Like so many places in Ubud, Bodag Maliah, or ‘overflowing basket’ in Balinese, is grounded in the concept of organic, fresh and delicious food. What makes this place so special, however, is the atmosphere in which you eat it – tucked underneath an open thatched roof and surrounded by the garden where your food was still growing that very morning. It’s hard to have a more wholesome experience really, which in Ubud is one heck of a call.
We visited the popular restaurant and cafe on a stinking hot Thursday, having worked up a sweat on the walk over. Half the experience of Bodag Maliah is getting there in the first place, as it’s tucked off the main street of Ubud and accessible only by foot (or an experienced motorbike rider, although we wouldn’t recommend it). Set down a little path lined with flocks of mo-hawked ducks and trickling streams, the restaurant is a little oasis of open-plan seating and organic delights.
Most of the food on the Bodag Maliah menu is grown in the gardens which cocoon it, and you can even trot down and pick out your own vegetables if you’re so inclined. It features an extensive list of juices, smoothies and lassies (RP20,000-RP30,000) as well as beers, cocktails and home-made wines (RP30,000-RP32,000). There is also an abundance of raw soups, pizzas and wraps, and over 10 different types of salad including pumpkin, tofu, tempura and papaya, with mains ranging from RP35,000 to RP60,000.
The only real downside to Bodag Maliah is the fact that it’s so popular. We went during off season and were still listening to conversations in French, Russian, American and Australian, and failed to score a prime spot overlooking the rice fields. There were a number of other beautiful looking warungs and cafes on the walk down to the Lonely Planet favourite, and we’d recommend giving them a chance if you’re in the mood for something a little more secluded.