A spectacular time at Sari Organik, Ubud
AN endless blue sky and emerald green rice paddies provide a stunning vista as a narrow winding path takes me from Ubud's bustling main street into the quiet, lush countryside.
I'm headed for Sari Organik - one of Bali's most renowned and popular organic eateries.
Set in one of the most picturesque locations on the Island of the Gods, Sari Organik (or Warung Bodag Maliah as it's also known) boasts its own organic vegetable garden where the freshest of ingredients are whipped up by creative chefs into mouth-watering meals.
I first discovered this famed cafe years ago and it's a must on my regular visits to Bali.
As I wind my way along the path, I'm greeted by friendly farmers, wrinkled and brown from a lifetime in the sun.
There's ducks, cows, cats and dogs and enterprising locals, who seeing the increased foot traffic along the path and the growing popularity of Sari Organik (and other small cafes that have sprung up), have opened small shops hoping to tempt the hundreds of tourists and ex-pats who pass along the path every day.
It's hot and humid, but worth every step and after a scenic 20 minute walk, I reach my destination.
Though simple and unassuming in its decor, Sari Organik has views to die for and a menu to tempt the fussiest of diners.
Vegetarians, vegans and diners with special dietary needs are well catered for with an extensive menu featuring lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, fried tempeh and tofu.
There's also chicken, free-range of course, and succulent seafood.
Red, brown and black rice make a welcome change from the usual white variety and a fabulous selection of healthy juices and chilled coconuts not only look good, but quench your thirst.
With so many delicious meals to choose from, it's hard to make a selection, but I finally decide on an entrée of stuffed tomatoes with warm fetta and fresh herbs and the popular Bodeg pizza for main.
The tomatoes are served on a bed of organic lettuce and melt in my mouth.
Fresh and tangy, I accompany them with a refreshing green juice of cucumber, apple, mint and ginger.
The Bodeg pizza is covered in fresh vegetables and chicken and its wholemeal base is light and crispy.
There's cauliflower, capsicum, spinach, carrots, onions, tomatoes and more and it's simply delicious.
Other popular dishes on the menu include nasi campur (a mix of rice, vegetables, satays, and sambal); chicken, vegetable or fish satays; tofu kebabs; gado gado; pesto pasta; amazingly colourful salads, barbecued fish and much, much more.
With a philosophy of only using organic and locally-sourced ingredients from sustainable farmers, diners at Sari Organik can be assured they are giving back to the local area.
Settle back in the café's day beds and you could easily while away hours here, sampling the delicacies, soaking up the relaxed atmosphere and those incredible views.
Sari Organik is a must for those who enjoy truly healthy food cooked with lots of love and served up in a location that both mesmerizes and stimulates.
IF YOU GO: Sari Organik is located about a 20 minute walk from Ubud's main street.
Go past Jalam Bisma, cross the road and walk up the rutted and steep road to the top.
Then follow the winding, narrow path to Sari Organic.
If it's too hot or you can't be bothered with the walk, you can jump on the back of a motorbike.
Phone Sari Organik on +62 361 972 097 to arrange transport.
The restaurant is open seven days from 8am to 8pm.