Zest Ubud – Delicious Vegan Food — Reviewed!

Ubud, Bali offers handful of good plant-based restaurants. In my 3 weeks of stay in March 2018, my precious find was the Zest restaurant which was in the same premises as of my stay. The newly-opened place headed by Chef Simon believes in the power of fresh, organic ingredients and is inspired by the global cuisine with locally-grown veggies, herbs. The farm-to-plate concept is truly executed here. Healthy, fresh vegetarian, raw & gluten-free dishes, exotic coffee that fit into all diets are part of the menu. Since, they have just launched the menu, it has limited scrumptious dishes only and for couple of days they were working on donations. Eat what you want and pay as per your will!

Interiors are lit. Use of natural lights, hand-painted walls, soft, cosy couches with big tables, huge windows, bar, high stools and a big tree at the centre are some of the highlights of the Zest, Ubud. The view from the restaurant is beautiful. One can see rice-fields, vehicles and people strolling on the roads; one feels to be on the top of the world. I have been their twice and my favourite place was the peaceful, cosy corner.

Warmly greeted by the kind and gentle Lina, the hostess, we were briefed about the place. Also, we met the head chef, Rina who introduced us to the concept behind the restaurant. The food menu ranges from Salads to wraps, small dishes and breakfast bowls. The drinks, especially coffee can be customised as per your preference of creamy, bittersweet or strong and rich. From Tea pots to coffee to fresh juices to smoothies the place has it all. But the sad part is currently their working hours are from 11 AM to 4 PM only.

On our twice visit for lunch, we tried the following...
  • Cacao Ceremony (4.5/5)
  • The Bearded Mexican Wrap (5/5)
  • The Brit Abroad (4.5/5)
  • Green Smoothie Bowl (5/5) 
  • Bangkok Bang Salad (4/5)
  • Crispy crushed baby potatoes (4/5)
Meal started with the rich and creamy coconut milk based purest Hot Chocolate. It was pure indulgence. A must try.

Next was the Bearded Mexican Wrap and the best part? The no-flour no-egg wraps were prepared with fermented red rice and local mungbeans. The wrap had crispy fried corn fritters, salsa, young papaya, cashew sour cream and lettuce. It had all the textures and flavours. A perfect, healthy meal. The portion size was generous too!

From the breakfast bowls, I tried The Brit Abroad which was again a plate full of textures and deliciousness. Nicely grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, spinach, taro hashbrowns, red bean salsa, and curry mayo. What can go wrong with such an amazing combination of ingredients on the plate. Loved every bit of it however, hashbrowns were bit oily and can be worked upon.

Also, The Green Smoothie Bowl was my all time favourite from the menu. The visually appealing bowl had the power punch of bananas, moringa, katuk leaves smoothie topped with the colorful dragon fruit, papaya, granola, shaved coconut, Java almonds and mint leaves. It was not only scrumptious but healthy too. A highly recommended dish!

30 second wok cooked crispy, crunchy, light salad was satisfying. The Bangkok Bang Salad was healthy with broccoli, cashew and had the punch of vibrant thai flavours with galangal and kaffir lime. For the extra crunch it was topped with corn fritters and rich paprika salad. A quick meal for all in hurry.

Next was the crushed baby potatoes with mayo. The deep fried potatoes were slightly smashed and served on the bed of creamy, spicy mayo. Loved the crunch. This is from the sides so one need to order 2-3 per person.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience with the location, staff, service and top-notch food. Will be visiting again soon on my next visit to Bali. Enjoy some more pics...

Royal China – Authentic food! — Reviewed!

Authentic Chinese food with fine dining facilities combined with contemporary and traditional elements of the Cantonese cuisine, that is Royal China for you. Located in the Business Plaza in Westin, Mundhwa, the speciality restaurant is on the 2nd floor apart from the Kangan and Seasonal Tastes. Wooden designer separators, dimly lit ambience but equally beautiful natural light, different dining sections including private dining space, a peaceful buddha statue, huge traditional paintings adorning walls, organised bar area are some of the features of the Royal China.

The menu ranges from Veg and Non-Veg Soups, Rice, Noodles, Dimsums and Desserts. Currently they are running some really good offers like 'All You Can Eat' for lunches and dinners, Dimsum Lunch Special, Executive Lunch and more. I went there on the regular week day for the lunch. Staff were courteous but needed to have more attention. After grabbing a comfortable place we ordered some of the specialities of the place....
  • Salt and Pepper Tofu (4.5/5)
  • Fried Soft Corn Curd (4/5)
  • Salt and Pepper Mixed Vegetables (3.5/5)
  • Crispy Corn Szechuan Style (4.5/5)
  • Crystal Dumpling (4/5)
  • Vegetable Mushroom Buns (4/5)
  • Royal China Lotus Leaf Rice (4/5)
  • Kung Pao Mixed Vegetables (3.5/5)
  • Chilled Mango Pudding (3.5/5)
  • Steamed Chocolate Buns (3/5)
We started our meal with the fancy, delicious vegan appetizer – Salt and Pepper Tofu. Fried Tofu is sprinkled with salt and sichuan peppercorn and this is a dish with basic combo made in heaven. The melt in mouth crispy and flavourful dish was super scrumptious. Highly Recommended!

Fried Soft Corn Curd was next dish on the table. Sweet corn steamed cakes batter-fried till golden brown to make a delicious starter. Tasted it for the first time and trust me it was super yum. A must try!

Next was the Salt and Pepper Mixed vegetables, a medley of colors, taste and texture. One can have it as a salad too.

Another star dish was the Crispy Corn Szechuan style. Warm, crispy, crunchy, tangy, sweet corns are totally addictive. The first bite will wake up your tongue and leaves you asking for more. Highly Recommended!

Next was the Crystal Veg Dumpling. This dish gets it's name because of the translucent skin of the dumpling which looks bit like a crystal. The unique and stand out dish too was my favourite of the day. A must try!

Last appetizer (yeah we had too many of them!) was the Vegetable Mushroom Bun. Presented in the bamboo steam basket the dun dough is stuffed with tangy and spicy mixture of mushrooms. The buns were light, airy and fluffy. Beautifully made. I wish it had more of shrooms and not too doughy.

Main course was limited to Royal China Lotus Leaf Rice and Kung Pao Mixed Vegetables. Wrapped in the lotus leaves the sticky rice were flavourful and irresistible as soon as you unwrap one fresh from the steamer. It paired well with the sweet, tangy Kung Pao mixed veggies.

In the desserts, we tried the unique steamed chocolate buns and mango pudding. Chocolate buns were unusual and looked like a piece of art. The chocolate swirls over the buns were eye-pleasing. Taste was ok, found it bit dry; wish it had more of molten chocolate.

Mango Pudding too was an eye-candy. Nothing special apart from the presentation. Tasted more like a mix of mango jelly and mango juice. Nevertheless, it was a refreshing for a post lunch treat on a summery day!

I liked the fact the expansion of authentic dishes on the menu. Wish the staff was more attentive with clear communication. Overall, it was a nice experience and would like to visit again soon for some
fab dishes! Enjoy...

Royal China Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato