Eelke Plasmeijer and Ray Adriansyah

Produced with  Cool Hunting

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“Modern cuisine, local produce.” That’s how Dutch expat chef Eelke Plasmeijer describes the ethos of Bali’s Locavore restaurant, which he launched in late 2013 along with fellow chef Ray Adriansyah and restaurant manager Adi Karmayasa, who both hail from Indonesia. The trio were already well-acquainted, having worked together for more than three years at a hotel in Ubud, the centrally located town that Locavore calls home.

Their approach is unique for an island like Bali, where many restaurants rely heavily on imports, but it’s key to Locavore’s appeal—for diners as well as suppliers. “We work together with small growers, fisherman, and farmers, and know them all on a very personal level,” explains Plasmeijer. The result is an ever-changing menu full of food that’s not only local, but free-range, chemical-free, and organic whenever possible. “We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking.” Simple, but far from unadventurous. On any given night, you’ll find inventive, ingredient-driven dishes like pan-fried scallops with Jerusalem artichoke sauce, parsley puree, brioche croutons, seaweed, and brown butter—or a passion fruit tart with strawberries and kemangi sorbet, finished with a touch of strawberry gel.

We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking.

Well, you’ll find them if you’re lucky enough to get a table. In tourist-heavy Ubud, Locavore’s dinner service is generally booked weeks in advance, a testament to the quality of the food itself, but also the friendly, casual service. Order the seven-course tasting menu, and you’re just as likely to get 10-15 different plates, sometimes served by the folks in charge. Its all in pursuit of “having as much fun as possible on a daily basis.”

Plasmeijer has but one request for his patrons: “Leave your damn cellphones at home! We have so many guests who are more busy with their phones than with enjoying the food and the company.” So if you stop by, best to turn off your screen, take a moment to appreciate where you are and who you’re with—then dig in.

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