Raw treats in Seminyak

 

 

Whereas vegetarian food was once associated with hippies and peace signs, and raw food meant little more than a salad or a handful of nuts, these days healthy eating has hit the mainstream, with more and more people opting for organic whole foods. Tapping into the world-wide raw food trend, Divine Earth swung open its doors in February this year, with an expansive menu of wholesome raw dishes, nourishing juices and organic wines. Spread over two floors, the space is fresh and serene, with a calming colour scheme shaded in green and beige, and an open kitchen area with glass display counters filled with enticing desserts and snacks. A recently expanded dinner menu also includes a selection of cooked vegetarian options.

Raw foodies claim that fresh ingredients retain enzymes, vitamins and proteins which are often destroyed by the cooking process. With a little imagination, creativity, and the use of a dehydrator (which gently heats food to 43 degrees without actually cooking it,) raw food chefs can create all kinds of tasty treats. Our crispy flax seed crackers go beautifully with a Trio of Dips. The Portobello Mushroom has been marinated in honey and tamarind, and popped in the dehydrator to emerge rich and full of flavour, with salad, pickles and thick creamy tofu cashew cheese on the side. The dehydrator has also crisped up the vegetables for the sty Moussaka layered with turmeric cashew cheese; while Almond Bread with Chive Cashew Feta makes a very tasty breakfast dish.

I am a huge fan of raw desserts, which can deliver the sweetness you crave but leave you feeling lean and energised rather than full and loaded with sugar. The Banoffee Ice cream Terrine served with salted caramel sauce is just superb, as is the Chocolate Almond Crunch with rich satiny chocolate smoothed over a nutty, crunchy base. Drinks include a zingy Green Juice, and a thick and velvety Tantra – a healthy boost of blueberries, oat milk and cacao which is similar to a chocolate milkshake but without the dairy heaviness

Tucked into the sidewalk at the end of Jalan Raya Basangkasa, Divine Earth is ideally situated next to Divine Goddess (selling yoga wear) and Seminyak Yoga Shala, creating a wellbeing corner in the heart of town. The cafe is a collaboration between Gil… of Divine Goddess, and Liat Solomon, founder of Down to Earth, a ‘whole life’ company that has grown to incorporate five vegetarian restaurants/markets (including Zula and Earth Cafe), and a substantial product range. For Solomon, an experienced nutritionist and vegetarian/ macrobiotic chef who has cooked for various celebrities such as Kevin Costner, healthy food is a not just a passion its a way of life.

Divine Earth Jalan Raya Basangkasa, Seminyak

Phone:(0361) 731964

Hours:7:00 am – 11:00 pm

Green Ginger, Bali

 

Finally my detox is over and I am dying to go out for dinner, but still want to keep things healthy so I meet up with a friend in one of our favourite catch-up spots – the garden of Green Ginger.   One of the first cafes to spring up in Berawa, Green Ginger is  a collaboration between Britta Boyer, a designer with a penchant for vintage, and Jonathan Russel, well known on the island as DJ Rock Solid.  You can still find him mixing it up at Ku de ta, but these days you are more likely to find him indulging in his passion for creating good food that is also good for you.

A hotch potch of styles and influences are at play, creating a unique space. Food is firmly of the Asian vegetarian persuasion; the vibe is quaint tea house – think ornate china tea pots, floral wall paper and tiered cake stands; while  retro beaded lamps and bird-themed art work create an antique feel. Much of the bric a brac, including the stamp collections, second hand books, and funky furnishings are also for sale.  The enchanted garden out back is filled with dappled sunlight, frangipani, scatter cushions, hanging plants and tinkering chimes, definitely a place for lingering. The picturesque Balinese temple that looms over the garden provides a fitting backdrop.

The vibe

What Green Ginger lacks in space, it makes up for in spirit. This is a cafe with soul! As Jonathon explains, he hopes to add “Positive energy as well as fresh flavours to the local food scene.” The cafe certainly isn’t going to change the world, but does act as an inspiration to others with its thoughtful environmental practices. Apart from Italian coffee, almost everything is sourced locally, and all dishes (including sauces and curry pastes) are made from scratch. A keen gardener, Jono has also been known to put together field trips to visit suppliers in Bedugul so visitors can learn about organic farming. He is also committed to recycling, sustainability and minimal impact, encouraging customers to bring their own containers for take away. In the spirit of community, local Balinese receive hefty discounts, and weekly free Indonesian classes help teach foreigners the lingo.

The Food

Good ethics aside, Green Ginger also served up fabulous food. I have been hooked on the Laksa since I first discovered the cafe a couple of years ago. Prepared Singapore style, this deeply aromatic coconut curry soup is thoroughly intoxicating, served with just a hint of chilli, wedges of tasty tofu, wilted bokchoy and sprigs of fresh dill. Big, fat Rice Paper Rolls are equally moreish packed with fresh vegetables and just a hint of mint, dipping sauces include a light and fragrant homemade peanut sauce. Tofu Puffs are delightfully fluffy, while Crunchy Corn Fritters are made with the plumpest corn kernels that really do burst with flavour, and are lovingly enhanced with thick homemade chilli jam. Salads include Yasai Sarada, a Japanese vegetable salad with seaweed, and the Mango Avocado Salad combining greens with the sweetness of mango and the crunch of snow peas and bean spouts.  For dessert we split a  Coffee, Cardamom and Ginger cake – it is truly extraordinary, even better when enjoyed with a pot of authentic chai.

Aside from Green Ginger, Jono also operates, Zucchini on Oberoi (famed for its salad bar) and the newly opened  Elephant inn Ubud (Will check it out soon.)

Green Ginger Noodle House

Jl Pantain Berawa 46

+62 3618446640