Alchemy Raw Vegan Cafe & Salad Bar Ubud

Image of Alchemy Restaurant Sign, Ubud
Alchemy, Ubud

Alchemy Raw Vegan Cafe & Salad Bar, Ubud:

  • Make your own Salad + Cocobiotic
  • Price: 65k + 50k (+10% tax + 6% service charge)
  • Score: 5/10
  • January 16th, 2017

I just arrived to Ubud, Bali for the first time. I happen to be travelling with a friend who, unlike me, does her research before arriving. This means she’s compiled a list of the ‘best’ restaurants to check out here in Ubud. First on this list was Alchemy. 

Image of Alchemy restaurant from outside with Alchemy sign
Alchemy Raw Vegan Cafe and Salad Bar

Alchemy has a huge raw vegan salad bar. There are countless toppings to choose from to make your own salad. They also have a set menu with monthly specials such as raw spinach and mushroom pizza, raw mexican burgers and a few other innovative dishes.

The Salad Bar option costs 65k for a large bed of leafy greens, 4 toppings and a dressing. You can add extra toppings for 10k a piece. For my salad toppings I went with raw pad thai, cauliflower tabbouleh, fennel and sweet and spicy cashew nuts with a basil pesto dressing.

Image of salad bowl with raw pad thai, cauliflower tabbouleh, fennel and cashew nuts
My Salad: Raw Pad Thai, Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Fennel and Sweet and Spicy Cashew Nuts on a bed of leafy greens with a Basil Pesto Dressing

 

Image of two salad bowls with raw vegan toppings at Alchemy Cafe
Both the salad bowls my friend and I ordered from the salad bar

I enjoyed the salad but I do think they could have a better system. The topping choices just don’t seem ‘equal’. I certainly wouldn’t choose beansprouts as one of my 4 toppings, or some seeds, when I could have raw pad thai.

My favourite was by far the raw pad thai but everything else was okay too. I personally thought the portion sizes were a little on the stingy side! There is a lot of leafy greens and it’s served in a huge bowl which at least gives the impression it’s filling. I think that’s the way it is with super healthy restaurants here though – very nutritious, high quality food, but not a lot of it!

Image of salad bar at Alchemy with marinated vegetables, cultured veggies, pickled beetroot, beansprouts and kimchi
Some of the many raw vegan salad topping options at the Alchemy Salad Bar
Image of the raw vegan salad bar at Alchemy with
A few more raw vegan salad bar options at Alchemy

Just some of the many other salad bar options there are to choose from: bean sprouts, cultured veggies, kimchi, beets & jicama salad, ‘grandma’s coleslaw’, marinated vegetables and curry vegan parmesan.  

Alchemy have such an extensive range of drinks too. From smoothies, healthy juices, kombucha, turmeric drinks and kefir. My friend and I had heard great things about the ‘Cocobiotics’ (fermented coconut kefir) and it didn’t disappoint. The taste is a little tangy as fermented drinks usually are but felt full of goodness. As seems to be the case in most places here, Alchemy uses non-plastic, natural straws, which I loved!

The drinks were definitely more on the expensive side, but pretty standard for Ubud it seems. A bottle of Cocobiotics was 50k, which is more than a meal in some places but again, pretty standard for the popular restaurants. As many restaurants do here, a government tax of 10% is usually charged for food, plus a service charge. Alchemy charges just 6% service charge.

Overall I found Alchemy a little pretentious. It certainly serves healthy food but I’m not sure I would go back.

Image of mason jar with bamboo straw and fermented coconut kefir at Alchemy
Cocobiotics – fermented coconut kefir

The service at Alchemy was great. The staff were incredibly friendly and attentive. The food was well presented and the staff made sure everything was ok. The restaurant is very white-washed though and comes with a lack of character. It’s not a place my friend and I will go back to often. They certainly have healthy salad but there’s a bit of a cold feeling to the place in my opinion. The wifi wasn’t great. 

When we arrived the upstairs was closed so I’m not sure if there is additional seating or not. Alchemy is a pretty large restaurant so there were no shortage of seats downstairs. There are mostly tables and chairs inside, with a few sofa/benches at the front. 

Image of tables and chairs at Alchemy, ubud
Downstairs Seating Area at Alchemy

As well as their Smoothies and Salads, Alchemy are well-known for their array of raw desserts. I opted for their Bounty Bar, which was very similar to an actual bounty bar but far healthier! That was pretty tasty. My friend went for the carrot cake which she devoured but I found it to be a little too sweet.

