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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.