After being on the road for a month a half, traversing through northern Thailand, the southern coast of Bali and the beautiful neighboring islands of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, we finally made our long anticipated way to Ubud. One short boat ride and a long car ride from the port in Sanur, brought us into the bustling heart of Monkey Forest Road, where we were staying in the sweetest little locally owned spot, complete with an outdoor bathroom and kitchen, just a few minutes away.
The city is well known for its healing energy, exquisite temples and endless vegan restaurants. We had nine days to squeeze in as much as possible, and honestly, I wish we would’ve scheduled double that amount of time for Ubud and its beautiful surrounding areas. There really is SO much to see, do and taste here.
Before heading to Ubud, we were told, “you HAVE to try Sage” more than a handful of times, so we were very excited for our lunch at this popular plant based restaurant, and even more excited to sit down with the owner to chat about how it all began, life in Bali and what’s next for the restaurant known for its vibrant vegan cuisine.
Sage is a charming and cozy restaurant located on Jalan Nyuh Bulan. Open for 3 years now, they’ve become a staple in the Ubud vegan community, one of those places that keeps you coming back again and again.
I think one of the reasons for that, is the owners genuine love for cooking, and it’s something you can feel in the food. It all starts with positive energy and real, high quality ingredients, something that was hard for them to source at first, because of the lenient laws in Bali regarding food labeled as ‘organic’. This lead them to open up their very own farm in Bedugal six months after opening. They believe in sustainability, and create all of these dishes from scratch, with everything being made in house, from the coconut milk to the ketchup to the bread.
The menu is eclectic, with smoothies ranging from earthy to sweet; simple, healthy and clean bowls of veggies with delicious, home made dressings; to some heavier dishes that will make you forget you were even vegan, like tempeh buffalo wings, blt and the infamous hula burger.
I had to try this hula burger that I kept hearing about, made with a kitchari patty, smothered in teriyaki sauce, topped with grilled onion and pineapple. The flavors of this burger more than satisfied the Hawaiian in me. We also opted for the jackfruit asasa tacos, another popular dish, topped with all the fixings; pico de gallo, rice, beans, cashew cheese, sour cream and hot sauce- all made in house. If you love cauliflower the way we do, we highly suggest ordering the cauliflower fritas, baked in cashew cheese and served with a chipotle dipping sauce. We also enjoyed a creamy and delicious coconut date shake. Every dish was deeply satisfying, and hit all the spots.
As if that wasn’t enough, we were blessed with a slice of the most amazing coconut cake I’ve ever had. No joke, this cake is completely out of this world. The recipe is a veganized version of the owners grandmothers, that was actually served at their wedding. So sweet and special to share!
With all of this deliciousness under one roof, and a beautiful organic farm to supply these ingredients, it only makes sense to expand. The owners of Sage are currently working on their new baby, a vision for an Italian inspired, plant based restaurant. They are currently deep in creation mode, cooking up new recipes from raviolis to cheeses to their own flour blends. We cannot wait to see (and taste) what they come up with.
We really love this establishments commitment to sustainability, keeping their ingredients as locally sourced as possible and the way they treat their employees like family. All of these factors, including the amazing food, make this a must visit restaurant on your next trip to Ubud.
We’re grateful for the beautiful lunch and even better company.
Patrick and Kahala