Rain is an important part of the Balinese culture. It’s a life giving and nurturing element. It also represents good fortune, prosperity and a good harvest. Hujan means rain in the Indonesian language and let’s face it, Ubud sees a lot of rain. Hujan Locale is the latest food outlet from Will Meyrick and the Sarong Group, the restaurant group famous for Sarong and Mama San in Seminyak, E&O in Jakarta and another Mama San in Hong Kong. And Ubud, the artistic and cultural centre of Bali, with its bustling day-time and early evening tourist crowd, seems to be the prefect progression.
Will Meyrick, with help from his chefs Palm Amatawet, Tim Bartholomew and Stuart Marsden, has created a casual Southeast Asian menu using the best of local ingredients, sourced from local farmers and fostering strong links with the surrounding community. There are a number of variations of popular dishes from his other restaurants like the betul nut leaf combos or the wood oven grilled pork, and Kashmiri- style roasted snapper. While brand new dishes like the tuna ceviche and bone marrow on brioche are there to be savoured too. Must tries from the menu are the beef cheek risotto, and the bread and pudding dessert.
The location of Hujan Locale is also special. Jalan Sri Wedari is one of the most picturesque of Ubud with beautiful Balinese style buildings and entrances lining the road and footpaths creating an authentic Balinese street scene that is well worth the trip in itself just to see. Other popular cafes and warungs are dotted along this road too, making it a very foodie destination. The restaurant has two storeys and is more or less planted in the front garden of a Balinese home and their large temple. Looking out the windows upstairs towards the back and the land owner’s temple is almost a mystical experience. The Hujan Locale design is uncomplicated with white-washed timber features, off-white walls and cane chairs. The plating and setting is simple, but also refined, helping to give Hujan Locale, a restaurant with great food and service, the overall feel of a luxury warung.
Try Hujan Locale next time you are in Ubud. You won’t regret it. [FRV]