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Lunch at LocaVore

Dining in Ubud's best restaurant

We first heard about LocaVore from an Airbnb host.  He had the distinct honor to host the CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky over Christmas in December of 2014.  At the time, I was the market manager at Airbnb for Indonesia, so I had to got to overhear some of his recommendations for the CEO.  His most dramatic suggestion was LocaVore, which he claimed rivaled and exceeded Mozaic, the most famous restaurant in Ubud at the time.  His suggestion sounded so exaggerated and boastful, I wondered if he was the owner of the place he was recommending or getting a big commission to bring in new customers.  Happily, upon eating at the restaurant, I happily confirmed that the claims were true. Locavore had made it's way into the Ubud dining scene and was definitely a rising star.
Perhaps the first thing that surprised me about Locavore was it's location. Unlike Mozaic, with a location far from the city center of Ubud, Locavore is right in the middle of town. It's unlikely neighbors are a souvenir shop, budget spas, and basic restaurants catering to the Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor reading crowds.  An unlikely place to find such an exceptional restaurant. 
Ok why do I love Locavore?  To me, this represents a new direction in fine dining. The chefs are young, driven and precise.  Every dish is artwork, replicated painstakingly in unique detail. Ingredients and techniques are constantly refreshed. I always have a different experience whenever I eat there. My six-year old daughter goes up to the open kitchen and chats with the chefs as they plate our meals. They take the time to entertain her whims and answer her questions. They ply her with small morsels of raw chocolate and berries. She comes back to the table, carrying her little treasures. And the generosity. We order a five course lunch and ultimately are served more than 10 courses. Small unexpected servings of tomato sorbet appear as a palette cleanser. Freshly backed madelines with vanilla sauce show up unannounced after dessert, a bit of sweetness before the bill arrives. 
A crab, melon and cucumber tartare. There's a bit of crunch edible seaweed and the dish is seasoned with dill. 
The chefs are in an open kitchen that overlooks the dining area. I get the sense that they're keeping close watch on not just the food, but the diners as well. Every course came perfectly served and expertly plated.  
This was our fish course, it was a perfectly pan-fried chunk of parrotfish with crispy chunks of chorizo and octopus. The fish skin was perfectly crispy. 
Bread comes before the appetizers and is a crusty sourdough round with a cracker sharp crust and fluffy insides.  They serve it with minced basil spread or passion-fruit gel in coconut oil. 
Creative dessert here. Mango sorbet. Coconut cream fraiche. Panna cotta with a cucumber sauce. Amazing combination of flavors. Applause.
A river lobster bisque. This was divine and ethereal. The sauce was so light and flavorful. Something you wouldn't expect together. Shrimp, fish and even the chuck of crab were perfectly cooked, each to the right done-ness.
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