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Qraved Journal is chasing down natural nirvana at Ubud’s Sakti, one of Bali’s most talked about vegan bistros.
When writing about what separates a great restaurant from a good one, New York Times writer Bruce Buschel described ambiance as something that sits right there beneath the surface: “just because someone doesn’t know why she feels so grand in a space, so sexy, doesn’t mean that feeling was not consciously built in. It could be the lighting. Or the music. Or the old radiator that reminds her of home.”
And so when you’re sitting in Sakti, you’re probably already aware that the kitchen is recognized for having some of the best vegan food in all of Asia. But that’s just kind of where you start here.
The Sakti is set back from the increasing hustle and/or bustle that defines post-boom Ubud, a thatch roof and bamboo dining room set against the Ayung River. A concept like this might feel precious or self-conscious in a place as saturated in ‘nirvana-for-sale’ as some of the recent arrivals in Ubud, but there’s something about Sakti that manages to leapfrog that feeling of cynicism.
A lot of it is the food and the way it is presented. Traditionally, a good kitchen is run in the tradition of
Escoffier, a trained brigade drilled to create fine dining. At the other end of this are the plethora of well-meaning seekers who open a restaurant and are too worried about nobody’s respective buzz being harshed to run a disciplined line. Sakti is comfortable in a way that doesn’t make serious food seem imposing, but still does the hard work necessary to lift meatless cooking up a notch.
And the important part: the food. When you do a set menu, you’re telling the diner that they can sit back and trust that the chef knows what they’re doing. With options for a three course, five course, or seven course set menu, it’s something of a Very Vegan Choose Your Own Adventure. And while the seven course menu might seem a bit of a splurge, it includes a deviously clever jicama and mushroom sushi and finishes with a caramelized peach with almond butter. Make your life choices accordingly.
The palms sway in the wind and bamboo chimes rattle. Whatever that unknown quality is that separates good from great restaurants, Sakti has it.
While what makes a great restaurant great is often an unknown x-factor, the Qraved app for iOS and Android removes all mystery on where to eat.
To find out more restaurants around Bali, click: