COCONUTS HOT SPOT — Bali’s abound with fresh organic cafes catering to whatever health trend is hottest at the moment: smoothie bowls, poke bowls, vegan, raw, you name it. However, you’ll find those places more so in Canggu, Ubud, not as much in Jimbaran and Ungasan (save a Bali Buda outpost and a few other select spots).
So that’s why when Livingwell, an organic cafe and shop popped up, our interest was piqued.
Being attached to a Pepito, we can’t say we expected much. Sharing a parking lot with the Indonesian supermarket, the location almost has a strip mall vibe when you’re driving by.
However, after hitting Livingwell up for dinner this week, then again for lunch (that we made a return trip should say enough about what we thought), we’re thrilled to report that the whole “don’t judge a book by its cover adage” holds true.
The second you really approach the cafe, you’ll be floored by how green it is. There are plants everywhere surrounding a cute little outdoor patio area and a good deal of them are for cooking, like chili and eggplant.
No chemicals, no MSG, etc, the cafe’s got a pretty good-sized menu for such a small place, with salads, wraps, buns (think bao buns), noodles, and of course, smoothie bowls. A good selection of juices and shakes are also on offer.
We foodgasm’d so hard after trying the salmon dill wrap (Rp 65k): covered in homemade whole wheat pumpkin tortilla skin, filled with seared salmon, quinoa, chia seed, mixed salad, onion, mozzarella, dill, and cream cheese. You bite into it and it’s just warm, creamy goodness, with the crispiness of the wrap and the sour surge from the pickle to keep things interesting.
The red purple smoothie bowl (Rp 59k) ended up being a good texture, nice and frozen—as prolific as these bowls are in Bali, some places just can’t get them right, often serving up soupy or clumpy textures. Not so with Livingwell, who brought to the table smooth, frozen bowl of dragonfruit, papaya, strawberry, banana, granola, coconut flake, and mint. Let us tell you, the crunchy granola on top was bomb—none of that fake processed stuff.
On our next visit, we got the vegetarian quesadilla (Rp 49k): mushroom, mozzarella cheese, onion, bean sprouts, basil, and salsa. The quesadilla was browned just right, crispy on the outside, cheesy and gooey on the inside.
On both occasions we got the detox green juice (Rp 40k): kale, spinach, celery, pineapple, cucumber, and ginger. With their especially health items, like the smoothie bowls and juices, the menu lets you know the health benefits, which is a nice perk and let’s you feel good about your food choices. The red purple smoothie bowl was written to prevent blood vessel damage and ulcers and is rich in vitamins B&C, while the detox juice claimed to help with detoxification, antioxidant, reduce bloating, and support immune system.
The prices aren’t cheap, especially if you’re used to sticking to local fare, but for organic food and fair portions, the prices work out being reasonable enough. Most of the menu items range from Rp 35k to Rp 65k (before tax and service charge).
Opening its doors in May 2017, Livingwell was founded by Liz, a member of “Wanita Tani Bali,” an organization encouraging and helping farmers to grow organic and save the island from pesticide pollution. The head nutrition chef, Elizabeth has 17 years experience working in the health food industry in Japan.
Have a browse through their shop for a small assortment of produce and other health food items. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to check out the glass display case filled with “healthy” sweets like protein and energy balls and raw cakes.
Coconuts Hot Spots are notable new restaurants or undiscovered gems around Bali that we think are worth a visit.