Uluwatu; the ultimate southern point of Bali – most famous for its surf, and understandably so. But with good surf comes Australians, and inevitably, good food. Uluwatu is quite a spread out area; you definitely need a scooter to get around – which is handy not just for beach hopping, but also for cafe hopping.
The beach bunny that I am means that I tend to migrate towards accommodation options that mean I can situate myself as closely to the beach as possible. In the case of Uluwatu this means staying near Padang Padang, Bingin Beach or Dreamland Beach. In this instance we chose Padang Padang Beach; small and overcrowded, but otherwise idyllic.
The best spot we ate at in Padang Padang is Bukit Cafe. While the food wasn’t the cheapest, it certainly wasn’t the most expensive, and it was worth every dime. It still wasn’t as expensive as what you’d pay in New Zealand – probably between $5 – $15 for a meal, so I would happily pay the same again. The Bukit Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and also offers drinking water for free (and it won’t make you sick!). With outdoor and indoor seating, it has an overall chilled vibe, a place where I would find it easy to pass the time. Our favourite meal was a burger special: the pulled pork burger with a black sesame bun, and french fries.
Just down the road from the Bukit Cafe (same side of the ride, heading towards the beach) is Trattoria, hosted within the Pink Coco’s resort. The space and vibe here is definitely the highlight. It is massive, and has both cool seating areas inside and out. With large comfy seats and tables there is something for everyone. The menu is (obviously) Italian and is several pages long. While we were deciding we were treated to some bruschetta, which always goes down well, but especially as a budget traveller.
Pizza is always a safe option, and the pizza that was ordered was mostly pretty good. You can order pizza for one, or pizza for ‘2 or more’ (which was a good size for 2 to share as a main, but it would only feed more if you weren’t hungry / were buying other food). One of the pizzas we ordered came with chilli on it, and there was certainly no shortage! The pizza was so spicy we actually had to buy another bottle of water. Some of the more adventurous ordered meat dishes – which although presentation was a little average, the food itself tasted okay. On the whole the place was pretty expensive, but for once we walked away full – so it was overall a pleasant experience.
Last but not least, The Cashew Tree. For me, this was probably my favourite dining experience in the whole of Bali. Located nearby (but not on) Bingin Beach, the Cashew Tree is fresh, delicious and beautiful. It is spread around a courtyard, with a range of seating including picnic tables, open bungalows and sprawling couches.There are spots both in the sun and shade and the middle of the courtyard is home to a large grassy area, which I suspect (but don’t know for sure) serves as the stage for live bands (Thursday nights) and yoga.
The menu is healthy, need I say more. The range of meals and ingredients available inspires confidence in the quality of the food – and rightfully so. Between the group we ordered an array of different juices and smoothies (all of which cost about IRD50) which were all cold and freshly made. We also ordered a variety of meals for lunch – my Burrito Bowl was the best meal across my two weeks in Bali. It was plentiful; an abundance of freshness and colour. The prices for meals were no more expensive than anywhere else. I would definitely recommend The Cashew Tree and was disappointed that I didn’t get to come back for dinner.