Vegan in Bali

Long time... no blog!
I've only just got around to sorting my photos out properly and making the time to sit down and tell my stories from the last two months. It's been a whirlwind - but a very relaxing one. Four countries, three friends, two relatives and one backpack; packed and unpacked more times than I can count. While I try to collate my thoughts from all my adventures, I thought I'd do a run down of how much fun Issy and I had discovering incredible vegan food in Bali and Lombok. We had a long list of must-visit places, and fell head over heels in love with a good few of them. So, without further ado, here's what amazed us: the times we ate in silence in sheer awe, and the times we went back again and again. 


I started the trip by myself, waiting for Issy to join me. As soon as I arrived in my Seminyak hostel - M Boutique Hostel - from the airport, soaking wet, I met Nikki. Despite being exhausted from 25 hours of travelling, I joined her and visited Motel Mexicola for dinner. Of course, dinner turned into a lot of cocktails and a late night, but nonetheless the guac and nachos combo cured my sleepiness pretty fast! On day two, Nikki took me to the mother of all Bali vegan hot spots... Kynd Cafe. Even though it's always busy and there's often a bit of a wait for that table under the pink paradise wall, their smoothie bowls are unbeatable.  


Berry waffles with coconut nice cream, berry compote and maple syrup

Beet hummus and sweet potato mash, with chilli sauce and balsamic vinegar reduction
The Green'n'grind smoothie bowl is simply stuff of legends. I had it three times while I was there, and enjoyed it every time. When I wanted to change it up a bit, Issy and I opted for loaded toasts and my first vegan waffle stack. Both were out of this world! I failed / couldn't be bothered to wait for the famous Instagram shot with the pink wall, but I still loved the whole vibe of Kynd. They have really thought of every detail - from handmade metal spoons with pineapples, to personalised letters in smoothie bowls, Kynd merch and amazing takeaway options. My favourite thing hands down though, was their free self love postcards. The idea is to take one and write something on it to brighten someone else's day; perhaps you like a stranger's top or think someone could do with a little pick-me-up. Everything Kynd stands for really resonates with me and eating there was simply a delight.

As well as all that, it's so amazing to eat in a completely vegan restaurant. It is so infrequent that I can go out to eat and pick absolutely anything off the menu! Issy and I had planned to get their sweet treat takeaway items before we left, but got caught up eating somewhere else (oops). While it's not a new suggestion, everything about Kynd means that it should be at the top of your visit list on the vegan map of Bali.


 Okay okay, I'm a terrible blogger. I took no photos of my good at so the amazing wall art will have to suffice. Just around the corner from Kynd cafe, on the corner, Go has a chilled outside eating area with funky decor, and a spacious inside with beautifully painted walls and plants. I visited twice, and the salad and wraps bar looked to be full of fresh ingredients. I had very tasty buddha bowls both times and fresh juices. The carrot and ginger was pretty strong but blew the cobwebs away that's for sure! The watermelon juice was the winner though. The best food? Hands down the frozen peanut butter chocolate smoothie bowl. Who said vegan had to be healthy or boring?! It was eaten so quickly that taking out my camera didn't even cross my mind. While smoothie bowls are great, frozen smoothie bowls blow the competition out of the water. Check it out... you won't regret it.


Spinach, squash, pesto and pine nut toast with coconut feta and olive oil glaze

Chickpea cookie dough. Yep, you heard that right.

Pulled jackfruit buns, cauliflower 'hot wings' and loaded toast

On our last evening in Bali, Issy and I had an absolute blow out in Cafe Organic. Another cool cafe with funky painted walls and lazy beach vibes, Cafe Organic had some of our favourite food all holiday. After enjoying loaded toasts at Kynd a couple of times, I decided to switch from my usual sweet food obsession and see what Cafe Organic had to offer. Simply, they won the toast game (sorry Kynd I love you too). I'm not a big cheese fan, hence why going vegan for me was, I think, substantially easier, but coconut feta was really tasty and made the perfect topping to my loaded toast. Issy and I also shared some cauliflower 'hot wings' and they were delicious too. Having never had a meaty 'hot wing', I can't tell you that the cauliflower version is the same as its meaty counterpart, but how could I care when it was as good as it was?! Since coming back to Japan, I've attempted this myself a few times with varying degrees of success. Nothing can replace Cafe Organic however. For dessert, we opted for the chickpea cookie dough... which intrigued us so much we couldn't resist. It looked exactly like cookie dough and the generous amount of chocolate chips was wonderful, but for us it was a little to chickpea-y. Perhaps I'm not quite into the whole earthy/health-food scene yet, but IMO it needed a good spoonful of maple or some kind of sugar to make it quite like real cookie dough. Seeing as cookie dough can be made normally with no animal products I think I'll stick to the unhealthy kind. That said, if it sounds like something you'd be interested in trying, Cafe Organic's chickpea cookie dough was still super tasty and I'm glad I tried it. I'm a die-hard sugar fan unfortunately!

another beautifully painted wall in Cafe Organic


The final place we visited in Seminyak was Mad Pops. Coconut ice cream in a variety of flavours was the perfect dessert! There's also a bunch of toppings - but the waffle cones aren't vegan which is a shame. I opted for matcha and mint choc chip flavours. The mint choc chip was probably one of the best I've ever had. The matcha... certainly tasted like matcha! Being a Japan fan, matcha is a firm favourite of mine, but as an ice cream flavour... I wasn't so sure. It was a little too strong for me I think; but tasty in a small size. Like the rest of the vegan eats in Seminyak, Mad Pops had a creative interior and a small bench at the front to perch on. Bunching up on a bench and watching the busy street reminds me of my childhood summer holidays, so there's another reason I give Mad Pops a thumbs up. 


