Bali Food Safari, Ubud.

Nearly two three months later, I’m finally finishing up on our visit to Bali.  Better late than never, yes?

So, here’s the concept of the Bali Food Safari: 3 plates x 4 restaurants, 1 van, 1 city — a well-organized mystery dining experience.  Staying in Ubud, we opted for the Ubud excursion, however, if you wanted to come up or go down to Seminyak, I think you have the option.  Personally, I think its best to stay in the city you’re in (for those who have previously traveled to Bali, you know the traffic leaves something to be desired).  Furthermore, at the end of this marathon meal, you’re going to want to relax in a nearby bed — trust me!

For our evening, the visit included Sayan House, Uma Cucina, Arang Sate Bar, and a beautiful rooftop restaurant for dessert.  I guess the last venue will remain a surprise because I forgot to write it down.

Anyway, the basics of the food safari run like this: at a set time, the van picks you up from your hotel, and then you’re off.  Our first stop was for stunning sundowners at the Sayan House, with views of the lush valley below.  Here, the first drink was included, and we received the first three dishes of the night.  Our Bali Food Safari hostess explained that we were to enjoy the food and in an hour be ready for our next pick up (this is the basic operation for the entire evening).  This agenda allows guests enough time for a glass (or two) of wine and three small(ish) plates at each venue.

One’s ability to consume a considerable food aside (by plate number seven, I was struggling), I would highly recommend this experience for the first night of a visit to Ubud or Seminyak.  The design of the tour is a great way to quickly acquaint yourself with the city, and then perhaps make plans for the rest of your stay.  Or, if you only have a few nights in the city, then you’re best able to maximize your time and experience a number of restaurants in one evening.  Furthermore, depending on the chemistry of the group, it’s also a great way to make new friends!

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Delicious food aside (the foie gras nigiri at Sayan House was to die for, especially considering the fact I don’t even like foie gras), what I loved best about the evening was the community element. In fact, it’s what I would suggest the company do more of.  For our evening, there were three couples and it was only at the end that we were able to be seated together.  Going forward, I would encourage the tour operator to allow for the option of being seated with other couples (unless people wanted to choose a private experience).

I think it goes without saying that I highly recommend this experience and wouldn’t hesitate to book again if I returned to Bali.  In fact, with successful similar adventures in Iceland and Bucharest, it’s the style of travel I look to replicate when visiting new countries.  I’m kind of wondering how to make it a reality in Dubai.  It would be fun to launch a once a week Dubai Food Safari (to start, just to see what the interest was).  I know the gals of Frying Pan Adventures have a great thing going, and the Foodiva offers a once a month option, but I think there’s room in the market for something closer to the pattern of the Bali business.  Any takers?

Have you ever been on a food tour?  Let me know!

Want to make a booking?  Just click here.

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Author. Expat. Saberer of champagne. You might also know me as Courtney Brandt.

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