiladas, these days I much prefer to eat lots of whole grains and vegetables that are steamed or raw. If you told me that 5 years ago, I would have probably laughed, but the fact is (like everyone) I am in flux. My palate has changed. The flavour of the vegetables by themselves is enough for me and I feel better for eating them.
Other amazing experiences on this holiday was the diving. I am not an experienced diver and had not done any diving since I got my Open Water 8 years ago. Seb is quite experienced but also had not done any for ages either. Neither of us had done any since we became vegan. Well, suffice to say we loved it. Not that I am comparing my experience to others, but for me, being vegan makes me look at fish and their friends in a whole new light. I appreciate their existence, their beauty and the wonder of the ocean. I consider myself privileged to see these incredible animals in their natural habitat. My sense of wonder is much deeper than it was before I was vegan. Seb felt the same way. It was pretty magical. Being vegan is truly the best thing I have ever done. #Fact.