Onto Gili Trawangan, the best vegan place to eat HANDS DOWN is Pituq. Issy and I absolutely fell in love with the place; the bamboo raised seating areas, the wonderfully friendly staff, the huge variety of things on the menu, and the really affordable prices that don't usually come with cool vegan cafes. For the four nights we were in Gili T, we ate at Pituq at least once a day, if not twice. 

A small apple and pineapple bowl and a large dragon fruit bowl

Oh, Pituq, you wonderful, wonderful place

From fruit and veg platters for brunch, to smoothie bowls, juices, and unbelievable curries for dinner, Pituq really has it all. On our first night, I had tempeh slices with rice and a spicy curry, and Issy ordered a creamy jackfruit coconut curry and rice. One of the wonderful things about eating plant based is that you can usually eat a whole lot more of it... which means yay to enormous portions! Make sure you come hungry to Pituq - they certainly look after you. Expect to wait at least 20 minutes for food, the kitchen is small and the menu large. That said, there's a whole lotta love so it's certainly worth the wait.

good food and even better company

Pituq's large fruit platter, with chill chocolate, chocolate, banana and coconut cream sauces

One of my favourite things about summer holidays is an abundance of fresh, tropical fruit that I can't usually get at home. Living in Japan, though, I barely get more than bananas and apples without paying through the roof. A bag of 5 apples costs £3, and a bunch of bananas is almost the same, so for me, anywhere I can have a whole pineapple for breakfast is heaven. We also had the same kind of platter but with veggies and hummus one day, which was just as tasty.

It's becoming a recurring theme that my favourite food doesn't get photographed. So, while the dishes above were all very much enjoyed, hands down both Issy and I's favourite Pituq food was the frozen no bake Oreo cheesecake. In fact, all holiday, we talked about what our favourite food was, and the cheesecake came up again and again, no matter what new food we found. Both of us ate in complete silence and awe at how something so tasty could possibly be vegan. Creamy, chocolatey and cold, it was the perfect way to round off our final meal at Pituq. It is to this day, one of my favourite food experiences of all time. So, if you make it to Gili T, then to Pituq, don't even think about leaving the island until you've had the cheesecake. You won't regret it.
Side note: the good old Oreo - the vegan choccy biscuit staple - ISN'T VEGAN IN JAPAN. Finding that out was actually crushing.


Onto Ubud eats. Our favourite find was Acai Queen, for definite. Served in beautifully carved pineapple bowls and accompanied by a whole host of yummy toppings, their famous acai ice cream made a great pudding and snack (we may have indulged a few times). Cacao nibs, nuts, a homemade Oreo (!!!), strawbs and coconut cream. With a variety of different bowls, different ice cream flavours and toppings, Acai Queen is worth a stop, even just to sit on the swinging benches that look out into the street! The staff were lovely, and even gave us free chocolate truffles both times we visited. If you write them a review on Tripadvisor, then even give out free drinks, so that's always good to know.


Lazy Cats Cafe was another good find in Ubud. On the second floor, it has a great view over the bustling street below but is high enough up that is a very chill space with plenty of people making use of their high speed wifi over a coffee and delicious food. We opted to sit on the balcony right over the street, and I had a spicy buddha bowl as we took a break from market shopping. While the portions weren't anything like Pituq's, they were still a good size. The real winner at this place is the beautiful interior, and the water bar which has help-yourself flavoured waters. It gives the overall impression that the owners have really considered the cafe experience. It's not fully vegan, so it's great for meat lovers alike, but after being spoiled by a multitude of all vegan places, I found the menu a little limiting. That said, I still really enjoyed the overall aesthetic of the place and a yummy lunch.

spicy tofu with fried broccoli, mixed stir fried veggies and cous cous

So that's a (not so short) run down of what Issy and I ate in Bali. To be honest, all we did was eat, sunbathe, chat and cycle. It was what both of us needed - a break from uni and work, a chance to catch up and put the world to rights for two weeks. 

Coming on a year abroad has certainly made me realise how incredible my friends at home are; they're my confidantes, my meme-taggers, my motivators and all round support network. Saying goodbye was actually really hard for both of us: we don't see each other a huge amount during the year anyway due to being in different cities for uni, but there's something altogether different about being half way around the world and saying goodbye. For me: back to Okayama without Eloise, and for Issy, back to work in London. Two weeks together on the beach gave us both time to forget what we were returning to, what we were worried about, and what we were, to be honest, fed up with. There's something about good food, good company and good weather than can really help your outlook. Both of us left a little browner, a little more optimistic, and a little readier to take on whatever the next six months throws at us. For that alone, Bali was incredible. It was my reset button, and coming back to Okayama has been so much easier after reassurance from friends and family. Saying goodbye to people has become a little too much of a common reality for me, so naturally saying goodbye to Is was pretty emotional but I'll never forget our adventure; snakes in the rice paddies, tropical thunderstorms, ugly teary goodbyes and all. But mainly, I'll never forget eating Oreo cheesecake with a friend who I know has my back, even half a planet from home. LOVE YOU IS! 

Until next time pals, 
Molly x


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