Is it Ubud Or Italy? With the explosion of new Italian restaurants in Ubud, hidden round every corner, you could be excused for thinking you were on the Via Venetto.  Well almost!

At last count Ubud has seven Italian restaurants, most of them new, or newish. While they are not all five-star eateries, most provide a pleasing and relaxed atmosphere and food good enough to eat.  Two stand out from the crowd. Two of a quality that would delight even the fussiest eater.

Text and Photos by Ayu Sekar

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well”:….
Virginia Woolf,  A Room of One’s Own

 

Is it Ubud Or Italy? With the explosion of new Italian restaurants in Ubud, hidden round every corner, you could be excused for thinking you were on the Via Venetto.  Well almost!

At last count Ubud has seven Italian restaurants, most of them new, or newish. While they are not all five-star eateries, most provide a pleasing and relaxed atmosphere and food good enough to eat.  Two stand out from the crowd. Two of a quality that would delight even the fussiest eater.

 

The first Il Giardino, we have mentioned before. Set in the garden of the Han Snell Bungalows, of the late artist Han Snell, this is a place to relax with a cocktail and some magnificent wood fired pizzas. 

Of course there are plenty of other Italian specialties, like the lovely array of bruscettas, namely the creamy mushroom thyme and parmesan, the great pastas and a fine selection of main courses. Salads are mostly organic and the grilled vegetable, goat cheese with salsa verde defies description. For mains, you can’t go past the meltingly delicious slow cooked lamb ragu or the gorgeous grass fed Victorian rack of lamb. Desserts are equally delicious.

Finding this secret garden is an adventure in itself. Walk up Jl. Kajeng, across the road from the delightful Ary’s Warung and there, about 100 metres up, on the left is their sign. Follow that sign and you will reach the garden.  Seating is inside but looking out to the garden or the lovely lotus pond. Early evenings before sunset, when the cool of the day begins to descend, is a great time to go!

 

 

Il Giardino

Jl. Kajeng, Ubud

P. +62-361 947 271

E. info@ilgiardino.com

 

Atop the menu is the above quotation at Dolce Arancia. This bodes well for a good dining experience. It gives you confidence that you are in good hands and can relax and look forward to the coming experience. And it is not disappointing.

With the Balinese chefs trained with a firm Italian hand, they manage to get the flavours suitably authentic and it shows as people are already talking about this little restaurant.  Hidden away on Jl. Goutama, just a few doors north of Jl. Dewi Sita, it is small, neat air-conditioned, and cosy. One friend exclaimed as he walked in the door, “oh it could be in Soho,” that is the sort of air it has. The tiny dining room makes the atmosphere intimate but no doubt they will expand later as they grow. 

Their small wine list has carefully selected options from a variety of regions, with enough varieties to suit most palates. 

The food is great. Adherents of the slow food movement, everything is cooked as ordered, except for the rich slow cooked tomato sauces that are the base of much Italian cooking. Attention to detail brings spectacular results.  They offer many pastas and a delicious lasagna, both a vegetarian, and the classic meat version.  One good test for any Italian restaurant is the Scallopini – thin slices of veal cooked with a marsala or white wine sauce. I have to report, it did not disappoint.

Basically everything on the menu works well and a good meal is assured. Take some friends or enjoy the ambience. Because it is small and cosy, one tends to chat with other customers. It is that sort of place. Convivial. 

 

Dolce Arancia

Jl. Gautama 17, off Jl. Dewi Sita, Ubud

P. +62-361 843 9545 / 780 2381

info@dolcearancia.com

 

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