Image of raw desserts inside counter at Alchemy
Counter display full of raw treats

Alchemy also have a shop selling all sorts of natural and healthy goodies. It is located in the middle of the restaurant though so can ruin the atmosphere a little if people are hovering around you shopping whilst you eat.

Image of shop inside Alchemy, Ubud
Store inside Alchemy

 

Clear Cafe Ubud

Image of Clear Cafe restaurant sign Ubud
Clear Cafe

Clear Cafe Ubud:

  • Miso Soup + Falafel Pita + Green Hornet Cooler
  • Price: 35k + 55k + 35k ( + government tax and service charge)
  • Total: 145k
  • Score: 6/10
  • January 18th, 2017

Clear Cafe is another highly recommended vegan and vegetarian cafe in Ubud. We made the rainy walk from Penestanan to Ubud one evening to eat here.

Despite the large amount of tables and seating areas, the restaurant was full when we arrived. It wasn’t a problem as we were able to sit and wait on one of the comfy sofas. Actually, I was glad for the extra time to peruse the menu. There are a lot of options!

Look out for the ‘VO’ for Vegan dishes and ‘V’ for Vegetarian as they also serve fresh fish here.

Image of the lunch and dinner menu options at Clear Cafe
The first page of Lunch & Dinner menu options at Clear Cafe

Clear Cafe has a big range of options from Salads to Mexican food, Soups, Sandwiches, Raw and Macrobiotic. Their drinks menu is also really extensive.

My friend opted for a big bottle of Kombucha, which we’d heard was the best in town.  I chose the ‘Green Hornet Cooler’ as I wanted something really chocolate-y. It was made from raw cacao, coconut, cashew mylk, spirulina and mint. I was pretty disappointed with my drink.  It tasted more like spirulina, and not at all like cacao which isn’t the greatest. I wouldn’t order it again. The Kombucha was OK.

For starters my friend opted for a Clear Kale salad and I chose the Miso Soup.

Image of spirulina drink and kombucha with kale salad at clear cafe
Green Hornet Cooler with Clear Kale Salad and a large bottle of Kombucha
Image of Miso Soup with tofu, shiitake mushrooms and seaweed at Clear Cafe
Miso Soup with organic miso, tofu, seaweed, scallions & shiitake mushrooms

I really enjoyed the soup. It was homemade organic miso with seaweed, tofu, scallions and shiitake mushrooms. My friend described her salad as nutritional but non-descript. I guess it was just a salad.

Recovering from a lack of sleep and travelling to Ubud, I was craving comfort food and lots of it. I’d had a really healthy salad the day before but it did nothing to satiate my cravings. So today salads were off the list. That left me with a choice between raw lasagna, mexican burritos, or falafel and pita. Falafel Pita was the winner. My friend chose the raw lasagna.

Image of Falafel and Pita bread with sweet potato fries
Falafel and Pita with sweet potato fries

I think I made the best choice out of all. The Falafel and Pita was tasty and also really filling. The dish came with falafel, clear zucchini hummus, tabouli, sauerkraut, diced tomato and cucumber with tzatziki, inside a warm pita. It was heaven! Even better, it came with a choice of fries, salad, sweet potato fries or onion rings. Naturally I went for sweet potato fries.

Image of Falafel and Pita dish with sweet potato fries

Again, my friend felt full after the raw lasagna but I don’t think it was the most flavoursome dish ever. She didn’t look very happy whilst eating it.

I didn’t manage to take a photo of both dishes as rather annoyingly, our dishes were brought out at separate times. My friend had almost finished her meal before mine even came out. It wasn’t the best to be eating at separate times but I guess service like that is to be expected in Bali. On the whole service was slow and not very welcoming but the food was good.

In terms of price I think Clear Cafe charges pretty standard prices for the healthy, tourist cafes in Ubud. Which means not so great value for money. Do watch out for the government tax and service charges which are added on at the end. The government tax on food seems to be 10% and at Clear Cafe, the service charge was another 10%.

The restaurant itself was very pleasant. There are a lot of tables both upstairs and downstairs, as well as benches to sit at or some floor seating around large tables too. It’s a cool design for a restaurant.    

Image of downstairs seating area with tables and chairs at Clear Cafe
Downstairs seating at Clear Cafe
Image of upstairs seating area at Clear Cafe
Upstairs seating area at Clear Cafe