Take the humble warung and mix it with a world class chef and you’ve got a restauraunt that’s going places. Photo: Lucky 8.
Ubud may have a reputation as a vegan-friendly haven, but a new warung in town is shaking things up with carnivorous offerings like succulent steaks, super stacked burgers and crispy coconut charcoal grilled chicken that would make even the most steadfast plant-based eater look twice. MyWarung has finally made its way up the hill from the south shores of Bali, and meat eaters in Ubud couldn’t be happier.
Like many great ideas, the MyWarung concept grew out of a desire to take something familiar and elevate it whilst still retaining its original ethos. Indonesian-born Juan Pierre Anthony spent much of his life living abroad, but every time he returned home to Bali, he would always frequent his favourite local warung. He began to think about how he could combine the humble warung concept of freshly cooked food at affordable prices in a laidback space with world-class culinary standards and a varied menu to suit all tastes.
A chance meeting during a surfing session led Juan to team up with French-Canadian chef Hugo Coudurier. With years of experience working in illustrious fine dining restaurants including the three-Michelin-starred Guy Savoy Paris, where he was Executive Chef, Coudurier was looking for something a little more casual and MyWarung fit the bill perfectly. The first MyWarung restaurants opened in Canggu, Echo Beach and Batu Belig in 2017 and have been receiving rave reviews ever since.
MyWarung Ubud is situated in the middle of all the action on Jalan Raya Ubud just across from Puri Lukisan, and it is already garnering a major buzz. We stopped in on a Friday night and every table in the house was either full or sporting a ‘Sorry Gorgeous, I’m Taken’ reserved card. For the smart diners who call ahead, you have the option of dining downstairs and watching the bartenders in action, or upstairs amid hanging plants and quirky larger-than-life artworks.
Cocktails are always the first order of business, and MyWarung has all the classics plus a few special signature creations. We like to think we’re pretty special, so we opted for the Rujak Martini with a spicy chilli rim and sassy vodka, triple sec and lemony fruit juice mix. The MyWarung Spritz with Cynar, sparkling wine, soda and citrus was refreshing and light, but the winner was definitely the Espresso Martini with vodka, Kahlua and espresso brewed with freshly ground beans from The Moose Espresso.
Fans of MyWarung in the south will be happy to know that the Ubud menu features all-time favourites like the L’Entrecote Australian rib eye steak, Coconut Sugar & Mustard Marinated Pork Chop and the Rosemary Grilled Lamb Chops with your choice of sauces and sides like crispy French fries and a walnut salad. Unique to the Ubud location are new items like the Crispy Pork Belly with spicy mayo and Prawns Spaghetti with chilli, garlic and tomato.
Our meat-centric feast included the Wagyu Beef Tri Tip perfectly charred on the outside and medium rare on the inside, served with a side of rosemary potatoes, creamy béarnaise sauce and a tangy Thai nam jim jaew’sweet chilli sauce. We also had to try their famous K Burger, which came on a buttery bun piled high with a substantial grilled beef patty, cheddar, pickles, tomato and onion and golden fries on the side with dijonnaise and homemade tomato ketchup for dipping.
While steaks and burgers may be the main draw here, vegetarians won’t feel left out, as there are plenty of tempting veggie dishes on the menu. A meat-free meal could include the Burrata with grilled zucchini, cherry tomato and rocket to start, followed by the Roasted Pumpkin Salad with shaved fennel, Korean pear, parmesan and pumpkin seeds or the Penne Pesto with basil, cherry tomatoes and rocket.
Hip new spots that do things a bit differently are always a welcome addition to the Ubud dining scene, and MyWarung Ubud ticks off all the right boxes with an artsy, eclectic space, a great mix of hearty and healthy dishes that appeal to all tastes and won’t break the bank, and a good-vibes-only kind of atmosphere. Not surprisingly, this contemporary warung is already becoming a fast favourite with the foodie set. S.M.