Drifter Uluwatu: Bali surf shrine now serves healthy Balinese-inspired eats for dinner

Ambient lighting at Drifter Uluwatu. Photo: Coconuts Bali

COCONUTS HOT SPOT — The Bukit neighborhood’s favorite shrine to surfing, Drifter Uluwatu, is now serving up dinner at their cafe. A recent evening spent at the cafe’s outdoor garden confirms that the vibes are good and the meals are square.

Drifter, which also still has its original surf shop location in Seminyak, is known for its gorgeous driftwood structure and interior, and of course its gallery of collectibles. It’s easy to get lost in their labyrinth of one-of-a-kind surfboards, artwork, surf memorabilia, and guitars (plus, it doesn’t hurt that they have some of the island’s best swimwear selections).

But Drifter is so much more than just a surf shop, and its cafe had also impressed us during some previous brekkie and lunch visits — iced lattes, thick smoothies, smashed avo with walnut pesto, and a garden oasis of a backyard.

Now we can say that they’ve got dinner down too.

The menu’s categorized by starters and mains, with both categories broken down into dishes of “Ocean” and “Earth”.

Offerings under the Ocean header include curious combinations like a calamari green papaya & cucumber salad, and more classic choices like crispy prawns for starters, while green seafood curry, grilled yellow fin tuna, and Balinese coconut curry are some of the Ocean entrees.

Haloumi burger at Drifter
The haloumi burger. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Tuna tataki
The tuna tataki. Photo: Coconuts Bali

As for the menu items under Earth, puréed butternut pumpkin & lentil soup, an heirloom tomato salad, and sesame tofu summer rolls are on the starters menu, along with choices like a Balinese coconut curry and chili prawn linguine for the mains.

We opted for the seared tuna tataki (IDR80k; US$5.75) as a starter. Served with edamame, avocado, cucumber, and brown rice miso, the dish seemed more like a main course than an appetizer in size. Nice.

We were also very close to ordering the chili prawn linguine, but alas — that one will have to be saved for next time. We ended up tucking into the haloumi burger (IDR98k; US$7) instead. In line with current trends, it came out on a charcoal bun (that was, unfortunately, a little dry).

While we could’ve done without the charcoal bun (but hey, #health), the grilled haloumi more than made up for it — the cheese is intensely satisfying, and topped with a juicy mishmash of caramelized onions, grilled eggplant, pickled beets, and that cashew pesto we’re so fond of (the same from the smashed avo).

Drifter jamu
The jamu. Photo: Coconuts Bali

Feeling the need for a little immune booster, we capped off the night with the jamu (IDR25k; US$1.80), the Indonesian herbal concoction, which Drifter has their own homemade edition of, bottled up. We weren’t so fond of the flavor, which had more of floral, soapy taste than what we’re used to with jamu from the street, but the turmeric did seem to give us that oomph we were looking for.

Coconuts Hot Spots are notable new restaurants or undiscovered gems around Bali that we think are worth a visit.

FIND IT

Drifter Cafe
Jl. Labuan Sait no. 52, Pecatu
Dinner: 6pm-10pm, daily

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