Ondy Sweeting experiences Milk and Madu Ubud, further glory from the peeps behind The Goodfood Brotherhood.
One of Bali’s most dynamic purveyors of food – The Goodfood Brotherhood – have raised their bar yet again with the opening of a second Milk & Madu restaurant, this time in Ubud.
Jordie Strybos and Pablo Fourcard are no strangers to the island’s dining scene as the duo behind The Goodfood Brotherhood’s restaurants: Watercress in Batu Belig and Ubud plus Milk & Madu, ULEKAN, Bangkok Hustle and Schmurger Burger, all of which are in Berawa, Canggu.
Milk & Madu Ubud is a dramatic departure from the tropical chic of other Brotherhood venues and is a soaring contemporary design statement of steel and glass. Sydney architect Richard Alexander of RAD Studio in Surry Hills has created a dramatic space with vaulted ceilings of blonde timbers that flank the interiors with glass to deliver a bold and bright space. Everything from the shared tables, chairs, the high back leather sofas and exquisite lighting that shines its best at night – are custom made for this new restaurant.
The menu has been shopped in from Milk & Madu Berawa with Executive Chef Josh Job’s popular lava stone pizzas produced from a purposed built kitchen outside of the main dining area. It has a casual garden with big tables for those who prefer an outside vibe while grazing up in the hills. For breakfast and lunch expect classics from the Berawa kitchen including eggs benny, hand made muesli and granola, the super breaky bowl plus sandwiches and more substantial house specialties such as the lightly spiced huevos ranchos, the dieter’s friend; the boss omelet with zucchini, feta, tomato and mint. Madu bowls deliver lush tropical fruit, crunchy nuts and seeds in all manner of sweet and delicious combinations.
For lunch the succulent Angus beef burger is the consummate and juicy medium rare beef with creamy cheese, caramelised onion plus crisp lettuce and tomato on a super soft bun. The Poke Bowls and the full range of salads include the beloved Byron bowl, Mexicana, felafel and lamb and the signature Madu salad have all been transposed to this Ubud outpost. Chef Josh has a small kitchen garden so some of the exquisitely fresh produce will be grown in this tiny Berawa farm.
Milk & Madu Ubud has a full bar with beer and cocktails, sangria, wine and bubbles and cider. Try the Banoffee Bourbon, which is Jack Daniels poured over bananas and left to macerate for weeks. The result is a soft and tropical tipple with only a vague hue of the usual slam detonated by a quality brown spirit. Other beverages on offer are fresh smoothies, craft made kombucha and jamu plus a full menu of cold pressed juices under The Brotherhood’s own brand Better Juices, which is set to open an Ubud hole in the wall juice and salad shop down near Bridges restaurant early next year.
The coffee used is also a newly bespoke product from the Brotherhood as Beans By The Brotherhood, which is a mix of Brazilian, Ethiopian and Ugandan Arabica and is creamy and so rudely rich a second order is hard to avoid. Mix the coffee with rich a superbly finished cappuccino. The barista’s – along with all of the new staff – trained with the long time professionals at Watercress.
“This is the cumulative effort of all of the places that we opened and now have under our belt. We knew the pit falls and had made the all of the mistakes and issues of developing a restaurant from the ground up. While this was not our first rodeo, it has been nine months of full on work and openings are always chaotic. We opened on my birthday and it is the best birthday present ever,” says Brotherhood partner Pablo.
Dinner in Ubud is mix of tapas style dining with dips and spreads like truffle butter, edamame hummus and cultured feta paired with oven-fried breads. Smaller plates have spiced lamb with pine nuts and apricot, poached chicken breast with wild rocket and beans. The baby beets with goats curd, mint and crushed almonds are a fabulous taste bomb. Mains include market fish with pearl barley, grilled zucchini and snow peas along with sweet and sticky pork ribs and juicy steaks.
Executive Chef Josh Job – who custom designed the superb kitchen – never fails to deliver on quality and flavour. With The Goodfood Brotherhood, Chef Josh delivers a consistency that is hard to find anywhere in the world across so many venues. Diners can rely on perfectly poached eggs every time, butter soft lamb and the dazzlingly delicious combo of vegetables, seeds, nuts and seasoning in every salad and side dish.
“Josh has put his heart and soul into creating Milk & Madu Ubud. The kitchen is epic and the food fantastic. This is our seventh venue and we created it from demolition to opening in just nine months. Bali is an amazing place to do business and opportunities just keep coming our way,” says partner Jordie.
Once Ubud is buzzing along nicely it may just be time for the partners in this increasingly high profile company to rest, recentre, and regenerate. Given that the Brotherhood is birthing new venues at lightning speed keep watch for what is brewing for 2018.