Upmarket with a view
If you’re looking to get away from the craziness of downtown Ubud for a quiet meal in old school surrounds with a fabulous classic Ubud view, Janet de Neefe’s two-storey Indus has been doing it in nonchalant style for years and is the place to head.
Serving a breakfast, and then later a range of Indonesian classics and interesting Western dishes, with a solid selection of interesting drinks, Indus is great if you’re in a group and need to please a few different kinds of eaters. But it’s also a top spot for a quiet repast with a close friend or just a solo coffee, their famous lime tart and a book.
Expect starters like Tasmanian salmon rice paper rolls (90,000++) and salads like grilled prawns and green papaya salad with peanuts and a Thai dressing. We’ve twice had the Tunisian warm salad of Mediterranean veggies on beetroot mash with chick peas and feta (55,000++) — it’s a delicious and filling enough option to be a main.
Main courses include potato, broccoli, and edamame salad with mint and torch ginger (70,000++), Balinese-style beef rendang with flatbread and coconut salad (100,000++), nasi campur (80,000++), which comes with chicken satay, grilled tofu, corn fritters, curry and sambal, and chilli beef noodles with Asian greens, sweet chilli and lemon basil (90,000++). Get in a day ahead of time and you can order bebek betutu (Balinese duck) for two for 300,000 — we’ve not tried it but you couldn’t beat the setting here.
The kids’ menu is short and sweet — chicken nuggets, or fettucini with tomato sauce. Encourage them to try something from the grown ups menu!
For dessert, we can never go past the lime tart (55,000++), a creamy, tangy slice of pie that seems to be the right swap for chocolate in the tropics. But the selection extends to coconut creme caramel, tiramisu, truffles and a few other choices.
Prices overall are on par with other slightly higher end places but fair for the quality on offer and the surrounds.
The decor at Indus is classic Bali — you won’t find any trendy design features but instead it’s all stone statues, traditional cement-work and on-the-slightly-heavy-side furniture. Indus has been going for around 10 years and it’s probably safe to say nothing has changed too much since then other than development around the restaurant. And that’s precisely the appeal, as, well, nothing needs to change.
Happy hour is on from 17:00 till 19:00 daily, and sees cocktails normally priced at 90,000++ drop to 65,000++, with free tapas.
Note that this is one of the main venues for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival — our only complaint really is that during this time, it’s impossible to get a drink promptly as the bar as it gets so crowded and staff get overwhelmed.
So come outside the festival, pull up a chair, enjoy the discreet service, the elegant yet casual ambiance, and the always reliable food. You’ll want to grab one of the balcony tables in the late afternoon as the sun is a little harsh out there during the day, but you can still savour the view from inside.
By Samantha Brown
Last updated on 28th July, 2014.