CLEAR CAFE ~ PIZZA BURGERS LIQUOR ~ THREE MONKEYS
Though we were most often tempted to just stay put for lunch and dinner, while staying at Villa Sagitta, when we did hungrily venture into the sensory overload of Ubud, we found some damn fine deliciousness. And so the Bali or Bust! foursome-chick-trip continues....
CLEAR CAFE, UBUD ~
From the moment we eye-spied the hobbit-ish, round front door, and marigold strewn entrance, of Clear Cafe, on a bustling road in Ubud, we were drawn in.
It was impossible not to marvel at the intricately carved door, as we crossed the threshold into the earthy, relaxed, vibe that is Clear Cafe. Softly moving water, gently trickling fountains, lazy koi ponds, the cheerful bright orange of marigolds, vibrant orchids boasting their colours, amidst oodles of green-ness, growing here and there.......whispered sweet nothings to us, instantly calming our senses.
Yes please, we would like a table for four. We eagerly plunk down, looking around, taking it all in. Cool place. Good familiar tunes surround us. Silly smiles of satisfaction spread across our faces, as we eagerly agree, "I'm liking it here, already. Hope the food is good."
We waste no time, at all, checking out the menu. Diversity, yay! The menu states, "We use all natural ingredients from local Balinese farmers." Yay!
The menu also touts, "Our vision is Clear. Provide clean healthy foods in a Clean and Artfully inspired setting and clarity of thought and purity of intention will manifest."
It takes us awhile to choose, going back and forth between, Nachos or Summer Rolls, Goat Cheese Salad or Dragon Bowl, Chili-Lime Tiger Shrimp Burrito or Pesto Fettucine......oh the choices. And then there's the Power Drinks, Frosty Drinks, Tonics & Elixirs, Milk Shakes or Ice Teas. Goodness gracious, and glory be.
We huddle, somewhat quietly, over open menus. Okay, we have finally decided what to have. Jackfruit nachos, Pad Thai, salads and summer rolls are ordered, along with some tall refreshing ice teas of fruity goodness.
My Pad Thai was flavourful with just the right touch of fiery. Sorry I didn't get a good pic of everyone's nachos, but I can tell there was quite a bit of "Mmmm-ing", going on. The ice teas and other fruity, frosty drinks were also refreshing and tasty.
The only thing we somewhat missed, was the option of an icy Bintang or Margarita on the rocks, or something along those lines.
That said, decor, tunes, food and drink, service and unusual little touches, made for a most enjoyable afternoon delight.
As we wandered out of the Cafe, back into the bustle of Ubud, with full tummies and easy chatter, we were collectively smug with the satisfaction of discovering this great little eatery. Maybe you should give it a try, next time you are in Ubud.
PIZZA BURGER LIQUOR, UBUD ~
All four of us chicks had spent the most part of the day, sometimes together, sometimes apart, trekking here, poking in shops, encountering the unexpected, jostling along the crowded streets, lanes and alleyways of Ubud.
Ubud demands a lot of looky-looing, without even trying. There's Kodak moments on every street corner, with seemingly misplaced temples scattered amongst Bali-made souvenir shops and beckoning massage spas, monkeys playing in busy traffic and wisened local ladies carrying fully-loaded, woven baskets on their heads. Everyone going somewhere, in a blurry hurry.
On this particular day, as with most days in and around Ubud, the humidity was off the charts, and the sun sizzled the very streets we wandered, so that by the time evening presented itself to us, we were more than ready to meet up at Pizza Burger Liquor, for dinner.
And so it went that we all piled into PBL, hot, thristy, hungry and ready to just chill, as we trundled upstairs to a welcoming, quirky, a bit artsy dining area. Cold Bintangs and a damn good Long Island Ice Tea were ordered before we considered the menu.
Cheers!! Sip, sip, sip. Aaaahhhh....... we shall survive.
A bit more menu deliberation, and then a Trio of Mushrooms pizza, a Pumpkin, Feta and Sweet Garlic pizza, and two Prime Beef Burgers were ordered.
More icy cold bevvies were hand-delivered and eagerly sipped. Purchased goodies of many kinds were pulled from bags, discussed and passed around for bamboo, batik, jewelry and flip flop show and tell. Here's to Ubud. Cheers!
Before long, our well anticipated pizzas and burgers arrived. Ooohing and aaahing ensued.
Piping hot, uncut pizzas were brought to the table, each with a big pair of scissors. Have shears, will cut. Coo-el. Yum!
