Ubud’s New Hub
Relish delicious pan-asian staple dishes in the midst of downtown Ubud...
Situated just a stone’s throw away from Monkey Forest, Habitat is the new place to be in town. The café presents a combination of modern and natural design with bamboo structures for the ceiling and floor-to-top glass windows that give way to natural light. Wooden furniture by Hatiku Indonesia also fills the space, making the restaurant even more comfortable.
Habitat provides an indoor and outdoor area – on a beautiful sunny day, the outdoor area at the front of the café is a better choice as you can relish food while watching people walking by. Some harmless monkeys are also often seen jumping from one tree to another across the road at around 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., for your entertainment while sipping some drinks. On my visit to the restaurant, it didn’t take me long to see that this place will soon become the talk of the town...
Stars of the House
Just like the interior design that mixes modern style with natural touches, the selections of food at Habitat also represent both worlds. Habitat offers healthy choices for healthy minds, like gluten-free Bhumi Green Papaya Salad, Banh Mi Tofu and Eggplant, vegan smoothies named Ubud Bowl, and more. However, the café also has selections of meaty dishes for the omnivores. Since I am not really a health-conscious eater, I couldn’t help but drooling looking at the selections of the Pan-Asian meaty dishes at Habitat.
My first choice was the star of the menu, the Banh Mi Black Pepper Chicken. Served with Vietnamese baguette, this dish is rich with Asian flavor. The chicken is grilled and cooked with black pepper, while the baguette is savory with a spread of liver paté. The portion is pretty generous already, yet this Banh Mi dish is even more fulfilling with lettuce, pickles and a choice of French fries aioli or salad with aioli.
My next favorite is also one of the best-selling in the house; the Habitat’s Quarter Pounder Burger. The burger is served with a perfectly cooked lush premium beef patty that made me want more. The burger bun is sourced from Monsieur Spoon, one of the leading pastry brands in Bali. And with cheese, tangy mayonnaise, caramelized onion, romaine lettuce and house pickles, the burger is truly flavorful.
Aside from the main courses, Habitat also has choices of breakfast like Pac-Man Waffle and Crumbed Egg Benedict and light bites like Quesadilla. The café is also open for dinner with a range of dishes – my favorite from the dinner menu is Nano Nano Chicken, a chicken fillet dish stuffed with delicate stew toasted bread. This dish is delicious with Asian flavor as it is infused with bay leaves and the chicken is marinated for 24 hours before being chargrilled. The Nano Nano Chicken is served with potato cakes and green salad, and is topped with teriyaki sauce that gives a sweet and sour sensation.
For dessert, Habitat offers selections of sweet delights, from Crepe Tropical with Balinese wild honey to Chocolatine by Monsieur Spoon. But my choice fell on RED + from the healthy smoothies list. RED + is like a bowl of healthy goodness consisting of strawberries, Greek yoghurt, milk and honey. It is refreshing and delicious, perfect for a hot day in Ubud.
Habitat is more than just a café. The restaurant is also a hub that connects and supports local suppliers and communities by using local ingredients in the kitchen. The fruits and vegetables, for instance, are sourced from the farmers in Bedugul, while their coffee is from Cening Coffee, a local roaster that produces their homemade quality coffee.
For healthy beverages, Habitat also collaborates with Happy Kombucha and a home business in Denpasar that creates Indonesian traditional drinks named jamu. Bali Highland Organic is also one of the partners who supplies freerange pork. The staff at the café are all locals as the restaurant aims to support sustainable business. “We want to empower the locals,” one of the owners Herlia Adisasmita stated. “Another example is where we source our wild honey. It is made of pure honey, produced by a Balinese who sells his products in this area.”
Offering delicious flavor and comfortable space, and a noble aim to support the local communities, without a doubt Habitat will soon become the “habitat” in Ubud, a place where residents and tourists call home.
Jalan Monkey Forest 88x, Ubud
By Risty Nurraisa
Magazine issue > Dine&Delights