Then the burger trays arrived. Burger, crunchy onion rings, tender-fried potato wedges, homemade ketchup, assorted fresh lettuce-tomato-mayo-burger-fixings and of course a side of dippity-do, tangy cheese fondue.
So what's a girl to do with these big scissors, that were delivered along with this scrumptious burger tray, you ask. Cut that baby open!
Ta da! The tasty, juicy, treasure within is revealed, all cheesy and laden with caramelized onions. Ohhh, mama!!
Lynnea and I both dressed our burgers, to the nines with the fixings, from the burger trays, and voila.
Chewy-crispy crust, plush fresh tomato sauce, tasty, fresh toppings and just the right quotient of melty cheese = Yummy pizzas.
Then there's the buxom beauty cheeseburgers that rocked our burger world.
The perfect ending, to a Let's-Do-Ubud, day. Suksma, PBL! Selamat malam.
It had been decided that a lunch-out day was in order. Of course, of course, we simply, we always, delight in just hanging out at Villa Sagitta and partaking of Yande and team's unbridled Balinese flavours of the best kind, and just letting the jungley surrounds have their way with us.
But, this guy named William Cowper, somewhere around 1785, penned a poem that stated, "Variety is the very spice of life. That gives it all its flavor."
So what are four chicks to do? Shake it up a bit, right?
TripAdvisor was consulted, and consulted again. And then once more. Villa Sagitta 'Guest Information' binder was revisted. Lunch at Three Monkeys. Unanimous.
Before we knew it we were once again piling into Ketut's (Villa Sagitta driver) vehicle to make our way from rural lanes lined with rice paddies to the unbridled hubbub of Ubud.
As has happened at other eateries, as soon as we entered the restaurant, the buzz of busy Ubud streets was forgotten as we were instantly transported to a peaceful, earthy, Balinese-y haven.
Though, towards the back of the restaurant we could sit beside a rice field, we chose a table by the koi pond, with it's avalanche of orchids and seductive green-ness.
As we considered the tasty menu options, a Watermelon Juice was delivered to a table beside us, which got our anticipation for what's to come, all dolled up.
What to have? What to have? Enticing choices called out to us, from Roasted Spiced Cashews and Parmesan Truffled Home Fries, to Roasted Pumpkin Ruccola Feta Bruschetta and Zucchini Carrot Fritters, from Crispy Soft Shell Crab Brioche Sliders and Peanut Crusted Prawns, to Basil Tagliatelle and Pappardelle Bebek Betutu....and Pork Belly Hoisin.....Caprese Pizza.....and, and, and...
Frosty Bintangs and Margaritas on the rocks, were ordered, to go with our pizzas and club sandwich.
The ice in the Margaritas had little chunks of fresh lime frozen right into the cubes. Ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang.
Snippets from the menu:
"....While the menu is globally inspired, the setting is pure Bali....."
"....Fresh Food, Fresh Art, Fresh Air On The Edge Of The Rice Fields."
"....languid lunches amidst the frangipani trees..."
"..The cool soundtrack blends nostalgia with sultry jazz."
Next thing we knew, our freshly prepared lunches arrived. Oh goody, goody.
First Lynnea's Clubhouse Sandwich, one of the Daily Specials.
Donna and Deb both had the Verdure Pizza ~ Mozzarella, Grilled Zucchini, Eggplant, Red & Yellow Peppers, Artichoke, Onions and Basil Pesto.
My Prosciutto Crudo Pizza with Mozzarella, Bocconcini, Fresh Cherry Tomatoes and Wild Ruccola, arrived, piping hot. Mmmmm.....
Look, just look at that perfectamundo crust, and that ambrosial mix of fresh toppings. Oh me oh my oh.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their lunches. Finger licking good. And for sure, to date, Three Monkeys serves up my favorite pizza, in Ubud.
Though we didn't really (as you can tell) save room for dessert, we couldn't resist appeasing our sweet teeth, just a smidge. That is how a Lemon Lime Tart with Lemon Basil Curd, and a Sticky Date Cake with Ginger Salted Caramel ended up on our table.
We dilly dallied in post-feast chatter for awhile longer, inadvertently giving ourselves more of a chance to soak up these shared Bali moments. For that's what it's all about, right?
A quick trip to the Ladies room, with its funky 'sign' and then about time to be off.
SUKSMA, THREE MONKEYS, FOR DELICIOUSNESS AND THE PLEASURE OF LINGERING.